Space Needle Informative - Poor Quality Service, Poor Quality Food

Review by PixRvw on 2008-08-30
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- The Space Needle is a big attraction for tourists, but it really is not all it is hyped up to be. The view is great, but that is the only good thing I have to say.

Our family had dinner in the SkyCity restaurant, and the food was mediocre as well as the service. They charge an extra $16 per person if you do not meet the order minimum. There is a PER PERSON order minimum of $35. Our total bill was a little less than $300 for five people (four adults and one child), so we would have expected better than what we received.

The waiter seemed to be trying to recall from memory the specials for the evening, but he kept making mistakes and correcting himself. It is possible that he was new, but a well-established waiter would not stumble in such a way. This kind of problem is not a very big deal because the waiter was polite and proper otherwise. However, this experience seemed to represent the overall quality of service for SkyCity.

The croûtons in the salad were stale. I ordered steak and lobster, which cost about $80. I understand this is a “thrift store” price for steak and lobster, but I did not think the food would be of such poor quality. The lobster was stringy and rubbery. The broccoli was wilted. The steak was overcooked and dry. The waiter admitted that the steak was not cooked the way I ordered it. I was able to sample the salmon, which was actually quite good, but that is the only part of the meal I enjoyed.

The valet service was awful. The person who originally took our car failed to give us a ticket for proper retrieval of our car. We explained this to the person who was supposed to get the car, but he was argumentative and domineering stating that they NEVER forget to give the customer a ticket. His name was James, and he was horribly rude. He inappropriately tried to overcharge us for the valet service, and this was after we explained we just finished dinner in their restaurant ($8 for valet service if you dine at SkyCity, otherwise the cost is $12). He demanded to see our receipt, which we showed to him. Other staff promised us that the valet service charge would be posted to our dinner bill, but they failed to add this to our bill, so this additional error caused us to have to deal with boorish valet staff.

I tried to complain about James to a manager named Jackson A. Beard (according to his business card), and his first response to me was a very smug, "I need to collect the money for the valet service." I was disgusted by the arrogance and blatant neglect of my complaint.

I called and left messages for other managers to file formal complaints, and I am waiting for return calls.

The staff named above must have forgotten that they were publicly representing the Space Needle, and they put their own overblown egos before the reputation of services surrounding the Space Needle. Service personnel should never be allowed to enforce a misplaced sense of authority over customers. I would be horribly embarrassed if I were a supervisor of the staff mentioned above.

I cannot recommend the Space Needle valet service. The arrogance and unapologetic attitudes of the staff most definitely do not represent the quality that is expected with such services. Valet personnel should NEVER argue with customers.

I cannot recommend the SkyCity restaurant for dining due to the low quality of food. Tourists would be better off going elsewhere for dining purposes if a higher level of quality is expected.

A fantastic place to get a good steak is the Metropolitan Grill in Seattle, and the expense is well worth it. The staff is much better with customers there, and the food is very good. If you enjoy garlic, then I have to recommend Mediterranean Kitchen in Bellevue.
Comments:9 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-12-02
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-30:
My first visit with Santa Claus was in the Space Needle, 44 years ago. Yep, me and the fat man got high together!

I would expect the dining there would be more about the atmosphere than the food. Does the floor still revolve?
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-30:
Sorry to hear about your sub-par dining experience at the Space Needle. When my daugher was going to UW a few years ago, we heard the restaurant was bad and never ate there. We found some other very outstanding seafood restaurants whose prices were expensive, but delicious, so you didn't feel ripped off. Thanks for warning others about this touristy place with bad food.

As a side note, I think it's a rip-off anyway that they charge people just to ride to the top to see the city, but I guess someone has to make money on the venture. There are plenty of free vantage points in Seattle where you can get a beautiful view of the city.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-30:
Alright dianec1! Go Huskies! I have lots of family that went there.
Posted by SilverWngs71 on 2008-08-31:
Go Coug's!! We went to the Space Needle in 2005. It was the first time for me to be in Downtown Seattle area. We rode to the top and looked around, we however pay the arm and a leg to eat there. Funny thing is I have lived up here since 1998 and it took me 7 years to see downtown area of Seattle. Pike's market was a blast. Not kidding we may the rounds through there in less than an hour. Car was at top of the hill and I had just forked over $8 an hour for parking. We did end up staying at a hotel near the Needle, but we did alot of walking. Went to Woodlands Park Zoo, The Space Needle, Pike's Market, we walked to the Mall downtown and then went to eat at the Spaghetti Factory. The next day after the blisters had gone down we went to Orca's Island.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-31:
Silverwngs--You mentioned some great places to visit in Seattle. I love that zoo. Used to take my kids when they were little. Pike's Market is definitely a must see. Just a note for visitors--don't go to Pike's Place on the weekend--try to go during the week when it's not so crowded. And, don't forget the flagship Nordstroms downtown! One more great place is West Seattle. Very beachy place, especially in the summer with a great view of downtown Seattle across the water. Beautiful!!

C02--UW was (is) a great university. Too bad the Huskies lost yesterday!!
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-31:
Yeah dianec1, you're right! I remember going to watch them run their kayaks across the lake when I was a little kid. The football stadium was awesome too, right there off the water.
That's beautiful country and I still get back there quite often.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-31:
c20--We'll probably go north next weekend. The stadium, btw, is still awesome! So much to see in that area. Kirkland is a nice town, too, right across the bridge from UW. There's a good burger place there too. I'm making myself hungry. It's only in the 50's here today (and raining) where I live--too fall-like, but compared to some of the country, I think we're having a good day.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-31:
Go north? Are you in WA now?
When I'm there I split my time between Capitol Hill and Camano Island. It's all changed so much though, since 40+ yrs. have gone by. Digging for clams off the Sound is another great memory from my childhood. We'd boil them up and feast right on the beach. Salmon fishing... riding in sea planes... swimming.... that's where I learned to water ski...
I need to move!!! I want my childhood back!!!
Posted by leopard on 2008-12-02:
You should have asked a local before eating there. Any one of us would have told you that the food is overpriced and not that great. For a much better restraunt, try the Metropolitan Grill, Daniel's, or Earth/Ocean. These places are comparitively priced, and have great food. Also, GO COUGS!!

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