Thursday, February 15, 2007

Oh the agony of eating at Garrison's. What was supposed to be our first relaxing and romantic evening alone as parents turned out to be a laughable nightmare. I warn you now: Never EVER eat at Garrison's Perimeter Mall location. Big mistake. Why, you ask?

First off, our choice in the restaurant was kind of out of our hands. Doug got 2 gift certificates there from a friend at work and since we're really pinching our pennies, we have not been to a nice restaurant in a lonnnng while. So we decided to take this chance on a new place since it was such a great deal.

To begin, my husband was so starving and excited about eating out at a nice place, he reverted to his bachelor days of holding his fork like a shovel. "Can I eat the rest of your salad?" This is one of my biggest pet peeves. "NO, you MAY NOT." Grrrr. Then he knocked over his drink. Our kind waiter replied by offering to sell him another one, which happened to be a flat Newcastle Ale. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

Our appetizer, the "empanadas", tasted as though they had come from the freezer at a grocery store. Except the brand at the grocery store contains more meat. They were served with a tasteless "honey-mustardish sauce" which was billed as a "chipotle sour cream." Hmmmm. This was basically an appetizer of small, deep-fried bread, filled with a little bit of something dark.

I ordered the Low Country Shrimp and Grits billed as "sauteed shrimp, andouille sausage, mixed peppers, corn and tomatoes in red chili cream sauce with Logan Farms grits." What he received was a creamy stew that had no sausage whatsoever and very few grits to be found. He sent it back for the missing sausage. Once it was returned, he experienced the entree as an
overwhelmingly salty cream stew, that swam in onions (which makes him fart like the dickens). The corn and tomatoes that were advertised were either missing or so dissolved in the stew as to be rendered nonexistent.

I ordered the 8oz NY Strip, which tasted like a burnt sponge.

At this point, we realized that we had been sitting at the table with empty bread plates for the entire meal. Doug asked our waiter if the restaurant served bread. "Well, we usually bring it out with the salad but we burned the whole batch and had to throw it away. It's usually only on request so we can save money." Niiiiiice.

But here's the best part:
For our entertainment pleasure, we were tortured by what can only be described as the worst lounge singer ever. This guy (stuck in the 70's - a Kenny Rogers look-a-like BEFORE his horrid makover) seemed perfectly nice, but man, oh man was he baaaaaaad. He sat at a perfectly nice baby grand, which would have been fine by itself. Next to him was the synthetic beat machine thingie that I pictured sitting in Napoleon Dynamite's living room. Lordy, was the combination bad. He started out singing Bruce Hornsby's "That's Just The Way It Is" and ended whistling to Percy Sledge's "Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay". I held my fingertips at my temples whispering, "Please shoot me now" to my husband. It was so bad, we were actually entertained.

By this time, we were in no mood to experiment with dessert. We requested the bill. We were shocked and amazed to discover yet another gaffe. Although I requested the 8oz Strip, we were charged for the 12oz version. This added another 15 minutes of waiting to the end of what had not been a pleasant visit, as we waited "for the manager to get off the phone so we can fix the bill."

After it was adjusted correctly, the total bill came to about $75. But we still had to pay out of pocket for the $15.00 tip.

So maybe it was a nice evening after all, because we laughed madly all the way home, which made our reunion with Anton the next night all that much sweeter. Mom and Dad keep him overnight on Tuesdays.

When we got Anton back, we had discovered that Mom taught him to screech and kick his little legs in laughter. Honestly - he changes so quickly. Even after just 2 days of not seeing him, his hair is longer and he's "talking" more.

He's wonderful. Garrison's is NOT wonderful.

And I guess that's the moral of my story.


Anonymous said...

I'm just catching up, looking for new Anton pix & tales, but I find the dinner from hell story! Ugh! That's no way for new parents to spend Valentine's Day! I'll avoid wasting any of my rare dinners out there!! As a matter of fact, you & Doug deserve a "do-over" at a good restaurant...with bread! Love you,

Anonymous said...

Anne that really is lame!