27 Jul

Non-stellar service

Jason and I visited Stellar Pizza and Ale in Georgetown the other night, but, unfortunately, the experience didn’t live up to the name.

Here’s the background: I had just gotten back in town from a trip. I was very hungry, thirsty, and tired. So we thought, hey, pizza would be good, and there would be beer for Jason and a friend of ours who would be there with us. (I’m not a beer-drinker.)

We arrived at the restaurant and had a seat. The place smelled of delicious garlic. Soon the waiter came by and took our orders. I got a 1/2 pie and the guys got a whole pie. They ordered beers and I got a diet Coke.

We waited quite a while before the drinks showed up, but eventually they did. However, more than 30 minutes after we ordered our pizzas, the waiter came by and said “We are out of jalape?os. Would you like something else instead?” We were surprised that they hadn’t even started the pizzas yet, but we chose replacement ingredients for both pizzas.

Maybe 1/2 hour later, the waiter showed up with the boys’ food, and said to me, “We’re giving you a full pie after all!” and set a pizza down in front of me. I thought for a second that they were making up for the delay. WRONG. It wasn’t my pizza.

We tried to get her attention for a while but the waiter was doing the patented eye contact avoidance technique so common in restaurants with bad service. Finally with much arm-waving we got her back and she took the pizza away. Remember, I was completely starving at this point. I couldn’t just eat the other pizza, because it contained stuff I don’t eat.

She came back a minute later with a 1/2 pie. “Here’s yours.” Oh. I guess I don’t get the full pie after all. Well, at least the food was here. The pizza was OK, though their sauce is sweet and bland. With better sauce, the pizza would be quite good.

The guys soon ran out of beer and the waiter did not seem to notice. The same thing happened when I ran out of my diet Coke. Eventually we did get refills, after much waiting.

We got no discount or any acknowledgement that the service had been poor. Most restaurants probably would have given us an appetizer or a dessert to make up for the wait, but nothing like that happened here. There was no sign that the restaurant was understaffed or extra busy. There seemed to be lots of waiters running around. It was just lousy service. I don’t particularly want to go back — which is a shame, since the place has a great jukebox. (I played 18 songs on it. And my songs were playing for less than half of the time we were there, which gives you an idea how long we were there.)

4 thoughts on “Non-stellar service

  1. I once went to Johnny Rockets at the Irvine Spectrum in Irvine California. When going in I stood waiting to be seated for at least 15 minutes. I then said to someone, “Seat ourselves?” So we did. We sat and dumped in .25 cents to the juke box. We were thinking of going to see a movie. We decided it was too late and we would just get some food then go home. Well 30 minutes later I ask if the busser can get someone to take our order. 15ish minutes later someone comes over. (total time an hour or so now) we place our order and wait another 30 minutes before the food arrives and then 30 to 45 minutes later we were trying to pay with a credit card but our waitress had gone home. Uhmm… free food? Not this time i found someone else to take our money but jesus christ!!! We should have gone and seen the movie!! We were there over 2 hours… and the song I put the quarter in for? IT NEVER PLAYED!!!!!

    So at least you got to hear your music. 🙂

  2. we should be so lucky to have a neighborhood pizza joint in georgetown. so the service sucks… so what. it wouldn’t be stellar without disgruntled, alterna-types running the place. next time complain to them.

  3. You must work there, huh?

    If you like having a neighborhood pizza joint in Georgetown, then you probably want them to stay in business. If their service sucks, they are a lot less likely to stay in business.

    I don’t see any reason to excuse them. If the place had been extra busy, or the waiter had been new (which didn’t seem to be the case), I would excuse it. I understand those things happen sometimes. (I used to work in a pizza delivery place, so I know how things can occasionally get screwed up. We had customers with a two-hour wait for pizza one night because of an unforeseen problem. They got their meals for free, along with profuse apologies, and because of that they weren’t too pissed off at us.) Maybe if they’d at least apologized for the poor service.

    But, hey, we were only there to give them business, after all. If they don’t want it, we’ll go somewhere else and tell our friends to do so as well. If enough people do that, you won’t have a neighborhood pizza joint any more.

    (We could use one up here on Beacon Hill, too. Hopefully one that isn’t so absorbed in their own hipness that they can’t provide decent service.)

  4. Follow-up comment for anyone who finds this in a Google search or whatever:

    We eventually did go back and have never had bad service like we did that one time. It’s always a bit slow, but within acceptable bounds. And we usually get needed refills and such, too. So I don’t know if it was just that one particular waiter was terrible, or what. (Could have been a problem in the kitchen, too, but in that case the waiter probably would have said something, I think.)

    Anyway, it’s worth trying Stellar, as long as you’re not in a huge hurry.

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