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East Side Mario'sproduct, service, cleanliness

1
H Nov 09, 2019

It is difficult to know where to begin as this place disappointed on so many levels. Let's start with the entrance. Upon entering we noticed that the push plate for the automatic access, for persons with mobility issues was ripped off the wall and hanging from the wires. There was no signage cautioning the public to avoid touching it. Potential danger for small children. This might seem trivial to begin with that but it was just a precursor of what was to come.

My friend and I were met and brought to a booth quickly, where we had to brush crumbs from the bench seats. Still seemingly trivial enough you might think but this was another indication of the carelessness of this establishment. The floors appeared dirty, not unexpected after a busy dinner service but this was around 8 pm and the place was only about half full. There were napkins and other bits of garbage littering the floor. Every staff member walking through the dining room walked right by. The person bussing tables did so hurriedly and noisily, dragging chairs across the floor and never once smiling or making eye contact with anyone. Not the tone you want set during what you hope to be an enjoyable meal out.

Our server came over and as we were quite hungry, we ordered right away and were brought our drinks and bread. We asked for side plates for our bread, that never arrived, so my friend just got some from another table. The salads came in the signature giant bowls that had the smallest salads I have ever seen in one of their restaurants. I immediately noticed several pieces of lettuce that should have gone to the compost bin, not into a bowl and can't imagine that anyone serving that salad up wouldn't have noticed this. I picked them out and carried on, as I mentioned, I was hungry.

Before we were halfway through our tiny salads our mains arrived. My friend had ordered the penne pasta dish with prosciutto and I ordered the pasta primavera with goat cheese. My friend's dish had one piece of prosciutto that he had to cut up in order to have it with more than one bite of pasta. My spaghettini was grossly overcooked and had one small blob of goat cheese. His food wasn't hot, while mine was piping hot. That is the best thing I can say about the meal.

I had to use the ladies' room, which I hesitated doing so as I have been to this place before and remember the bathroom being really dirty. On my way to the ladies' room I glanced to the kitchen and what I saw from the doorway was appalling. This was accumulated over time filth, on the floor, in corners around and on the equipment surfaces. The dirt was thick on the floor along the wall. This was next level neglect. It was clear that there was no pride of work and that nobody cared about food safety or a sanitary work environment in that kitchen.

When I opened the door to the ladies' room, I saw what I thought were new tiles so was hopeful. My hope was premature as I saw a really bad tile job with deep wide grooves between much of the tiles where dirt gathered. A professional tiler did not do this work. There were 4 stalls with one being wheelchair accessible. One stall had an out of order sign, one had no working slider lock and the wheelchair accessible one; the door could not be closed at all. So out of 4 stalls only one was actually usable.

I returned to the table, glancing to the kitchen to see if what I saw earlier was as bad as I thought it was on first sight, confirming that it was.

Clearly on every level this is not a happy work environment, from the people who prepare the food, to the servers and the cleaners, nobody cares at this location.
The apathy in this restaurant was palpable.
It is obvious, to me and anyone who has ever worked in the service industry, that this falls on management and the owner. I will never eat in this establishment again.

Is this a symptom of a dying chain or just this location?

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