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Burns My Bacon: Scenery vs. Food

Posted by on June 27 2012 in Rants & Raves

What’s the deal with beachfront restaurants? Why do waterfront views and good food seem to be mutually exclusive?

This week I decided to try out a different place than the travesty of a restaurant we visited last time we went to the shore and ventured out to Cape May, NJ. We did our research and found a place that had a nice view and good reviews. Planning accordingly, we arrived in time for the sunset on the harbor. As the reviews said, the view was awesome. We could watch the boats come in, see the sunset, and enjoyed the scenery. The restaurant is actually on the second floor of the building, so there truly isn’t a bad seat in the house.

The food was a different story.

We started off with a fly in my girlfriend’s salad. She was a good sport about it, and quietly told the waitress. No visit from the manager, no offer to pay for at least drinks, just another salad and an apology from the waitress. I got crab-stuffed flounder and my girlfriend got a steak and crab cake combo—medium rare. The food wasn’t horrible, but the steak was definitely medium well.

I’m starting to wonder what you’re really paying for at these places. It seems like it’s the view and only that. Sure, scenery is great and adds a certain ambiance you can’t get anywhere else, but shouldn’t the food match that? Shouldn’t someone be checking out the plate before it goes out to make sure there isn’t a fly in it? Shouldn’t a basic line order cook know when to take the steak off to make sure it’s cooked to order? OH, and if patrons say there is a fly on their salad, and the steak isn’t cooked to order – shouldn’t the manager at least come out?

Like I said, the food wasn’t horrible. It was okay. Maybe I’m just expecting too much, but if that’s the case, I’m losing even more faith in society. C’mon people! Are we really lowering our standards so low that we’re learning to expect sub-par food if the view is excellent? What the hell?! That burns my bacon.

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. Andrea permalink
    June 27, 2012

    I completely hear you on the whole – food at a restaurant should be good – thing! Living in a town without a real view where all our “good” restaurants are concerned, I still want good food and service… but I believe that it could be the mindset of this generation as well.
    I wish you luck in finding the right balance between atmosphere and good food!

  2. Tim permalink*
    June 27, 2012

    In my experience, a lot of these places are family owned and have been for years. Now, I love family operated restaurants and they can be excellent. But hand-me-down restaurants can suffer from a loss of passion or quality over time. The original owner may have had some knock-out recipes, or a real passion for customer service and running a restaurant. The other variable that a lot of restaurants with great views share is that they’re always packed. People want the view, despite the service or quality. So management can end up with a “if it ain’t broke” mentality because customers and money continue to stream in. Obviously, we know this is a shame because a good view plus great quality and service would lead to more repeat customers and truly legendary status. Amazing waterfront / great view restaurants do exist, but I agree they’re few and far between.

  3. June 27, 2012

    Andrea – what is wrong with this generation?! Somebody wake them (us?) up!

    Tim – I agree…but I may even take it further that the mentality really has become laziness. Not just on the part of the management – but the customers! It’s really a shame that people continue to go back and continuously pour money into these places. Choice used to be something of value for us, but apparently we’re losing that.

    Where is Robert Irvine when you need him?!

  4. June 27, 2012

    They don’t have good food because they don’t have to. It’s that simple. New tourists come every week. In a city, you can get a good meal and a view, but in a vacation spot it’s rare.

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