Tuesday, May 05, 2009

High and Low Rogers Park Area Affordable Restaurants for Service Only

This list covers all Restaurants that are accessible and affordable. This is not the most appetizing, but the ones that deliver. How many times have you sat and waited for eternity. This list may be a go to list. Disagree? Then comment and I'll investigate with stop watch in hand. I will likely start updating this list, because I am tired of the current state of Chicago Area Wait Staff.

We need to support good wait staff and encourage the poor to improve. Otherwise, the gems for food simply go out of business.

The Good Mid Range with fastest on top:

1. Ruby Tuesday -- (Lincolnwood Town Center) Salad bar quickly quells, food comes soon after. Not the epecurian delights that follow, but efficient when your quacking stomach demands attention.

2. Chilies - Evanston - Its sad, because Chilies does the job based upon service, speed and choices. We prefer other local RP restaurants. We should be able to get served appetizers at Hop Haus sooner than it takes to drive, order and be served at Chilies.

3. Heartland Cafe - Rogers Park - The nachos come out quick and usually satisfy long enough for the entre delay. Perhaps, this has improved.

2. Merle's Barbeque - Evanston - 'Usually' efficient enough. Use http://www.opentable.com/ and you will be seated upon entry!

3. Lucky Platter - Evanston - On Main. People go for the service and the choices. Good, not great, but efficient eats

4. Chilies - Evanston - Its sad, because it is the pick me up speed of service that is why we go; we prefer other locals. We should be able to get served appetizers at Hop Haus sooner than it takes to drive, order and be served at Chilies.

Honorable Mention - L. Woods (Lincolnwood), Red Lobster (Lincolnwood Town Center) and Dixie Kitchen (Evanston)- the bread comes quick and can quell, but the food just does not come out as efficient on a consistent basis.

The Disappointing (the worst on top)

1. Jamaican Jerk - I have not been back due to the delay in at least four years. I was tempted to walk, but felt compassion for the owner. Good meal; slow as tortoise soup service. I may return for carry out.

2. Bakers Square - Rogers Park - In my humble, many are disappointing. My last trip in February introduced me to Melissa; I found her to be a disaster on 2/28! I hope she improves.

3. Hop Haus - Rogers Park - Good food Service was slow 2 out of 3 trips to date. Love the burgers, hate the wait. Beer usually efficient, but not perfect. Please improve!!! Wake up the wait staff.

4. Leona's -- Rogers Park - Great food Service is slow except for bread and spread, but often the bread runs out and you want to lick the tomato sauce out of the container due to the delay for dinner.

I have not included all the options. Obviously, China Buffet is instant gratification. Also Dengeo's of Skokie is a pick up and sit with no wait staff. Both are efficient options without an inconsistent staff. Bravo is quick, but in a higher price point; my choice over Chilies if not concerned on price.

Overall, is it me or has the quality of wait staff at many places dropped way too many notches in the last few decades? Where do you go when you need an efficient restaurant server? What's their name? Where do we find them?


Fargo said...

Why so many mediocre chains on the list? Ever been to Siam Pasta - either West Rogers Park or Evanston? I've been many times, and they usually do just fine with service. I won't sacrifice food quality and ambiance just for service.

Chains that are set up for high volume often get food out faster. It doesn't mean the food is any better.

If you haven't been to Jamaica Jerk in 4 years, you shouldn't be slamming Paulette now for experiences years ago. Go back and give her another try. If you like the food but aren't happy with the service, try take-out.

When we have neighborhood businesses that offer good things, we need to patronize them so they can stay in business, especially now. Howard St. is a better place with businesses like Jamaica Jerk and Lake Side Cafe.

If I really like the food and the ambiance, I'll forgive a little on the service if it's not perfect. I'll take a neighborhood place with good food and imperfect service over some impersonal chain any day.

lafew said...

You are right. This deserves an update. I have returned to Hop Haus. The service has significantly improved! Currently, it has some of the best service in the neighborhood. I'm almost a regular at this point.

Barbeque Bob's - 2055 W. Howard. I first tried BB's at Clark Street Festival. I came back for seconds. Bob is an A1 guy. The St. Louis Ribs are one of the best if not the best on the Northshore!

Jamaican Jerk - Well, the service was so slow that it has taken time to live down. It is still there, so it must be doing something right.

There is another possible Jamaican Gem in the rough at W. Chase and N. Damen. It is under new management. Other than updating their price list, which was a nuisance, I enjoyed the 7pm snack on the walk back to the house. I am not an intimidated soul. It is too close by to pass up.

lafew said...

There is also Ropa Restaurant that took over the space held by the Persian restaurant off Sheridan Rd.