Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Here's a little comment I wrote for the Chicago Tribune about Marfa, Texas:

Marfa is a great little town, at this point, with tremendous potential. I say, "at this point," because Marfa is feeling the economic distress the rest of the country is feeling. Two, possibly three, restaurants have closed since November 2008. This is quite a problem for both the remaining restaurants and visitors staying at local lodging. It's not always easy finding a decent meal every day. You may find yourself heading to the local grocery store to create your own meal. Not a bad thing. If you have to eat at a restaurant, you may want to time your visit to Marfa to avoid Sunday and Monday, as most places are closed these two days. Even if you do time your trip, you may find yourself being turned away from all local restaurants. Pizza Foundation ran out of food yesterday afternoon, hours before its usual closing time. It was not open today for that reason. Otherwise, this is a great little town I hope will hold strong through this economic downturn.

What I didn't write at the Trib site, but wrote at yelp.com:

It doesn't matter that it was a busy Sunday night and the only restaurant open in the town. I had a terrible experience getting a salmon salad at Jett's Grill, the restaurant at the historic Paisano Hotel. It took at least an hour and a half to receive two salmon salads, which are pretty basic to prepare. The hardest part is grilling the salmon.

I'm not the only one who has had problems getting decent service at this restaurant, that night  or at other meals. One couple that arrived after me, waited more than 20 minutes to be approached by anyone in the restaurant. They made their complaint known, but like me, they stayed because they knew Jett's was the only place to get a meal. The New York couple sitting next to me at the bar, originally sat outside on the restaurant's patio and enjoyed their chips and salsa appetizer for an hour and a half, before they became fed up and discovered they had to come inside and sit at the bar to get waited on for the rest of the meal they had been waiting to order.

Since my husband and I have been in Marfa, getting a meal at a restaurant has been a major theme amongst visitors. This town is sorely shy of restaurants, most likely due to the U.S. declining economy. There are only a few restaurants in Marfa, defiinitely not enough to serve all those staying at local motels and those passing through on the way to somewhere else.

One message keeps coming up. Where ever you go, you hear the same story (even from the locals!): Avoid dining at Jett's Grill, because the service is horrific. The restaurant's manager (also the bartender), though a young good looking man, does not know how to manage a restaurant. He should not be a manager. I guess they can't get anyone else. He has a bad reputation, even amongst the locals. 

Even though he can be openly mean to patrons/potential patrons, I feel badly for him, because he doesn't understand how to manage a restaurant. When the restaurant starts to get crowded, he needs to start a list of those waiting to be seated. These people need to be given a rough estimate of how long a wait they should anticipate. He could even get those buzzing pagers many restaurants use to let a group know their table is ready. That would help everyone have a better experience. Right now, he is gruff and throws his problems on the customer. If this young man is still working at Jett's Grill, I wish him well.

This restaurant gets at least a second star, because the food is very good. If you're willing to seriously wait it out, you'll have a good meal.

Latest Month

December 2011