Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Restaurant Review: In Your Face Service at Market Garden Brewery

I'm having bad luck with places called "Market."  Sheesh.

I went to Market in Rocky River earlier this month and had a pretty "meh" experience and had a much worse experience at Market Garden Brewery this past weekend.

Oh, where to begin?

I'd been SO excited to check out Market Garden Brewery, so when I realized I'd be in the neighborhood for another event with a group of friends, I decided to make a reservation for Friday night at 9:00.  That part was good.  Market Garden uses Open Table, so making a reservation - even for a large-ish party (6, in my case) was ok.  We arrived right around 9:00 and were seated right away.  But...then it went downhill.

The place was packed.  And good for them.  I love seeing a new business do well.  But it was packed to the point where it was impossible to hear anything and I felt like the people at the next table were sitting on top of me.  But, hey!  It was Friday night and I expected the place to be happening.  And since there were so many people, in my party and standing all around us, I expected service to be a little slow.  But just a little. 

Our server eventually arrived at our table to take our drink orders.  At this point, the waiting didn't bother us because we were still excited to be in a new restaurant, etc., etc.  Two of the ladies in my party wanted to try the raspberry beer, and the server ran off to get them a generous sample.  Not sure what anyone else ordered because I know very little about beer and because I couldn't hear what they said, but I ordered a Moscow Mule.  They had other "old school" cocktails on the menu, so I figured making a drink out of ginger beer, lime juice, vodka, and mint wouldn't be too difficult.

The first drink that was handed to me was definitely not a Moscow Mule.  Not sure exactly what it was, but it tasted like it was made with raspberry vodka.  But no big deal.  The waiter realized his error and came back in a few minutes and asked me if my drink tasted like raspberry and said I got a drink meant for another table.  In a matter of minutes he came back with a delicious replacement. 

Not sure where he want after that, though, because after waiting and waiting and waiting to order, we had to flag him down.  But again, we gave them the benefit of the doubt and thought that our slower than normal service wasn't all that much of an issue.  I ordered another drink, since I figured it would take a long time to get another one, and I ordered the black bean tacos.  I was happy to hear that the server was schooled on the difference between vegetarian tacos and vegan tacos and warned me that there is dairy in the black bean taco. 

So we waited some more.  Our next round of drinks came out and a drink that didn't resemble a Moscow Mule was placed in front of me.  It was in a different kind of glass than my previous drink and had a yellowish-orange tint.  I took a sip and realized it definitely wasn't the right drink.  I managed to flag down my waiter once again and sent the drink back.  No big deal, right?  I was a little annoyed, but I knew they'd just replace my drink like they'd done the last time.

Instead, the bar tender came over to the table and plunked the "wrong" drink down in front of me.

Bartender: (angrily) "How do you make a Moscow Mule?"
Me: "Uh...what?  You make it with vodka, mint, lime juice, and ginger beer."
Bartender: "Traditionally, it's made with bitters.  This drink is made with bitters."
Me: "Well, I drink these pretty often, and I've never had one with bitters.  Can you just remake it for me? "
Bartender: "It's supposed to have bitters. (pushing drink towards me) You should just drink it."
Me: "'t you just make it like the last one I got?" 
Bartender: "Not sure who made that one.  Are you sure you want another drink."
Me: "Yes, please.  And thanks."

Then the bartender literally stomped off.  I'm not a confrontational person, and for the bartender to get in my face over the drink made me really uncomfortable.  I'm no alcoholic, but I go out often enough to know that if your drink is wrong at a bar, a bartender will re-do it for you.  Without even putting up a fuss.  My friends were flabbergasted.  No one had ever seen a bartender get so upset about a drink being sent back.  (and really, why should you? I doubt the bartender was going to have to pay for that drink himself)

The bartender returned a few minutes later with my replacement drink and wouldn't leave until I took a sip.  It still wasn't 100% right, but I wasn't about to complain again. 

The bartender's outburst really put a damper on our experience and we all ate as quickly as we could to get out of there.  I did really enjoy my black bean tacos, but after being essentially yelled at, I don't think I have any desire to go back to Market Garden Brewery again.  I wish them well, but I really hope they work on their service.  I hope to never feel that uncomfortable in a restaurant ever again.


  1. I have heard not too many good things about Market so far. I have heard Service is a 2 star at best, the beer is a 2 star at best, and the food may be a 3. Definately other options in Ctown - so they better step up thier game.

  2. That is an awful experience! I am not a fan of the Market in Rocky RIver, I gave it 2 shots and it failed miserably both times. I will have to be dragged to step back into that one. Sucks because it is literally just down the street from me.
    I have had so so experiences at The Market brewery. I only found 1 beer I liked which is fine because I am not a beer snob (and I don't mean that in a bad way) but I got sick from ther food there. Pretty sure I shouldn't get sick from eating their food.
    There is 1 server there that I think is fantastic but you can tell he has many years of experience