Have you ever smelled spoiled (rotten) curry!?!
My husband and I placed a catering order last Monday after enjoying Rita's food at a party we went to a few months ago. Buss up shut, curry chicken, chana, pumpkin, and mango. For a half tray of each we were quoted $175 on the phone (including tax). On Saturday morning, I called to confirm that my order would be ready for pick-up that evening as we agreed. Everything seemed to be in order, except they had somehow forgotten about the pumpkin. When I mentioned that it was part of my original order, they said no problem.
Later that afternoon, I got a call asking if I could come early to pick up the order because the staff wanted to leave early for the holiday weekend. This was inconvenient to us, but we managed to accommodate by arriving an hour early. When we got there we asked to open each container to have a look at the food. Everything looked pretty good except for the chicken. After seeing what a half tray of chicken looked like, we were convinced it wouldn't be enough to feed our guests. We asked if there was any way we could get an additional half tray. The Rita's staff was more than willing. In fact, they walked into the back and appeared moments later with the tray. We didn't look at it, but assumed it would be the same as the other tray of chicken.
Then...we were handed the bill. $232?? Noooooo.....Sir, we agreed to $175, remember? That, plus the additional chicken should only be $215. I recounted our entire phone conversation to him. He says "oh, it's because I had to add the pumpkin." He hands us a crumbled post-it note. "See here." I said, "Yes; I see. This is a list of everything I ordered - with pumpkin listed as the very first item." He went on and on, changing his story over and over regarding how he arrived at the total. But we knew better because we had received a copy of all his prices from our friend whose party we attended. To make a long story short(er), he tried to overcharge us. We begrudging paid the bill, but expressed how unsatisfied we were. He eventually agreed with us and handed us a $20 from the cash register.
My husband, a Trinidadian, told me to be wary of ordering from Rita's. He said West Indian shops like this are known for the food and not for the service. We talked about it all the way home. We made space in the fridge, tucked everything away neatly, and put the experience behind us. Until....
The next afternoon came. We turned on the oven to warm everything for our guests. The food spent about 2 hours in the oven on 170. When it was time to eat, I spooned everything into the dishes and told my guest to dig in! The food went pretty quickly. When the chicken bowl was empty I opened the second container of chicken we had purchased and spooned it into the dish like I did with the previous container.
Moments later, I found myself chasing this God-awful smell through my house. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I looked everywhere, including outside, to find the source of the smell. IT WAS THE CHICKEN!!!!! This is no exaggeration. It smelled like animal feces. When I opened the pot to get a good whiff I nearly passed out.
We were so embarrassed!! This meal was served to our friends and family, including small children. I have never been so humiliated. Quickly, I had to remove all the food - leaving people wondering what happened. For fear that people would be sick later, we made phone calls telling people what happened.
We suspect the second batch of chicken that we ordered while at the restaurant was old - maybe left out all day and not refrigerated. Maybe the chicken itself was spoiled before it was cooked. I don't know. But I am never ever doing business with Rita's. Consider yourselves warned. I believe the staff knew the chicken was bad when they gave it to us.
This review is based solely on the food. They only opened a week ago so it wouldn't be fair for me to rate the service or ambience just yet. I went with a large group so I had a chance to eat/sample several items. Fried oyster po boy was AMAZING. The bread was so fresh and yummy!! Seafood gumbo was very flavorful - and extra spicy like I like it. Mac n chesse - fantastic, though I wish the portion was slightly bigger. The jambalaya was very hearty...I disagree with the previous reviewer - In my experience, the salt was heavy...maybe even a little too heavy. Fried okra tastes like mom made it, though I am not a huge fan of the mustard it is served with - I prefer hot sauce. Speaking of hot sauce - they make it fresh from scratch. Ask for some when you go.
Overall our whole group was very satisfied with the food. We did think there was room for improvement as far as the knowledge of the wait staff and the speed/accuracy of orders. But like I said - that's all part of the growing pains of a new restaurant. As a side note, I'm happy that Lakeforest Mall seems to be making some nice improvements. It's about time. I will definitely go back!
No valet available to park my car. No one available to cart my bags to my room. Staff allowed people to congregate and smoke near the entrance... also allowed them to be loud and obnoxious. Very slow room service. Unprofessional and sometimes rude front of house staff. Non-responsive security when I called about my "neighbor" harassing me at 8:30am regarding noise in my room that did not exist. Had to ride same elevators with staff carrying trash and dirty linens. Hotel seems to be run by a bunch of people with absolutely no hospitality experience whatsoever.
They are always out of something. The order taker is always confused.,.which I don't understand. They only serve like 5 menu items. How come you don't know exactly how many chicken wings come on a platter? The food quality and taste is also inconsistent. The potato salad is sometimes sweet, sometimes overlooked, but other times great. Mac and cheese is the same way. But hey, it is what it is...a hole in the wall slangin fried food. What more can I ask? Wait...I can ask for cole slaw. They've been out of it every time I've been. The "regular" patron isn't the type to care too much about bad service so I don't imagine that things will change, unfortunately.
Stay here only if your needs don't extend beyond simply having a place to rest your head. Rooms weren't ready at check-in time. Bathroom is a "shittower" (s**t-shower-shave, all at the same time). No fridge. No microwave. Minimal decor. Pool is smaller than my bath tub. The best features of this hotel are the location and the price.
I will say this--- When I was 21 this hotel would have been A-OK. But at 31, I come to expect a certain level of comfort and service.
limited selection of appetizers, but the calamari was excellent. pizza was pretty decent (ordered the smokey pizza), but i've had better. we prefer red rocks pizza in columbia heights or roscoe's in takoma park.
Terrible! Place was dirty. Flies everywhere. Frozen yogurt was icy and powdery tasting. The favors were limited. The chocolate syrup was watered down. Oh...and I got hit in the leg with a ping pong ball. Oh...oh..oh...and someone parked their dog out font that smelled like poop....he was being attacked by the flies too.
This is our home away from home...coming from DC, this is a great beach get-away spot. It's casual and quaint...good shopping, great food. Only wish there was more outdoor dining along the boardwalk... would love to take in the view of the ocean while feasting.
This place is all about location. It gets the job done. Was clean enough, etc.. but it was slightly musky and could def use an update in decor. But hey...we went to enjoy the beach, not to luxuriate in our room. Oh----and we did have an unexpected extra guest stay with us...a pesky fly that I swear was out to torment me every moment. LOL
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