Introducing my first post in the review category, inspired by yesterday’s restaurant visit.
Everyone who knows me knows I love a good burger, and I love trying out new burger places. Yesterday we decided to try out Ellis Gourmet Burger in Utrecht, which has only been in business for about 3 months.
There were three of us, and upon entry we were seated in a spacious booth like this one:
The atmosphere seemed good, though it was not very crowded. The place itself looked really nice, with nice lighting and they had very nice lounge/chill music playing at perfect volume. After sitting for a bit we discovered the menus were already on the table. They looked like little newspapers that you could fold out. At this point I had high hopes of this place. The menu looked amazing, the atmosphere was great… bring it on!
I was just pointing out how excited I was about this place when we realized quite some time had gone by and no one had come to take out drinks yet. Hm. In the mean time we had checked out the menu back to front, and were ready to order.
Finally someone arrived to take our order!
We ordered home made lemonade for drinks, nachos with quacamole and sour cream as a starter, and our burgers and fries for main course. I must admit I was a little worried that our waitress did not write anything down and instead memorized our order and put it into the POS system after. Rightly so, it turns out.
We received our lemonade soon after and it deserves to be pointed out that this was delicious.
Things started going south when our order came out. We were given a bowl of plain tortilla chips with a cup of what looked like salsa sauce. Obviously not what we ordered. As out waitress walked towards us with some burgers I told her that the tortilla chips with salsa dip was not, in fact, the nachos with guacamole and sour cream that we ordered. I asked if she might rectify this after dropping off the burgers. Turns out, the burgers were ours! Apparently we were getting our starter and main course at the same time.
Yet that was not all. One of us had ordered a ‘skinny’ burger, which, as stated on their menu means no bun. Instead we were presented with a plain burger on a bun. When I told the waitress that we had ordered the burger skinny, not plain, she tried to tell me that this was what skinny looks like. I had to point out to her using their own menu that it clearly states skinny means no bun. And there was clearly a bun surrounding this sad-looking very plain burger. She eventually apologized, but there’s more. One of us had ordered the Meatlover burger which is a little more expensive because it uses some extra fancy type of beef, and we’d asked for extra toppings: cheese and bacon. Instead we were presented with the normal ‘classic’ burger, because apparently they were out of the fancy beef. However, they had not added bacon or cheese to this burger as we pointed out, so that too had to go back to the kitchen.
The only order that came out right was mine, but now I was the only one with food. The waitress told us that to make it up to us the drinks we’d ordered thusfar were on the house. She dropped off some fries after that (still no nachos), and my companions watched as I devoured what was admittedly a pretty darn good burger.
I was done eating by the time the other two burgers, correctly prepared this time, were brought out. After this they brought over again 2 portions of fries. This was odd, since we had only ordered two portions in total (and this made 4), as one of us had gotten a small salad instead. Oh well, I figured they were trying to get back into our good graces.
Turns out, these fries were likely not meant for us. Across the isle a couple had stood up to leave, looking anything but pleased. I heard the lady exlaim: “I still haven’t had my fries!” before storming off in a huff. Then I heard their waiter walk back to the kitchen saying; “the couple on table X just left without paying…” awkwaaaard.
So at this point we were a little giddy at the amount of things going wrong, it just all seemed a bit surreal, and we felt a little bad for our waitress. This restaurant was obviously not having a good day, as moments later we overheard a waiter inform a family of 4 that they were out of fries. At a burger place.
We never did see our nachos, nor the corn on a cob one of us has ordered as a side dish.
With our burgers and fries finished we decided to call it a day and ask for the bill. As you might expect there were several things wrong with that as well. Among them the fact that they’d charged us for the elusive nachos, and also for the Meatlover burger which was not in stock. She had to walk back two times to change the receipt, though with the drinks on the house this made for one pretty cheap restaurant visit.
Despite everything that went wrong, the burgers were very tasty, and the price/quality rate was good. For this reason I am still giving this restaurant a reluctant three out of five stars.
I mean, they only just started, right? Perhaps they need some time to work out the kinks. Most of the issues we had could easily have been prevented by providing the staff with adequate training. In addition, they did try to make it up to us with free drinks, and that should count for something.
There’s a good chance this restaurant will be doing really well in about half a year or so, I might check back in then!