Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pinky's Cafe - Phoenix

This week has been hell for me. Tuesday morning at 10am it was my turn to go on-call for my work. At 11am, I was paged for an outage on one of our servers in Minnesota. From 11am Tuesday until 5:30am Wednesday, I was on a conference call to restore service almost non-stop. I had a few breaks, but nothing longer than an hour. So Wednesday, I crashed for most of the normal working day. Thursday I got paged at 3am for a server in Europe. I worked most of Thursday on that. Friday at 3:30am I got paged on it again. I worked on that non-stop until about 4:30. Sleep was a mere hazy memory at this point. But we'd finally gotten a solution from our vendor about what was causing the issue and I crashed once we got it in place. After getting up briefly for something to eat around 10pm and helping Tara order herself a new laptop, I went back to sleep.

Around 10:45am Tara came into where I was sleeping (I stay in our spare bedroom when I'm on-call so I won't bother her when I get pages) and said she was hungry. She suggested Harlow's. I suggested trying out Pinky's Cafe at 7th St and Thunderbird. I noticed it when we were at Basis and had seen a few positive comments about it. She gave it an approval and we headed down once we'd gotten ready. It felt good to be out of the house for literally the first time in almost five days.

We arrived around noon. The place was fairly packed, with two or three free two-tops. We waited by the register for someone to seat us. We noticed a girl bussing tables and she looked at us a few times. She wiped down one table, looked at us, and then wiped down the edge of an occupied table. She then started to head to us and then changed course and went to sit next to a guy at the counter. Tara and I exchanged puzzled looks at this. Maybe she didn't work here. After a few more minutes, one of the two waitresses told us to grab any empty table we wanted. So we grabbed a couple menus from the bin at the register and took a free table right next to the register.

At this point, I noticed the couple in the booth right next to the door get up and leave. This was odd, since we heard them trying to decide what to order while we stood there for minutes. Apparently, no one ever came to take their order and they left. They were barely out the door when a single woman came in and took their booth. Their menus were still on the table.

We looked at the menu for quite a while and no one came to our table. We did notice that the bus girl also doubled as the cashier when she could be bothered to get off her ass. She had a blank look the whole time and I'm fairly certain she was still hung-over from whatever she did last night. This made her ignoring of us all the more insulting since she did work there. It was pretty inexcusable behavior towards customers in my opinion.

Eventually one of the waitresses came by and took our drink order (two Cokes). We needed more time, as the menu is pretty extensive. This entailed another very lengthy wait. The place as starting to clear out at this point. She finally came back with our drinks and took our order. Tara got a mushroom and swiss omelet with hash browns and wheat toast. I got a corned beef omelet with home fries and wheat toast. She went and put our order in. This was maybe 12:10/15. I was thirsty and drained my glass of coke in short order. It stayed that way for a very long time. By the time Tara finished her drink, the waitress finally grabbed them and refilled them. I happened to glance over and the lady who'd come in after us was already eating her meal. This was odd, as we ordered before her. After another lengthy wait, during which I apologized for even suggesting this place over Harlow's, ensued. Again our drinks sat empty forever. I noticed maybe one or two other new groups come in and many more leaving. The wait for two simple omelets with toast was getting excessive.

At 12:40 or so, our meal finally arrived. The waitress even commented "Gee, didn't that seem to take a long time? Did you two grow old waiting for your food?" Not exactly the right thing to say to two hungry, pretty pissed-off customers.

The food did LOOK promising. The omelets were nicely browned and the potato sides looked good as well. I gook a bite of my home fries and they were lukewarm. Another bite into the center produced a hot bite. After such a long wait, we should have gotten everything burning hot in my mind. The omelet itself was quite hot. However, not much flavor was there. The eggs didn't taste like they had any seasoning other then the salty flavor from the plentiful slices of corned beef. The home fries themselves were also very bland.

Tara's reported the same thing. Her swiss cheese had no flavor and the hash browns were "straight out of the freezer". It looked like everything was cooked very well but it just had no flavor at all.

Sadly, the best part of the meal was the wheat toast. Four smallish slices of bread were cut into triangles and stacked all on the same plate. They were buttered (an option asked when ordering) and four small containers of grape jelly were on the side. While bordering on cold, the bread was actually pretty good, especially with the jelly. This comes pretty close to damning with faint praise, though.

Overall we were very disappointed. Service was very much lacking, despite the friendliness of the waitresses (everyone was "darling"). The less said about the horrific bus girl the better. The food seemed to be prepared fine, but it just lacked flavor and seasoning. We won't be back.

A few odd things we witnessed. Our waitress would take shots of maple syrup when she was behind the counter. I saw her take at least two. I'm pretty sure the health department would frown on this. When I was done, I went to the bathroom. While I was in there, Tara saw the other waitress stop by a table behind my seat with a couple youngish kids. The waitress was holding an order of biscuits and gravy. She asked if they'd ever had biscuits and gravy. She asked if they'd like to try some. They said no. She then went to the table behind them and set the dish down in front of the people who'd actually ordered them. What the hell? Would she have actually given those people's order to the kids if they had wanted to try them? We certainly don't want to know the answer enough to go back.

1 comment:

Andy said...

What an odd sounding experience! Sounds like the place is lacking any sort of management...