Monday, April 30, 2007

Welcome to our family restaurant: Just don't bring your family

So, we finally made it over to the Paddock Family Restaurant in Somerville last night. We used to live in the neighborhood and shortly after we left, I read a review in the Globe that sang the praises of its food. So, after a trip to Home Depot in Assembly Square, we decided to give it a try.

It was, in a word weird.

The waitress was running around frantically even though there were only three other tables of people besides us. She took our drink order and ran off without giving us our menus until I flagged her down and asked for them. My iced tea was rancid. I thought it was the lemon, and she brought me a new tea without the lemon, but it had an utterly foul aftertaste. I left it in the middle of the table figuring that she'd ask about it, but she didn't.

We ordered, and I fed Kaylee some little corn muffins that I bring out to eat with us and she mostly crumbled them on the floor while she ate. Then she ate some rolls but mostly threw them on the floor. This is normal restaurant behavior for a baby. If Eric threw his food on the floor, we would take him out of there. But Kaylee is a baby. She can's help it. There were a bunch of male employees also rushing around like they were catering a wedding for 500, when there were FOUR tables with patrons. They would stop behind us and pick up the fallen bread, with thinly veiled contempt.

Then I asked for water, and the waitress strongly suggested we get spring water because the tap wasn't working well. So, we said OK, my iced tea was still sitting, barely touched in the middle of the table.

We finally got our food, which was excellent by the way, after a HALF an HOUR. This is way to long to make a three year old wait for pasta.

Then we asked for the check and ten minutes later the waitress comes back from waiting on her other 2 tables (one of the 4 had left by then) and asks if we needed any change. We said we hadn't gotten our check yet. So, she brought the check over mumbling that she thought she had given it to us. Rich then waited for her to come back because we didn't understand how we ran up a $16 bar tab for 2 kids drinks, 2 bottles of water and and iced tea and a beer.

"I was just wondering if this $16 bar tab is correct?" He asked here.

"Yeah. That's right." She said snatching the credit card away.

By then we just wanted to get the hell out of there. So, he signed for the food and took Eric out of the car while I packed up the baby. Then one of the uptight, stressed employee guys starts clearing off our table before I even got K's coat on.

Look, I know we made a huge mess. We always do when we go out to eat, but we're great tippers. Most waitresses would rather have a messy table and a huge tip than a clean table and a stingy tip. But not at the Paddock Family Restaurant. I was trying to get our stuff back into my diaper bag and the baby's coat on while this guy was hovering over the table snatching the remains of our dinner away. And when I finally got her out of the highchair, he made a disgusted noise and started whacking the food off of it as I walked out the door.

Nice people, real nice. I can understand the way they were acting if the place was full. But it was empty on a Sunday night. The employees almost outnumbered the patrons. I can't imagine why they were so uptight.

So, if you want good food, with dive-bar ambiance, it's a great place. But please, please don't bring a messy baby. It will make them crazy.


Blogger Downpuppy said...

You should try the New Asia. By now they should have replaced their high chair - when we went there most of the padding had rotted off.

For Paddock like food we go to Newtowne at Porter. Cant beat the pizza & pitcher deal, & the fried clams are oddly good.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

I'll check out Newtowne one of these days. We are big fans of Cambridge Common on Wendell and Mass Ave. They are a little slow to come out with the food, but they are not phased by a messy baby. But they have a good kids menu and the food is very good.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Downpuppy said...

We've only sat in a window booth at the Common about 40 times. The food used to be great, its still pretty good.

7:35 PM  

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