December 20, 2014

White Rose Bar & Grille - York, PA

My daughter got tickets to the Evil Dead: The Musical at The Strand in York, Pennsylvania.  We have never really visited York other than to drive through on our way to Hershey Park or to Lancaster, PA.  I decided that a lovely evening with my 15 year old daughter wouldn't be complete without a nice dinner.  York is about 45-60 minutes from us, so it was a fair hike.  I nice restaurant was in order.

I got recommendations from several friends and The White Rose was on multiple lists.  Additionally, it was only a block from the theater, so it seemed perfect.

We arrived an hour and a half before the performance.  I hadn't made reservations.  When we went in I put my name on the list.  The restaurant was fairly crowded and there were about 6 people standing and waiting.  I asked the hostess how long it would be before we would be seated.  She said she wasn't allowed to tell me.  What????  That makes absolutely no sense.  So I rephrased it.  I asked her if she thought it would be closer to 15 minutes or an hour.  She said she wasn't allowed to tell me.  What kind of ridiculousnous is this?

We stood there for a while and several other people came in and put their names on the list.  They also asked approximately how long it would be before they could be seated.  They were all greeted with the same arrogant evasive response.  She wasn't allowed to tell them.  Most of them just walked out.

As I stood there I got more irritated by the minute.  I realize that the hostess was probably told not to give approximate seating times.  She seemed too young to come up with that logic on her own.  But that is terrible customer service.  Since the restaurant was crowded, I guess they can be jackasses and get away with it.

I then went outside and Googled restaurants in York.  I found Bisto 19 and gave them a call.  I asked if there was a wait and she said there was a small wait, but she expected that we could be seated within 5 minutes.  Bingo!  I went inside, handed her the little buzzer thingy.  I said that I wasn't prepared to wait an unspecified amount of time for a table.  She took my buzzy thingy and dismissed me.  I was more than pleased to leave.  Perhaps I gave off the aura of an out-of-towner.  You can treat out-of-towners like crap cuz most likely they are not coming back anyway.

So, if you're thinking about going to York, Pennsylvania and want to get treated like you're insignificant like I did on my visit?  Try the White Rose Bar and Grille.  However, if you want to get treated like you're important, better stay away from this place.

June 8, 2014

Mezcal Mexican Restaurant & Bar

Mezcal Mexican Restaurant & Bar
9958 Reisterstown Road
Owings Mills, MD 21117
(410) 205-7150

I noticed this restaurant in the former China Best site in the St. Thomas Plaza in Owings Mills.  I decided to try it out as the exterior looked inviting.

The interior was just as inviting and I find it amazing that this is in fact the same place as China Best, which seemed as if it hadn't been updated since Carter administration.  The side wall is stone, the ceiling is dark, and I remember a lot of reds.  My friend and I were quickly seated next to the lengthy bar.  And what's a restaurant without an array of flat screen televisions piping in the latest mid-day sports news about nothing.

Our server gave us a basket of tortilla chips and salsa, very similar in taste and style to Don Pablo's.  Mezcal offers a lunch menu with items under $9 or so.  I got a platter where you get 3 main items and one side.  I got a hard taco with beef, an enchilada with spinach, and a soft taco with chicken.  My side dish was an avocado salad, which was basically avocado over lettuce with a wedge of tomato.

The food was quite good.  I slammed down the spinach tamale.  I then ate the chicken soft taco, which was good, but the chicken pieces were quite a mouthful.  I then ventured to the hard taco.  By the time I got to it, the hard taco shell was mushy.  It was still tasty, but a bit flaccid.

The service was attentive.  My iced tea was refreshed without asking and they gave us an extra basket of tortillas and salsa.

Overall, I thought the place was good.  It is very similar to Don Pablo's, but on a much smaller scale.  It felt less commercial than the DP.

My only complaint was when we were leaving the manager-type guy asked how everything was.  I told him that the hard taco was laying on the avocado salad and by the time I ate it it was soggy.  It was a deer in the headlights moment.  Not a "thank you for telling us", just an awkward stare in silence.  And then we left.  I wasn't expecting a free meal or anything, just an acknowledgement.  Regardless, we'll definitely go there again.  You should check it out.