Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Underwhelmed

Pals.

I find it impossible to be light and charming when I desperately want a restaurant to go away. After a year and much thought about this piece I have concluded I am on the right path if only to get the restaurateurs' attention. Bear with me, maybe we will achieve improvement.

Slider's is a wood-panelled seafood place in Neptune Beach, Florida. It has a prime location right on the main street of that tiny village, one block off the ocean. Sliders enjoys a pretty dining room, an old salt's bar in the same room, and a large outdoor patio in a town that can afford to eat good food.

It is unfortunate then, that Slider's, not unlike its contemporaries in Tropical Caribe and Sun Dog, food and drinks are just absurdly miserable. I mean, appallingly bad. So poor that I guess it certainly an embarrassment even to their hopelessly middling wait staff and thoroughly clueless hostesses.

Here then, one years worth of painful thoughts on the place suffered at the hands of guests who seem to adore Slider's:

1. Grossly overcooked rubbery shrimp; an assault on the freshest local specialty.

2. Protein portions of fish in the fish taco equalling roughly two ounces of grilled fish.

3. Ever decreasing portion amounts of food not worth making any portions of.

4. Bad wines. I mean, weapons grade swill. Obviously unsuccessful attempts to poison yours truly.

5. Preposterous bench seating in the middle of the room which is often missing the cushions: Totally awesome for thinner women who have just given birth.

6. Lobster tails so overcooked they were charred to their shells.

7. Flavorless, poorly conceived dishes lacking seasoning and any consideration towards varying flavors.

8. Really the last straw: Last night I ordered a glass of "sangria," which arrived in a huge fountain soda glass. When I said to the waitress I had never seen sangria served that way, she said, "Oh, that's because they cover it with a shot of Sprite."

To which I replied, having known a few sangria's, "Excuse me? Did you say Sprite?"

"Yes." She said.

"That's disgusting." I said under my breath. And it was. What is with that anyway? I will venture to guess it a means of making the more costly ingredients go further which seems to be the cornerstone upon which this business was founded: Taste, quality, and return customers be damned.

The place it rarely packed. It does business, but given the location and clientele, it could be a world-beater. It is like an unloved child of a restaurant run by non-foodies whose care towards both ingredients and preparation lacks commitment, interest, discipline, and knowledge. Just avoid it, and the places of its ilk out there if want to have a decent experience going out to dinner in Neptune Beach. Until I see this place fold or a sign that it is under new management, this recommendation will stand: I have no interest in food cooked by the unimpassioned or cocktails made by soda jerks.

3 comments:

tintin said...

I just escaped northeast Florida. I managed to have a lovely dinner with some old friends at Cafe Alantico on St Augustine Beach. But for the most part, this area of FL is lousy with poor resturants serving a dumbed down population who are happy to suck at the tit of BBQ wings, Bud Lite and fried shrimp while 22 screens blaze away from every corner.

Blushing hostess said...

Having some issues with my Save draft function here at BHE, folks, so bear with me while I mash the keys in order to fix...

Tintin - while these local joints blow shrimp veinous material, 29 South in Fernandina is great - grows his own food,cures his own meats - Scotty Schwartz, tell him I sent you, the place is a genuine peach.

Cafe Alantico - so noted and on my list. With many thanks.

Jessica Condatore said...

BH - I've never eaten anything at Slider's but mullet dip. My boyfriend and I went there before one of our first dates to see a concert at Freebird when I was living in Jacksonville. I have a question, well sort of a proposal for you - could you email me: jessica@thelovelist.net
? :)