|Pam Oliver's Forehead
||05-11-2013 02:52 AM
In retrospect, I should have known better than to step foot into Amy's Baking Company (a.k.a. ABC Bistro).
-8 pm on a Saturday night, three tables are occupied
-a sign on the door indicates they're looking for an experienced line cook, a dishwasher, waitresses, you name it
-Pita Jungle, just a stone's throw away, is packed to the gills
These are all bad signs. They go ignored, however, because I'd eaten one thing all day, and I had drove here to try their pizza. Never, ever again.
The waitress brings me out a water and a menu to my table for one on the patio, which I had all to myself. Browsing the apps, I was pleasantly surprised to see several things priced $3, which seemed like a bargain, given the high price of everything else. $3 tapanade sounded like a good deal, but I was informed that it didn't come with anything - it was $3 extra for bread. Since I was solo, I decided to skip it and instead pay $14 for their 12" margherita pizza.
About three minutes later, the waitress drops off my pizza. "Your pizza", she says, leaves a plate and off she goes. I sat for a moment, confused as to how things happened so quickly. I try to grab a slice of the pizza, but it was so blazing hot that I wasn't even going to attempt to handle it. I waited for a few minutes to let it cool off, only to discover that not only had it cooled enough to handle, but was actually well-cooled and most likely reheated. After a closer inspection of the pie in front of me, it was evident that it had been reheated, as there were smaller tomatoes that had spent their time in the oven, and larger tomatoes that had barely been kissed by the heat of the oven.
I took a bite, and was immediately underwhelmed. The crust had very little character, was slightly sweet but had that store-bought quality to it. The pesto tasted okay, but the tomatoes were completely tasteless and overall, it just fell flat. It's margherita - the ingredients need to shine to make such a simple pizza. These ingredients were sub-par. After two small pieces, I decided I was wasting my calories and just gave up on it.
So I sat outside, not eating, and sat. And sat. Where the hell was the waitress? I glanced inside a few times, hoping to catch her eye, but she must have been occupied elsewhere.
The owner comes out. "How'd you like your pizza?" Instead of immediately responding, I asked how it had come out so quickly. In short, he told me another table had ordered it, decided they didn't want it, and it sat in the kitchen for two minutes, who in turn decided to send it out to me since I didn't order anything else.
Me: "Well, it didn't really taste fresh".
Him: "No, no, our pizzas are the best. Ask our customers. You're the first person since we've opened to ever not like our pizzas".
He got very defensive about the pizza, but I hadn't really launched a harsh criticism on the pizza, just said I didn't really enjoy it. So I sat some more, with an empty drink, and realized they wanted me gone. The owner wouldn't make eye contact with me. The server never came back out asking if I wanted something else. And they still hadn't refilled my drink.
So I sat on a patio, alone, and decided to have a smoke. The waitress comes out...
Her: "Sir, there's a no smoking sign over there, I was told to tell you to not to smoke here."
Me: "Is this the last f*** you in this experience?"
Her: "Yes, I think so".
She walks away. I walk inside, pay the bill, and leave. No apologies, no discounts on the bill, nothing. $18 for weak iced tea and shitty pizza.
This is arrogance in its worst form. I can forgive bad food, but I cannot forgive misplaced arrogance and the blatant dismissal of a customer, whether you agree with them or not.
Perhaps the sign on the door should also say, "Wanted: New owner".
I cannot, for the life of me, recommend this restaurant to anyone.