Patti and I dine at the same restaurants numerous times for many reasons. One is because we like the food and service as well as value, and secondly, we can give you honest reviews based on our dining experience, not just something from the website like other reviewers.
We recently went to Tahoe Joe's, one of our all-time favorites, only to be disappointed not by the food but by the service and cleanliness.
The Food First
Patti and I both ordered the small rib-eye steak done medium rare. The steak was cooked to perfection with a nice smoky flavor and smell.
It, of course, came with a side of green beans for both. Patti opted for the rice pilaf, while I went with the baked potato. Their baked potatoes, when done right, as mine was this evening, are the best. They are almost a meal in themselves with the toppings.
As far as the food went, it was flawless, as it usually is. We also had a salad to start, completing the best part of the evening.
Now The Bad
We usually get there late at night, but we thought we'd get there early to miss the crowd and get seated quickly.
On this night, for whatever reason, getting there early seemed the wrong thing to do. We waited over 20 minutes to get seated, which has never happened, even on a busy night, and it wasn't busy this night.
We've been on a busy night before and didn't have to wait like we did this night, but it happens.
Their famous rolls were cold and chewy. When we asked for fresh ones, our server missed the race to the roll station by the other servers grabbing six or more rolls each time they went.
Finally, after three tries, we were served two warm, not hot, rolls. They couldn't even melt the butter as usual. It's not their best night for dinner rolls.
As for cleanliness, they failed utterly. The seats in the booth we sat in were dirty and sticky, as was the tabletop. The floor was littered with paper and food debris. Something we have never seen when we were there before. We have never seen the restaurant this dirty, not even in the later service hours. I don't know what happened; maybe they didn't have enough help, but it wasn't as far as being clean. As far as the hostess being on the ball, she wasn't.
It was just a bad night for rolls, hostessing, and cleanliness. This happens to some of the best restaurants around, and that's why we keep going back so you know it can happen to any restaurant at any time.
Giving your favorite restaurant the benefit of the doubt is always good. Also, let the manager know as we did that night.