It's a Self-Serve World
Related: 'Gigi in the 561" Podcast
We like to try new restaurants. You never know when you might find another "go-to" place when you want to let someone else do the cooking.
Recently, Pam and I heard about a new place, at least new to us, in West Palm Beach on South Dixie -- Pig Beach BBQ. While we shun red meat, we do enjoy chicken and pork, and since we were in the neighborhood, we dropped by. By the way, we found out Pig Beach BBQ has two locations in New York, and this is their first here.
It was a Wednesday, and the parking lot was full, always a good sign. The friendly hostess saw us coming, opened the door and greeted us warmly. Another good sign. We said we were first-timers and she showed us to a table.
Then our waitperson appeared, greeted us, and promptly asked for my credit card so she could run a tab. It was a little jarring since we hadn't even seen a menu. Hmmm.
That was another thing. There was one menu on the table, but the preferred method of ordering was using your smartphone to scan their app. As I tried to maneuver my phone to capture the QR code, she took it from me and gave an assist. She explained after we place the order, it should arrive in minutes at our table.
Okay, I know it's the new, techie-way to do business, and yes, contact-less ordering is another result of the pandemic, but there are limits to how much self-serve I want to do when it comes to enjoying dining out. While Pam hates self-serve pretty much everywhere ("'I'm not getting paid to do their job"), I don't mind it at gas stations, fast food or stores -- it's my hurry-up nature. But at a sit-down dinner? Not so much.
As for the food, everything is a la carte. We both got the chicken sandwich ($11) and added a small order of fries, which at $7 seemed pretty steep. And while it appeared I had placed the order, our waitperson came back to check and no, it didn't go in. So more time on the iPhone trying to get that right.
I should add that after we were seated, another person brought a pitcher of water, sat it down and left. It was not until later we saw two upturned plastic cups by the condiments, which we assumed were for water. More self-service.
Our food arrived, both meals on one tray that was placed in the middle of the table. The sandwiches were too big for the baskets they were in, so it was a little awkward to share the tray while we both tried to figure out the best way to eat them. And while this is by no means any kind of food review, we did find our the chicken overdone and way too crunchy for our taste.
Needless to say, we left disappointed, and still hungry. And while many may like taking charge of their dining experience, it just isn't our cup of tea. It also begs the question, with so much self-serve involved, you do you tip? Yourself?
Yes, I know it's spelled like "Jerry." No, I don't know why it's pronounced "Gary."