"Do you think there is really a grill in here at all?"

I met Mid Town Food Guy over at Bonefish Grill the other night. We didn't meet because we like to go on "Guy Dates", we met because the Bonefish people sent us a couple "Challenge Packs". Basically it was a folder with a gift card for Bonefish and a gift card for what they called their "competitor". Their "competitor" turned out to be Red Lobster.

I had been to a Bonefish Grill once before, about five years ago in Clearwater, Fla. I remembered it being very good, I had salmon on a cedar plank. For this visit we chose the Northland location on 45 highway. The dining space seemed upscale, dimly lit and classy. The entire staff dresses in white chef coats. This makes it hard to distinguish anyone, from anyone else, that you may, or may not want to bother for something.

I sat at the bar and waited for Mid Town for a few minutes while sipping a cocktail. Mid Town eventually joined me at the bar and this is where things went horribly wrong. We ordered food! Mid Town ordered a house salad to go with his Mango Fish Tacos. I ordered Crab and Corn Chowder to go with "Grilled" Scallops and Shrimp.

Mid Town's salad was lettuce on a plate, nothing fancy and it's hard to screw up lettuce. The Corn and Crab Chowder it seems, is really easy to screw up. Not a hint of corn flavor anywhere in the dish. Isn't this the peak of corn season? There were some bits of something that more closely resembled crayfish tails than crab, but tasted like nothing. Yellow Water would be a more fitting name for the dish. No amount of salt and pepper was going to save this crap.

When the entrees came out I gave Mid Town a couple scallops and shrimp in exchange for one of his fish tacos. It was like trading crap for crap, neither of us got the best of this deal. The scallops and shrimp were so tightly packed together it appeared they could have been on a skewer at some point. There was no mention of skewers on the menu and there were no holes through the meat. This row of seafood "meat" had come out of a cryovac bag of some sort. It had "grill marks" on one side of the "meat" but they seemed to be airbrushed or painted on. The other side of the "meat" row was kind of a pale gray. After some inspection by Mid Town, he turns to me and says, "Do you think there is really a grill in here at all?". I was really doubting the presence of a grill at this point. I suspect my meal was cooked either sous vide or microwaved in cryovac. The only flavor it had was a salty, fake char taste.

The Mango Fish Tacos were just as poorly executed. After a bite of the super sweet, creamy, runny taco I opened it up and could not find one piece of fish.

How do they get away with serving this crap? If someone from Bonefish reads this please post, enlighten me on the preparation of that shitty shrimp-scallop dish.

I hope my trip to their "competitor" is a better experience. At least then I'll have something to thank Bonefish for.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I went to Bonefish a few months after it opened to very favorable reviews. I found the fish not all that great, though better than what I've had at Dead Lobster. My main memory is that our waiter had a horrible cold, but rather than leaving and blowing his nose, he stood there forever (it seemed) and sniffled loudly. At that time, they had olive (I guess)oil on the table, as far from the waiter as possible. You had to hand him the bottle so he could do his theatrics. Then he had to hand it back to you so it could be returned to its rightful spot on the table. This was plain old unsanitary...any time...but especially with a sick waiter. We haven't been back.