June 15, 2008

Saturday Night's All Right

They say a picture is worth a thousand words:

Yes, I did all the things that make life worth living; hung out with good people, drank, ate, and took pictures.

We met at Tobacco Road around 6pm. Actually Tere arrived at 6pm, and I arrived about 6:20. And everyone else came in as their lives permitted. We sat at the bar, noshing on cheese fries and potato wedges and the sparsest nachos plate I've ever seen. Tasty, but not the big pile of chips with stuff dribbled on it that I expected.

We'd been planning to sit out back in the fresh air, but the patio doesn't open until 10:00. We sat inside for a little while, but it just wasn't working out for us. Eventually Scott and Yvette scouted it out, and we grabbed some tables in the back, running in and out from the bar for food and drinks as needed. Which apparently pissed off the patio staff when they arrived four hours later, because when I tried to order drinks from the now-open bar, the bartender growled at me.
"Yer sittin' at all those tables, aintcha? So go sit, and the waitress will get yer drinks."
No problem by me, but being the only customers back there, you'd have thought that she'd have come over on her own power and asked if we needed more drinks, but she didn't. And even having sat through the exchange with the bartender, it still took her ten minutes to take our order. And she never did come back to see if we needed more drinks.

Along with the first (and only) drink order, Alex put in a food order, which came out in reasonable time. By this time, there were bloggers at a corner booth, bloggers at tables pulled together, and bloggers standing around various corners of the bar. Which sounds like a lot of bloggers, but we were really only about nine or ten. Yvette and I are chatting with Alex while he's eating his dinner, when a waiter (or busboy, I'm not really sure) came over.
"You guys have to move into that booth there; we have a big party coming in."
Alex wasn't halfway through his meal, and anyway, WE were a big group. Sure, we were momentarily scattered, but the table we were at held cameras and purses and drinks. It's a good thing you don't go to the Tobacco Road for the service, isn't it?

The kid was a total asshole about it. But Alex finished his dinner, and we consolidated to the corner booth, and the "big party" got their tables. The bartender eventually made nice with us, but we never did see the waitress again.

The "big group" turned out to be cool: a group of skate boarders, they get together once a month or so to - get this - skate on I-95. Yeah, INTERSTATE 95, the highway.

They come down, and skate the ramps at the end of the highway. They wait until after-hours, and they are respectful of property and traffic laws, so the cops apparently never hassle them. They do their thing, then hit Tobacco Road before scattering to their homes.

They were grooving on showing us their boards, and explaining the finer points of speed boarding, and riding the concrete waves. They invited Yvette to come along some night and chronicle their rides, and even gave her a quick lesson.

All in all, a nice evening out. And because we didn't have an attentive waitress, I woke up without a hangover!


  1. I say eff Tobacco Road. They pulled the same crap last time a bunch of us met over there. The place is a sh*thole and their parking sucks as much as their noses-in-the-air waitstaff. If it wasn't for the fact that they're considered a "Miami institution," that dump would have gone belly up years ago.

    I hope to hell you didn't give any of those overpaid fatheads a tip.


  2. Here's their tip: "Don't piss off the bloggers; we can get the word out."

  3. Love T. Road-maybe it ain't them, but you? I have been there four times in the last three weeks. Sevice has been great at the bar, very attentive even though jammed on a Tuesday night ($10.99 Lobster Special) as well as out back, where couples sat in a booth for 3 hours and the beers never stopped coming from a very attentive waiter, as well as the bartender. They have a huge parking lot in the back, although I have managed to grab a space on N. Miami Ave. every time. Noses in the air? At Tobacco Road? What the eff are you talking about? This place is a total dive and the staff busts their ass!
    And to clj-maybe bloggers get the word out but 'this time' you are dead wrong...

  4. I live about 200 yards from TR. Some of the staff ain't friendly, but every place has a couple duds. My bigger problem with the place: they are usually out of half their beers and the place smells like a toilet.

    But the burgers, lobster special, and tbone special are great, and the kitchen is open until 2am.

    I suggest Shuckers for your next blogfiesta.

    30 Dogs- We finally did Red Light last night. Loved the ambiance, but there was no AC (we were dressed up for another occasion), the service sucked, and they ran out of ceviche.

    The BBQ shrimp, lemon shrimp and oyster pie were all tasty, and the bill was more than reasonable, but I doubt we will be going back anytime soon because of the shoddy service.

  5. Damn, now I'm craving those wings from Shuckers!

    I do like T. Road, but the guy in question was a total asshole. Like, Alex went up to him and asked him to apologize to Yvette because he had been a dick to her, and he SCREAMED in Alex's face. And threw a plate to the ground. It was bad.

  6. 30/30-
    This is the first time I've had a problem at TR, but it's also the first time I've been out back.

    I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt; but the kid in question has serious issues. All of us were kind of shocked.

    It won't keep me from going back, but it may move down my list of places to go with large groups of people.

  7. 30D/30D:

    The issue had nothing to do with the beers or the food or whatever. The issue was the TREATMENT that Alex and Yvette received from that juvenile asswipe. They were already sitting at a table, dining, and were asked - very rudely - to get up and move because their table was needed. You know the old adage "it's not what you say; it's how you say it"? Completely true here. Had the guy just asked nicely ("hey, would it be alright if we asked you to move to another table so we could use this one for a large party we have coming in?"), there would have been no issue at all. Keep in mind that WE were a large party also. A large party that had ordered a LOT of food and several rounds of drinks. So it's not like we were just taking up space.

    Additionally, the skateboarders got there and didn't even sit at the "sacred altar" of tables that had been reserved for them (oh! There's an idea! How about a "reserved" sign on the tables?)! They all hung out at the bar for less than an hour, then dipped.

    The guy in question yelled - YELLED - at Alex in front of 15 or so people (not including us) that were at the back bar. And yes, he DID throw a plate on the ground. Completely uncalled for in any situation, particularly if your job is in food service and/or hospitality of any kind.

    I've been to TR a bunch of times and sometimes the service is good, sometimes it's not (Saturday night it was not; our waitress apparently only had a cameo, rather than a starring role as we only saw her once the entire night). But until Saturday night, I had never witnessed a member of their staff behave so rudely or mistreat a patron in this manner. He was a complete dick and it was uncalled for.

  8. Hey I'm not disputing the fact that one guy might have been a total dick-and it sounds pretty bad. I'm just saying that maybe it's just that guy-maybe you should have talked to the mgr? If a bartender/server yells at me for no reason, or at my wife, there's a good chance, as someone once said, there will be blood.

    Steve-Red Light is getting a rep for their really bad service, and now the food is inconsistent as well. I hope he gets his act together soon...

  9. 30/30-
    A complaint was made; that's why the guy threw the plate.

    Despite this one guy, we really had a very good time. It inspired one of our number to go over and talk with the skateboarders, and got us talking to each other.

    It would have been nice if the waitress had come around once in awhile.

    Again, despite the cons, there was a silver lining; we met someone we would not have, and I didn't wake up with a hangover.

  10. Right, the problem's not with T.R. Rather, it was the waiter's poor service. I was almost done with my dinner when he came and said: "I NEED you to move to another table RIGHT NOW, we've got another party coming in."

    Excuse me? Come again?

    I was too incredulous to reply right away, so I finished my dinner. But Yvette was indignant by then, so when the waiter came back, I asked him to apologize to her. He wouldn't have any of it: "I'm not apologizing for anything."

    So I then approached the manager to complain about the waiter's service. At that point, the waiter yelled at me and dropped a plate out of anger. What did the manager do? He rolled his eyes, sighed and turned around. The waiter walked away.

    Needless to say that put a bit of a damper on my mood. Since when do I go to out to get abusive service?

    The manager later offered us a couple of free Cokes to make up for the waiter's "bad juju."

    @30dogs30days: I fail to understand what you meant to say with "maybe it ain't them, but you?"