If you have ever been through any part of Pittsburgh, PA you have probably seen an Eat 'n' Park restaurant or at least heard of one.
Getting it's start in 1949, the restaurant chain has become a Pittsburgh cornerstone. Sad to say. Every time I have eaten at one of the many locations, I have always been left wanting.
Wanting, flavor in the food, wanting better customer service, wanting clean table ware. This last venture was no exception. After my wife getting nearly body checked by a geriatric customer with no manners as we entered, we were greeted by a hostess who was about as exciting as watching paint dry.
We were escorted to our table as our menus were pretty much just thrust upon it as the hostess departed. Our server, Jaime (hope I spelled that right) came to our table. With a warm smile and pleasant demeanor, she greeted us. Finally, a glimmer of hope; I thought to myself.
Drinks were ordered and the menu seemed overly simple as we perused it. Our friendly server came back and took our order. We talked with our son who was enjoying his chocolate milkshake that Jaime had made for him.
Almost 25 minutes goes by and we had not received our appetizer yet. Shocker. Jaime was kind enough to realize that our order was taking forever and came to us and explained that there was a party of 20 or so persons in the back and the kitchen was backed up. The offer was made for us to get something from the salad bar, which we declined.
After a few more minutes our appetizer arrives. Not much to say about it, fried provolone sticks that were frozen only moments before. It is what it is.
My son had ordered chocolate chip pancakes, my wife the *NEW* Southern burger and I went with a simple bacon burger. We'll start with my burger. Under cooked, season less, and greasy. The bacon was ice cold and rock hard, giving the roof of my mouth a sensation similar to what "Captain Crunch" cereal did when I was a child. I have to say, the blood in my mouth from the bacon induced lacerations was more enjoyable than the burger. The french fries were cold and soggy, with an almost burnt appearance as if they were salvaged from another guests plate that hadn't eaten them and re-fried. I couldn't even stomach the 2 or 3 fries that I forced down my throat.
I could go on to describe how the chocolate chips in my sons pancakes were closer to bakers chocolate, or how my wife's burger was just a pathetic attempt to put a "NEW" item on the menu by adding bbq sauce and 3 sweet potato fries on the bottom and calling it "Southern". However, I'm done. I am so appalled at the meal that I regretfully paid for that I can guarantee that I will never return.
It is sad that a Pittsburgh "Institution" like this one has gone on for so long with such horrible food being served in it's locations.
The only saving grace of our entire experience was Jaime. She was delightful, genuine and hard working. I really hope that she does well in life and is able to find more gainful means of employment.
Eat 'n' Park- Zero stars.
Server Jaime- 4 stars ****
CEO Spike Bowan is the Pittsburgh based Actor/Director/ Author/ Creator of the Alternate History Genre/Fiction saga "War in the Backyard".
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