Saturday was an amazing day for me and Mony… We went to Hoboken so Mony could get over to Carlo’s Bakery to check out the Cake Boss and sample some of Buddy’s claim to fame. Then it was off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to take in the works of Matisse, Picasso and a multitude of masterfully created pieces. Mony and I love artwork, what we consider “Real”…sorry abstracters, you will never convince us that ‘Dot on Canvas” is art… not when techniques to create visual stories can be seen from the 15oo’s and still endure today. Not when you can look at smudges of colour close up and see smudges…only to take ten steps back to see a cathedral from a worm’s eye view. But this blog isn’t about the Cake Boss, or the argument of what art is…no, this blog is about a restaurant that we had really hoped would be a great meal and atmosphere to enjoy our dinner.
P.J. Bricks, is located on 10th ave between 50th and 51st street, and serves an eclectic array of dishes, as the awning boasts, Sushi, Pizza, Burgers and Steaks…all under one roof. We purchased a $25 gift certificate from Restaurants.com, which is a great way to curb expenses on eating out. Go to Restaurants.com and join, it’s free, our normally priced $10 gift cert, was only $4 under a special promo…you had to spend $37.50 on your total bill + the 18% gratuity, and then the cert for $25 would be deducted. Not bad $21 off the bill…however after we experienced the prices of P.J Bricks, it would have made more sense to pick up the $50 cert for $6 on special…the bill was robbery.
The atmosphere is more bar/club style then restaurant…a big open space with televisions everywhere, a modern look and appeal with the bar as the centerpiece and the sushi station tucked off in the back. The dining area flanks the bar in the main area, and there is a lounge setting off to the left as you enter. The look and feel are great, but that’s where it seemed to end for us, with the exception of the sushi. Mony doesn’t eat fish, so she didn’t sample anything from the sushi menu, I had a dragon roll, one of my favourite dishes, and I have to say it was a well balanced roll. It had just enough smoked eel that you could taste it and enjoy it without it being the only flavour, and all the elements blended well so it was balanced. I’m on the fence though when it comes to the price of $13 per roll…on one hand it seemed like it might be a larger size roll, but that could have been the illusion of the rice, on the other hand it was a nice portion, and two rolls were more than filling….maybe $9 or $10, but $13, is debatable.
The cocktails were way overpriced…especially given all the bars in NY…and the fact that on Saturday’s they do not run a happy hour or drink specials, gives you the impression they think their shit don’t stink…well, not our experience. Fact of the matter is, the manager, forgot to get his name, was a bone head. The waitress seemed genuine and wanted to do right, but obviously her hands were tied and there was little she could do…what, pray-tell was he issue? Glad you asked…
Mony and I ordered our appies, and entrees, dragon roll for me, steak quesadilla for Mony, dinner was a steak salad for Mony and a chicken milanese salad for me…as noted the dragon roll was good, the steak quesadilla was good and our waitress was nice, but that’s where it ended. We got our salads, and Mony’s seemed fine as she munched the rabbit food portion of her meal, me, I took a couple of bites and couldn’t exactly pinpoint the error, until I tasted Mony’s bleu cheese crumbles…then I realized that some bone head in the kitchen didn’t know the difference between Bleu Cheese and Mozzerella…Really? Our waitress tried to tell us mistakes happen…okay, so maybe in the rush of serving up the food mistakes do happen, but there were less than 5 tables being served in this place that clearly had more than 5 tables to be filled…so I’m not buying the screw up of rushing. I send the salad back and decide I’ll wait for another, but my taste buds are offended by bleu cheese, so I cancel the salad and ask for another dragon roll…
Well , just before the bone head manager comes to blah blah us about the screw up…Mony cuts into her medium rare steak to find that it is cooked perfectly for me…Rare to Raw…This is not Mony’s thing, I’m good for the moo and blood on the plate, Mony…not so much. I even pick apart the flank stake piece just to see if it’s our eyes…and it’s not…and as I look up to find our waitress, here comes the manager from across the room towards our table. I wave to him and he notes he was just coming to see us and rolls right into his apology about my first salad…only to have me explain how the steak was rare…very rare and we asked for medium rare, to which bone head replies…’the only thing I can tell you is that next time you might want to ask for it medium well’….Ex-fucking-scuse me? Mony’s hand was on my thigh and that was the only thing keeping me from blurting out my thought…which was “well how the fuck was I supposed to know that in this place medium rare meant fucking raw!”… I refrained.
But it really doesn’t end there….bone head actually asks “so do you want this salad taken off the bill too?”… Once again, refraining from smartass remarks, we said yes. Then he feels as if he can make us feel better by offering to “change the channel on the television to anything we want…” Really? One more smart ass thought held back… He leaves, I get my dragon roll and the waitress comes to speak with us. I don’t remember exactly what she said, other than making excuses for the crap service, and I could not help but tell her that her boss was a bone head. We ordered cocktails at the price of $12 for a standard size Martini, and standard sized Mojito… They were okay, not overpowering, but not worth $11 and $12 …just no way they were worth that price…not even in NYC. And here comes bone head once more to offer back pedal and say, he spoke to the cook and the steak was undercooked…”Would we like the channel changed?”… UGH!!!
We finish our cocktails and get the check….EIGHTY SIX DOLLARS!!!! and with the $25 off for the gift cert…the gratuity added on, the taxes and whatever else they could rob us for, our total payout was a little under $60. Nothing was given away to make up for our trouble… no free dragon roll, no measly employee discount, no keep your cert, we’ll knock off the $25…not even a free drink…nothing, not one thing other than excuses, and changing the channel for us…Really? And you want us to come back because you hope our experience wasn’t ruined? Maybe the old saying “A closed mouth never gets fed” applies here and I should have said something to bone head, but I would have thought these people would want to make things right in this world and try and keep everyone happy by taking the initiative to provide outstanding customer service… so my mistake for not saying, “HEY! how about you make it worth my while and not fuck me a little more here!”… My fault for not asking…but then again, I shouldn’t have to.
Do not waste your money or time with P.J. Bricks. Definitely check out Restaurants.com and have a go at Carlo’s in Hoboken, The Met speaks for itself. Either way, it was still one of those days spent with Mony that was perfect.