SabreToothMom posted on 07/13/2011
Rating & Review:
The short version -- we stopped there with 6 of us and $300 cash for a meal, and when we had a complaint the waitress laughed in our faces and said "We'll you're just going to have to suck it up!" When we asked for a manager she bent over in half with laughter. Despite the manager telling her (after all hell broke loose) to "let it go" when she asked if she should write us a check for at least our drinks, some woman followed my husband outside to the car hollering at him that "if you want a free meal, go to Burger King!"
(Little did she know he tends to tip 20% whether with cash or his Amex Gold card, and we surely have never needed a free meal. Plus, it was inedible - what meal? We ate nothing - it was left on the table.)
The long version:
My husband, three children, and a friend of the family and I all stopped at the Buffalo Head restaurant in Forestport, NY on the way home from vacation in Old Forge (where we've been going every summer for 12 years now). We had stopped there twice before many years ago, when we first began this summer tradition, and remembered that our experience had been decent enough, so we decided to visit again this July (2011).
This was the mistake that nearly ruined the entire vacation.
When we arrived around 7:45pm we were happy to see that the place was nearly empty, because the reason we had been a bit annoyed at our last visit was mainly the fact that it was so busy, we got very little service (and of course what there was, was very slow). We assumed this would not be an issue this time; unfortunately we were wrong -- the time between ordering and receiving our entrees was about 45 minutes.
Usually we can stay busy (a large group of six, like we were) by snacking on appetizers and the rolls that are served ahead of time, but that was not the case at the Buffalo Head in Forestport, NY. The "super nachos" that we ordered arrived swimming in yellow-orange grease, and the nacho chips were unsalted. The entire dish was tasteless somehow (this actually takes some talent with nachos, so good job on that one!) and only "fed" my husband.
The chicken tenders appetizer that we ordered to go along with the nachos (after all, there were six of us sharing these things so we knew enough to order two) consisted of four chicken tenders. Our teenage sons broke them in half so that the three boys and our young daughter would feel like they had something of substance to keep them busy for those 45 minutes, but it didn't work.
The rolls that we were given to keep us content while waiting consisted of one roll for each of us (we were not offered any more during our visit) and two take-out plastic containers of a whitish lard-like substance. We tasted it an smelled it but it had no flavor and only added a grease-like consistency to the rolls. We were later informed that "we make our own butter here, it's unsalted, and the local kids eat it like ice cream". I'm hoping the local kids have been taught about obesity and the food pyramid, if that's true. In any case, it was flavorless and obviously unpasteurized and likewise completely unregulated. Someone in our group described it as "greasy udder squirt" that seemed as good a way of describing it as any.
Once the entrees finally arrived things were no better, but we didn't complain this entire time about anything (except my husband asked for a replacement for his "salad", which was just brownish iceberg lettuce and 3 tiny red onion rings, 2 cherry tomatos, 4 unseasoned croutons, and a bucketful of ranch dressing -- we're almost positive he was brought back his same salad with even more dressing poured on top, and without any apology).
Despite the fact we were tired and still hungry (it was now 8:30pm and we had been there 45 minutes and been fed one roll and a chicken finger so far, if we were lucky), we had been looking forward to our entrees arrival with a feeling of positivity. Once they arrived my oldest son commented quietly that his tuna was about the size of a McDonald's beef patty, and that he hadn't gotten a side dish with it. I reminded him that the waitress had said it came with "a side of dill sauce", so he should have realized it wouldn't actually have a side dish, even if it was about $15.
Around this time my husband looked at his seafood dish with disbelief and I looked more closely and saw that it was a plate of melted butter and melted cheese with 3 shrimp, 4 scallops, and a small pile of soggy, shredded crab on top. His $18 dinner that he waited 45 minutes for was obviously not going to be something that would fill him, even with the baked potato he had on the side. Then he looked at my plate and said "what IS that?"... I could only reply "that is a good question from looking at it, isn't it?"
Right then, the waitress stopped by and said "how is everything?" and my husband replied "not too great, to be honest - the second salad wasn't any better so I just gave up on it" and I added "it seems like nothing here has any salt - the nachos and the butter that came with the rolls were both so bland".
At this point, at any real restaurant, the waitress would apologize and then see about making us happy, either with an offer of bringing us regular butter and more rolls, or perhaps getting a manager, or at least saying "I'm so sorry you aren't happy with our food".
But this waitress burst out laughing, and said "are you serious?" I looked at my husband with disbelief and he looked at her and said "I'm not joking with you. I don't understand what's so funny here. Is there someone else I can talk to, like a manager or supervisor or something?"
In response, the waitress laughed so hard that she bent over in half and slapped her knee, then managed to spit out "Well you're just going to have to suck it up!"
I looked at my husband, looked at the waitress, looked at the four kids/teens in our group, and said "that's it, let's go. Get a check for the drinks and appetizers" and stood up. Everyone else was already on their feet and ready to go before the words were out of my mouth, and my husband said to her again "give me a check for what we ate and we're out of here, this place is a joke." I went straight to the woman manager on duty who had seated us and told her "your waitress just asked us how everything was and when we had a complaint she laughed in our faces and said we have to just "suck it up" so we're leaving, just so you know". I took the children to the car and got snacks and drinks out of the cooler and told them we'd stop someplace decent in the next town, while my husband stopped to talk to the manager.
When he wasn't outside after about five minutes, I started to go back inside and just then saw my husband coming outside and another woman following him, hollering "if you want a free meal go to Burger King!" I have no idea what she had to do with the situation, since she was nowhere in sight while all this was going on inside, but to my husband's credit he simply gestured with his wallet (so fat there was a rubberband around it - we were on vacation and he prefers cash) and said "I would have been perfectly content to pay for a meal if I had been able to eat it, but it's all back there on the table still! If we had wanted a free meal I think we would have waited around and actually gotten it!"
So, the service is horrible. The people who frequent the place are horrible. The food is overpriced for how tasteless, tiny proportioned, and poor quality it is, and there is absolutely no way any health-conscious person would be able to bring themselves to eat such things, based on our observation of the fact that everything is swimming in unsalted melted butter grease.
But if you don't mind being laughed at, yelled at, and told to "Suck it up!" as a paying customer, by all means go to the Buffalo Head restaurant, in Forestport, NY.