Saturday, March 03, 2007

Allure wasn't ready

Allure’s concept was great, but its execution was frustratingly bad early Saturday morning.

Three friends and I arrived at the restaurant and lounge about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday for their late-night breakfast and after-party. It was one of the events I was most excited about this weekend. I loved the idea of continuing the party at a place where I could also eat and still get my dance on.

When we arrived there was a short line at the door, but the security guard quickly checked IDs and got people inside. That’s where the efficiency ended.

Since the breakfast started at 2 a.m., I figured people we would be able to order our food relatively quickly. I was wrong. After flagging down a waitress, I was told the restaurant needed an additional 20 minutes to finish getting the food ready.

I should have left then. That was my first mistake.

About 3 a.m. waitresses began handing out express menus. The choices were chicken and waffles or a southern breakfast with eggs, grits, bacon, turkey bacon and toast. The turkey bacon option was a nice touch and I assumed the simple menu would mean a quick turnaround. Wrong again.

At 3:15, no one had returned to collect our menus and when I tried to give them to a waitress she was already too overwhelmed.

After getting the run-around about a refund, I finally gave our orders to the bartender. He was cool. He served Red Bull, juice and water, took food orders and stayed calm.

Promoter Kenny J finally offered me a refund, but by then I had placed an order and figured I should wait for the food. That was my second mistake. We didn’t get our food until 4 a.m.

By then, I was cussing, fussing mad and vowing never to return to Allure. I’ve calmed down and I will probably try it again because I’ve heard they have a good jazz crowd. I won’t be back this weekend except to tip the bartender. (I was too irritated and forgot to do it when I left.)

During CIAA weekend, I expect to wait to eat, especially at a downtown establishment. I don’t expect restaurants to not be prepared. Since Allure is a new restaurant, it would have been smart to do a buffet. If they were worried about food portions, they could have had waitresses fixing the plates in the buffet line. With a buffet your kitchen can concentrate on cooking, not filling orders.

I hope Allure is better organized by tonight because Friday was only a taste of what’s about to hit them in 15 hours.

Tonight, I’m going to try my luck at the Omega Psi Phi breakfast after-party.