Stop Teasing Me, McCormick and Schmick’s

Lately I’ve been getting some serious schwag from McCormick &
Schmick’s. The kind that’s delivered in boxes. In the first box there
was a t-shirt shaped like a fish (cool), a cedar plank (cool), and a
cookbook (cool). A few weeks later I received another box. This one had
a squishy squeezable foam fish (kinda cool) and a silver lunch box
(eh). Inside the lunch box was a plastic pill bottle with a label
playing on their theme of eating fish twice a week to keep the doctor
away. Doesn’t quite have the same ring as an apple a day, but the
analogy was easily grasped. I received that box shortly before moving
so it got packed with everything else before I could go through it .

Friday I was unpacking some final boxes because my parents were coming
the next day and I wanted the place to be all pretty for them. I found
the lunch box with the pill bottle still inside and noticed there was a
rolled up piece of paper. Guess what it was. Come on – guess. No?

$100 dinner certificate.

I called my mom right away. There were three reasons they were coming
to visit me: one was because they’d never met my roommate and wondered
who this person was; two was because they’re a little sketchy about my
neighborhood; and three was because…

Three was because…

was because Sunday’s the 41st anniversary of the day they got engaged.
And yes, they also celebrate the day they actually married AND the day
they met. So, I called Mom to say “let’s surprise Dad and take him out
to dinner.” Wonderful. Great. I made reservations on OpenTable and put in
the notes that it’s an anniversary. I’m the best daughter in the whole

We got to M&S and after I checked in our reservation the
host not-too-subtley took a PostIt note off the menu. It said “Happy
Anniversary”. So far so good. We were led to a table in the corner. It’s
done with enough fanfare that mom & dad asked if the people in the
restaurant know who I am (oh, the pride of parents). No, I said, maybe
it was just because of OpenTable.

We start looking over the
menu and realize that mom, who’s lactose intolerant and has issues with
crab, lobster, and salmon, is going to have a bit of difficulty finding
something to eat. Fortunately, in that respect, we were in good hands. Our server Jeff went
back and forth to the kitchen a couple of times to make sure she got
something that she could eat.

We started with the calamari, which was served with three sauces. Those were never explained. The foodrunner told us he was new and didn’t know what they were. Then we shared an Apple & Gorgonzola salad. No complaints.

Mom and I both really enjoyed our entrees. She had tilapia served with an apricot glaze, grilled peaches, and sauteed greens. Hers was actually a blend of two dishes because of her dietary constraints. Mine was salmon topped with crabmeat and brie. Dad was less than thrilled with his halibut, especially since it was by far the most expensive of the three.

We’ve eaten out enough that his fairly bland dish would not have put us off too much. What did was the consistently blase attitude of the staff. Our server was the exception, although he seemed a little green. I already mentioned the food runner didn’t know what he was serving and didn’t find out for us. A manager stopped by to check on us, but didn’t stick around long enough for an answer. “So how is everything? Great.” and he was off. Nothing was done for my parents’ anniversary, even though they obviously knew about it. Granted, it’s not their “official” anniversary, but M&S didn’t know that, and besides, any couple that honors 41 years since their engagement should be celebrated.

Then came the icing on the cake. A server was leaning against the outside hostess stand, which is directly in front of the revolving door, swinging a check presenter back and forth. She hit me with it. It wasn’t hard and it didn’t hurt, but it showed a complete lack of awareness of guests and just seemed to be representative of the overall environment.

I’m unlikely to return to McCormick & Schmick’s. I’ve now had bad experiences two out of three times. No matter how many gifts they send, it doesn’t make up for the lack of care at the actual restaurant.







Leave a Reply