From one extreme to another

So Nate and I were looking forward to a nice date night last evening. Praise Project and the holidays have prevented us from getting alot of couple time, so I told him to pick whatever he wanted and then we'd come home and watch a movie together.

He decided Thai food sounded good and said that he and his co-workers really like Sawatdee in Minneapolis but didn't really want to go into the city. He looked it up on the web and found that they have a location in Maple Grove and that the menu was more or less the same, so asked if I minded if we went there. I said as long as he was driving I didn't mind!

So we headed out around 6:00, still hit a little traffic to get there, but managed to pull in by about 6:30 or so. It took us a little bit to find it as it's kind of tucked back on this one street near some other larger restaurants. We finally found both it and a parking spot and headed inside. We were seated right away. But then things went way down hill.

The dining room is large and wasn't terribly full. One large group to one side, otherwise a handful of couples throughout. A waitress walked by our table a couple of times and I am pretty sure she saw us, but never really stopped. Instead she continued clearing people's dishes from other tables. At first I didn't think anything of this, I figured there was probably another waitress or something. But time kept ticking by. We figured out what we wanted and everything and were more or less making small talk waiting for someone, anyone to come up to us. A busboy finally came out and gave us some water at least and said our server would be right with us.

Another five minutes went by. In those five minutes, two women were seated right behind us. They were given water right way. At this point I determined that we'd been sitting waiting almost 15 minutes and I could tell Nate was getting a little cranky about it. The kicker comes next though.

The waitress who had in these 15 minutes walked by our table countless times goes to the women behind us "oh I'll be right with you" and then instead of helping us went back to another table, then goes to the women to take their order completely ignoring us! Nate said he attempted eye contact with her and she looked the other way! We both realized this at about the same time and I finally said "those women came in way after us" and Nate was now furious and said "We're out of here, get your coat."

The hostess was not at the front otherwise we would have complained to her. Instead we were back out into the frigid night and now faced with "where do we go now?" Nate was just fuming, he said "I've never done that before, never walked out of a restaurant" and I am pretty sure I hadn't ever done it either. Maybe with my parents when I was little, I can't recall.

Across the street was Clauddaugh, the Irish Pub. Nate said "how does the Irish pub sound?" It sounded kind of heavy to me but I'm like, you know what, it's food and they'll have beer. Let's do it.

I have to say, we had an AWESOME experience there. Our waiter was so friendly and attentive. We had beers after sitting barely two minutes. Our food came out in a timely fashion. He remembered us by name after just glancing at our i.d's. Needless to say he got a very generous tip from us. My food was decent, not the best I'd ever had, but just the pleasant experience of our waiter and really the whole staff there made it so worthwhile.

I'll be writing two letters this weekend. One to the manager at Sawatdee expressing my extreme anger with the situation we were in and letting them know we will never be back. The other will be to the manager of Clauddaugh applauding them for being so wonderful to us from the minute we walked in the door. Because I believe good things need to be recognized and acknowledged just as much as bad ones.


Gina said...

That's horrible the experience you had at the first place. I'm glad that you are writing them a letter. They deserve to know how horrible the service was. I'm glad that you are also writing a letter to the other place because of the wonderful service you had there. You will have to let me know if anything comes about from your letters.

Julie said...

I want to know exactly where that Clauddaugh restaurant is. I've never heard of it, but I definitely want to try it.

Daeda said...

That sucks that you had such a bad experience there. Sawadee is one of my favorite restaurants, but I've only been to the one in the cities, I've never been to Maple Grove :( That super sucks. They awesome food and takeout if you ever decide to try the one on Washington.

Alexandra said...

Yeah, we went to Claddaugh for Julie's shower, remember? We had excellent service that night, too!

Jes said...

We're definitely going to try Clauddaugh's the next time we are in Maple Grove.
Also, I agree with Daeda, the Sawadee in Minneapolis is good!