I've had a couple of experiences recently, which challenge the notion if you offer good service, you can get away with serving mediocre food.

While recently traveling through a small town, I walked into a biscuits and gravy joint where the tables hadn't been cleaned off and the server kept forgetting to bring items we requested.

He was friendly enough, don't get me wrong, with a bright disposition and genuinely personable. But operating with no sense of urgency.

While I was quick to write the slowness off as a small-town thing, what with my inherent "city-girl attitude," as people have referred to it in the past, what made the experience worthwhile—even to the point of my craving to return to the restaurant again—was when I ate the gravy.

Rich, creamy with no lard and chunky pieces of pork and ample fresh crushed black pepper, the gravy had me instantly satisfied. All the while with the following thought running through my mind:

"The slow service was worth it."

Some days, I really do just want good food.

Views: 0

Tags: biscuits, food, gravy, quality, service


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Judy "the foodie" Asman on July 31, 2008 at 12:03pm
Hi, Andy, interesting as on a down-home personal note, I do find I'm loyal to similar establishments. Some places even carry the cache of being slow but the food is so good, people will line up out the door.

Back in the days when I lived in SF, there was (and I think there still is) an adored breakfast eatery on Haight. There was always a crowd with narry a complaint.

They're tagline: "The most popular breakfast joint on Haight. And worth the wait."

Boy was it!
Comment by Andy Swingley on July 31, 2008 at 2:51am
I agree with you Judy. There have been times when I was underwhelmed by the service or look of the restaurant and have been pleasantly suprised by the food quality. My mind remembers those situations mostly as breakfast places (don't know why that is). I have extreme patience with restaurants as I always "want" my experience to be be great. I know, not the norm but it is what it is.....I do return to those places
Comment by Judy "the foodie" Asman on July 27, 2008 at 9:46am
I agree the there's no competing with the all-in-one experience. And I agree with Doug that a typical experience is lacking in at least one area.

To add to the story, my friend and I were commenting on the shoddy service, especially after having just done a podcast on 5 weaknesses in restaurant service. A couple of women sitting near us (obviously regulars) must have mentioned something to the waiter because he became more attentive.

This is one of the reasons I like to go into restaurants anonymously. It's true what people say about preferential treatment if they know you write about food and restaurants.

Comment by Doug Bond on July 26, 2008 at 7:25pm
I find that great gravy covers a multitude of sins. I love the instantaneous comfort fix that great gravy provides. There is a hotel in New Jersey that I pay entirely too much to stay at just because of the perfect Creamed Chipped Beef Gravy (aka “SOS”) that they serve for breakfast. I even tolerate the rude and cranky cook that makes it and the slow as molasses service staff just to get some of that creamy goodness smothered on a biscuit.
I do however also concur with the previous two posts. Wouldn’t it be grand to get cleanliness, gracious and efficient service, and excellent food all in the same restaurant experience? Unfortunately, most of the time one or more of the aforementioned criteria is lacking in most restaurants.
Comment by Junglefrog on July 26, 2008 at 1:17am
Like Debra I am not sure if the service level would have justified the good food. At least you did get good food at the end of the waiting but I feel that it is the combined package that in the end makes me return to a restaurant. No matter how good the food; in the end I will not come back if if the service is that slow and lacking in response!




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Restaurants may feel the pinch of pricier coffee later this year

Prices for arabica coffee futures hit a 26-month high amid a drought in Brazil, which produces a third of the world's coffee  -More

McDonald's rules out all-day breakfast in push to simplify

McDonald's breakfast menu accounts for 25% of the chain's U.S.  -More

Easy ways to use 5 uncommon spring greens

As light, crisp greens arrive at farmers markets and grocery stores, chefs are finding creative ways to add them to spring me -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

National Restaurant Association Offers Training DVDs on Harassment Prevention, Social Media Use, and Customer Service

The National Restaurant Association has released three new DVDs that offer best practices in dealing with harassment and discrimination, customer service training, and the first of its kind video guide on the use of social media.

Yum! Brands Reports First-Quarter EPS Growth of 24% Excluding Special Items

China Division System Sales Increased 17% with Operating Profit Growth of 80%; Yum! Reaffirms Full-Year Guidance of at Lea

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service