Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Pox on MacCool's Public House

Most of you who know me, know that I am overly hip to my Celtic heritage. Psychotically hip to it in point of fact. Over the top… you might say. If you put a Celtic knot on something, anything… Mac & Cheese… I’ll buy it, or want to buy it, because it’s “celtic.” When we were at the Renaissance Faire in California, I was introduced to natural resin incense by my cousin, I love incense… and I really love this natural stuff… but I almost bought one called “Celtic Blend,” not because I loved the smell… because I didn’t, but because it was “Celtic Blend.”
So with a minimum of effort, any place billing itself as Celtic, Irish, or Scottish, can pretty much win my loyalty, and I’ll return again and again, and get others to do the same.
Which brings us to MacCool’s Public House at The District in South Jordan, Utah. This place advertises itself as an Irish Family Restaurant. So when I was sitting in the Megaplex Theater, and saw their advertisement while waiting for “Wolverine” to start, I thought “great, we’ll stop in and try it.”
I think that because they serve Guinness and have a very few Irish-ish foods on the menu, they get to call themselves an Irish themed restaurant.
Let me tell you of my experience, and see if I’m over reacting.

When we got there, the place was half empty, and in the reception area there was one other couple who were waiting for a couple of other people to arrive, this seemed to confuse the hostess, because she kept looking at us as if she was wondering if it was ok to seat us since the other couple was there first. So we finally get taken to our table by Stacey, who, we would come to find out, was also out server. Now, did I mention that the place was half empty, because she takes us to this strange little, wobbly table near the emergency exit, doesn’t ask if the table will be ok for us, but does ask if we would like drinks… before we get seated… and well before she gives us the menus.
Now, my lovely bride likes those flavored lemonades that everyone seems to have, and so she asks our serving wench whether or not they have them. Instead of saying “No ma’am we don’t, but can I suggest… blank…” she snarkingly (is that a word?) snarkingly says “This isn’t Chilis, ma’am.” At that point, I should have complained to the manager and high tailed it to Chilis… but no… I was in an Irish place, and I was bound and determined to like it. So then we sit down at our wobbly little table and she gives us our menus. We order some calamari (is that Irish?), and I get the salmon chowder, while my wife orders the grilled salmon. At this point, Stacy disappears for the rest of the night. We did see her wandering around, but never wondering near to our table, well that is until she delivered the bill… but I’ll get to that in due time.
The calamari comes, by someone we’ve never seen before… obviously, not our server… and it was hot, tasteless and rubbery. I know, you're saying… it’s squid! It’s supposed to be rubbery. Well, no it’s not… I’ve had calamari in plenty of places, where it was cooked right. Now the one saving grace to MacCool’s version, is its dipping sauce, which tastes suspiciously like the dipping oil at Iggies… I’m just saying.
Then, our food comes, flopped onto the table by still another person we have never seen… still not Stacey, who seems to be trapped by a group of nice, yet empty, tables on the other side of the room from our crappy little table. So now, this latest mystery server, literally drops the food onto our table, and without saying a word… leaves.
Still wanting to like this place with every fiber of my celtic being, I dig in to my salmon chowder… which is the fishiest tasting thing I have ever put in my mouth.
Now you’re saying “It’s Salmon! It’s supposed to taste fishy.” No. I’ve had salmon at a lot of places, including hole in the wall taco stands, and this is the first “fishy” tasting salmon I have ever eaten. It was so bad, I began to avoid the salmon in the chowder and would just eat the potatoes and soda bread. My wife said that she liked her salmon, but that it wasn’t the best she’d ever had.
But I still didn’t complain to the manager because I was still determined to like this blemish on the Irish heart.
So now, after we had eaten, Stacey reappears with our bill. No offer’s for dessert… not that we would have ordered one, but still. She just drops the bill on the table and leaves. We pay and leave. It wasn’t until I was out in the parking lot that I began to get mad. Here I was trying to like this place… giving it every chance in the world, and all it gave me was a bad taste in my mouth and heartburn.
I was so angry that on Monday, I did something I never do, I wrote a letter to the manager of MacCool’s telling him just what I told you… so far, I’ve heard nothing back… and expect not to.
I will never go back, and advise you to do the same.
A Pox on MacCool’s… the most Un-Cool place around.
Chilis anyone?

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Wow! That sounds awful! I probably would have complained, but my husband would have tried to talk me out of it.....maybe it's a "red-head" thing. I hope you didn't leave a tip.... :) (and I REALLY hope they write you back; let us know if they do).

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