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Princess Cafe Complaint - Poor food preparation and service

Review by Apple Mac on 2010-09-26
BEECHER, ILLINOIS -- I have been patronizing this particular restaurant for the past few years. In the past, the food and service have been excellent, but things were quite the opposite this occasion.

Ordered two fillets and a beef stroganoff, the food arrived and the meat was not cooked to order on all three entrees. The fillets were rare when they should have been medium-well; the beef in the stroganoff was also rare. The three entrees were sent back to the kitchen when returned; one fillet was still not cooked properly, and the beef in the stroganoff was still rare. We told the waitress to throw away the stroganoff because it was not edible.

The waitress was nice, but she took too much time in between the courses. Her timing was way off. We arrived at the establishment at 6:00, and did not receive the entrees the first time, until 8:15.

The owner of the establishment was contacted the day after the incident. Even though the biggest problem was the almost raw food, the owner wanted to blame the waitress for everything that went wrong. This is a family owned business and the cook/manager must be a relative, so he did not want to throw him under the bus. It is easy to blame the waitress for everything.

The owner, after he was convinced that the waitress did not undercook the meat, offered to refund our money. He was turned down and was informed that the purpose of the phone call was to inform him of our complaint, so he was aware that we experienced problems that particular evening, so he can take action to improve the dining experience at his restaurant in the future.

Do to the poor attitude of the owner and cook/manager, we will not return to the Princess Cafe.

The management did not seem to care about our complaints, but they did not charge us for one fillet. This fillet had to be returned to the kitchen two times before it was cooked properly. We paid for the stroganoff, even though it was not edible.

They could have had a bad night, but I am not going to take my chances again. I am going to stay away from this establishment and will never return.
Comments:8 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-09-27
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-09-27:
I would never give up on a restaurant if I had one bad experience after having had a few years of excellent food and service. Did you actually speak to a manager, or did you just assume they didn't care? I'm sure even management would have agreed that a 2-hour 15-minute wait for food was unacceptable. They were obviously having a problem during this particular visit and it was not their usual good food and service.

I would never pay for food that I couldn't eat. I don't understand why they took one fillet that was eaten off the bill but charged you for the stroganoff that they threw away. Did you question the bill?

I usually give a restaurant three strikes before I decide to take a break from going back. Maybe Princess Cafe is under new management or just hired some new employees and they're still figuring things out. Or maybe they were short-staffed on that day. A few years of excellent food and service is a long time. I wouldn't be so quick to write them off.
Posted by Apple Mac on 2010-09-27:
I talked to some guy who was representing the manager. The manager was to busy in the kitchen cooking and would not come out to speak to us. The restaurant was not busy at that time.

They were reluctant not charge me for one of the steaks. I did not want to make a scene and demand they take off the stroganoff; I just wanted to leave and get out of there. When you are paying over $30.00 for a fillet, it should be cooked right the first time.

I can understand having a bad night of service or food preparation, but this night was a disaster!

I did tip the waitress more than I should have. Waitresses have a tough job, and she did a good job keeping the refreshments filled. The waitress said that the ownership had not changed.

I recommend Wildfire in Oak Brook, IL, for excellent food and service. When I am going to spend over $40.00 for an entree, that is the place to go.

The waitress did say that they had the ownership had not changed.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-09-27:
I would expect good food at that price, too. I agree that your visit was a complete disappointment. I also agree about not making a scene. I would have questioned having to pay for the stroganoff though.

If the manager was in the kitchen cooking, that's a good indication that they were shorthanded and it could explain why things went wrong.

I just hope you give them at least one more chance to live up to their good reputation.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-27:
There's a bar I go to all the time and I almost always get great service. There's been a few times that they brought me the wrong order or have given my drinks to another table. But I don't let that stop me from going back because it is usually a pleasant experience. I think one bad visit shouldn't stop you from going back.
Posted by ok4now on 2010-09-27:
Sounds like the kitchen staff really dropped the ball on this one. You have enjoyed the food over the past few years so maybe they were having a bad night. The management should have been much more attentive to your complaint. This is not how you treat a good customer. Be careful when sending food back to the kitchen. They may take offense to this and make the food even worse if you catch my meaning. I would give them a second chance considering their good track record.
Posted by rockfishing on 2010-09-27:
If the manager was busy in the kitchen cooking then it sounds like the cook didn't show up, quit, or was fired. These things happen. Obviously the manager is a bad cook.
Posted by Helpful on 2010-09-27:
I would have thought they would have comped the stroganoff as compared to the fillet, whereas it had to be returned without being eaten; but the fillet is, I'm sure, a higher cost.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-09-27:
Good well written review. Thanks

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