I have a review of two restaurants that unfortunately have a very bad and abuse policy when it comes to people who drink wine.
The first restaurant is TGI Fridays at 796 Lynnhaven Pkwy Virginia Beach, VA 23452. I had, up to this point, never been to one. After this point, I will never go to another.
The food was simply not that great. The appetizers were average at best relying more upon salt that any real depth of flavor, despite “Jack Daniels” anything. The burger I had was seasoned fine, but the mix of meat they used rendered the burger dry and I ordered my burger cooked to medium. To top it off, the service was less than acceptable. Our waitress seemed to have a preference to who she liked to serve and spend time with based upon skin color.
The second restaurant was Max and Erma’s. In regards to the food, this establishment was simply superior to quality and taste than TGI Fridays. The service was also excellent and just shy of annoying in making sure we had everything we needed or wanted.
Both restaurants, unfortunately, share the same abuse trait to one thing I enjoy with a meal. This trait will mean that I never visit their restaurants again.
Before I go on, let me share a surprise I was told about recently about another restaurant: Red Lobster.
Red Lobster sucks when it comes to steaks. Chicken and seafood dishes are very enjoyable, but red meat is not their thing, but, they do offer something of a surprise; corkage.
Corkage, more commonly known as a corkage fee, is the fee a restaurant charges for you, as a customer, to bring in a bottle of wine to be served at your dinner. Some higher end restaurants will actually store and maintain, as in properly rotate in the proper temperature and humidity environment, bottles of wine for you, but the related corkage fees are incredibly high.
For Red Lobster to offer a simple corkage fee of $10 is very reasonable. What is not reasonable is the outright rip-off TGI Fridays and Max and Erma’s push onto anyone consuming wine at their restaurants.
I am not a Sommelier, but I am an experienced and educated wine connoisseur. I know the vintners offered locally by grocery stores, specialty wine shops, VAABC and I have my own biased favorites. These encompass and include such vintner’s offers by local restaurants.
When I go to new restaurant, the first thing I do is to look at their wine list to find vintners I am familiar with. I do this to check their menu. If they list a price, I am more comfortable in returning to the restaurant provided their prices are reasonable.
In the case of the two restaurants in question, prices are not listed for known vintners. Sadly, there is a reason why.
Imagine going to any establishment and seeing an item that you knew what the cost was. Now imagine seeing a cost for that item that was 200% above what you would pay for it at any store?
Simply put, you know a certain bottle of wine costs $15 but the restaurant you go to charges you $30 for the same bottle but only tell you that at the time you pay for your meal. What would you do?
Worse yet, higher vintners are charged even more. In other words, whatever the bottle costs you on the free and open market, these restaurants charge you 200%.
I tried to contact Max and Erma’s, but could not due to the fact that their website required me to allow them to install onto my computer an invasive tracking cookie. This, again, screams of a company to avoid. There is no reason why I should have to allow you to put onto my computer anything invasive in order to simply contact your company.
For the technically inclined, I have my browser set to accept cookies from the sites I visit. to get his error:
This means that the cookie does not come from their website. Where does it come from then and why?
TGI Friday was just as bad but much more slick about it. Unless you filled out a litany of personal information, (home address, home phone number, etc) your attempt to contact the company would result in some nebulous web/internet/browser error.
If you are a drinker of anything containing alcohol, you should avoid these restaurant chains.
They simply want to rip you off by charging 200% for wine.
What is their markup for other types of alcohol?