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Great Lakes community (and visitors, too) to "chill out, max, and relax all cool."
Last Friday, the usual suspects - D and H - and a new addition, Y, joined me for dinner at Sam's.
What I ate:
1. Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat (4.25 USD): "Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat ® is a tangy, refreshing beer that is light on the palate and long on complexity. Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat ® combines Michigan cherries with a generous portion of wheat malt to produce a bright, lively ale with a crisp finish." This wasn't my first time drinking Sam Adams Cherry Wheat ®. When I was in culinary school, a buddy of mine recommended it to me as one of his favorite beers. In response, I went to the store, bought some bottles, and tried them. The ale was good, but at the time, I didn't think too much of it. The pint I had at Sam's, however, made a big impression on me. It had a fruity flavor profile and depth that won me over. I think the difference was that the beer at Sam's came from the tap. I definitely want to return for another.
2. Sam's Signature Sirloin (16.95 USD): 12 oz. of USDA Choice sirloin grilled to perfection, served with caramelized onion mashed potatoes and cornbread. I was a little hesitant to order the steak because I thought that it wouldn't be cooked correctly. Despite my misgivings, the steak was perfectly medium rare, just as I ordered it to be. In addition, it was juicy and had decent flavor. The cornbread tasted fine and the mashed potatoes were serviceable.
Now for service. I'm never comfortable with slamming any restaurant for their service, however when there are certain things that shouldn't be, I have to speak up. Let me first say, though, that overall, I thought the service at Sam's was okay. Here's what I didn't like:
1. I hate it when you go to a restaurant and they have trainees serve you, which is what happened with our dining party. In my opinion, it's not professional. Why involve paying customers in the training of wait staff? I understand that restaurants want to give new staff real-world practical training, but there are other ways to accomplish this. When I go to a restaurant, I want a seasoned server serving me. I don't want to have to worry about accomodating my server, much less my order getting screwed up. Let's not forget that it's the server's job is to make the dining experience as pleasant as possible for the diner! Restaurants need to train their servers on their own time or, even better, hire people with experience!
2. When our steaks arrived, our servers made a big deal of having us cut open our steaks, to make sure that they were cooked correctly. How awkward! To me, this only communicated that the kitchen wasn't confident enough to send an order out to the dining room cooked per the diner's requirements. Um, hello, last time I checked, cooks have things like thermometers to guarantee correct doneness, not to mention that, when necessary, there are ways to discreetly cut open meat for the purpose of checking for doneness. The intention was good but it was wrong to carry out such an uncouth and unnecessary ceremony.
* There's a great view of Lake Michigan and an outdoor patio to enjoy it from.
* Sam's is bi-level. The bar is located at the entrance and the restaurant is downstairs.
The Bill: 21.20 USD.
My Rating: No stars out of four stars (satisfactory). Open for lunch, Monday to Friday, 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Open for dinner every night of the week, 5 PM to 9 PM. Credit cards accepted. www.mwrgl.com/clubs_dining/sam_adams/sam_adams.htm
Last Word: I'm still thinking about having another Cherry Wheat.
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