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Posts Tagged ‘Mickey Mantle Steakhouse’

So tonight I took Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy to Mickey Mantle Steakhouse in Bricktown. To cut right to the chase, it was a disaster of a dining experience.

Ratings (Key)

Overall: 1.50
Presentation: 0.75
Taste: 2.50
Service Quality: 1.00
Service Promptness: 1.25
Service Accuracy: 2.50
Menu Selection: 3.00
Menu Clarity: 2.75
Value: 1.50
Queer Friendly: 2.50
Hot Staff: 0.75

Lets be clear from the get go that this was not a date, Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy has a husband and despite the fact that I find him extremely attractive (which he knows) this is a friends night out and nothing more. I enjoy his company a lot and so I don’t mind spending a little money on him as one might spend on a boyfriend. Many people don’t understand the dynamics of the relationship and mistake it for, well, whatever. As he often points out, its hard to find a “complete package” of beauty and brains in Oklahoma City. While it was not a date, we do go to nice places and I do expect the same level of service I would expect on a date, after all, it’s not any cheaper because it isn’t a date and I expect to get alot of the same things out of it most people expect on a date, like the ability to talk one on one.

To put it bluntly, the atmosphere, presentation of the food, service and the arrival of the check made me want to vomit. For starters, the place bills itself as a top of the line steakhouse. Its nothing of the sort. Undoubtedly the most over-rated restaurant I have ever had the misfortune of dining in. I wound up leaving $170 on the table for a meal that wasn’t worth $70, this includes the customary tip of 20% which was left out of respect to my dining guest and my desire not to raise a stink right then and there not because it was earned. If I were dining alone, I would not only have not left a tip, but I would have left an address to mail the refund check to and I would have taken the manager back into the kitchen and shown him how to make food presentable before it hits the table.

The atmosphere reminds me of a nice Dennys on the good side of town. People sit right on top of you, so there is no privacy (which makes talking about blowjobs, anal sex and who has a nice penis over dinner and wine without offending neighboring tables difficult) and there is nothing in the place to buffer the sound, so its like sitting in an echo chamber. Here is a hint, fancy restaurant designers: people go to nice restaurants to relax, unwind and enjoy peace and quiet. They also go to talk to the person they are taking out to dinner, to enjoy their company and enjoy being with them. None of these was possible, and I often had to ask Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy to repeat himself, much to his annoyance. I couldn’t hear him over the clatter and roar of the restaurant. If I want to hear everyone yap about their lives, I can go to Applebees or TGI Friday and pay $40 for two including drinks.

The presentation of the food was awful, save the cheesecake which we both agreed was attractively presented. When it arrived, Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy remarked “Wow, I think this is the most attractive thing to come to the table yet”.  I had to agree. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have snapped a picture of it with my iPhone, because the presentation on the desert really was well done. Ironically, it was also the cheapest thing on the ticket and probably the only item not prepared in the restaurant.

His Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo was presented with a touch of class – with four shrimp set at compass points on the rim of the plate and the pasta piled in the center – but it still was not what you’d expect to have gotten for the price. It looked like an Olive Garden specialty. My Surf and Turf was just thrown on the plate with no particular attempt to make it attractive. Neither dish was garnished. Every chef knows that presentation is one of the most important aspects of the dining experience and they made little effort to do so much as throw some parsley at these dishes.

The service was for shit, I have gotten better service at sit down burger places. The server filled the drinks a total of three times, often left them unfilled for a long period of time. The server made an awkward show of reaching across my face and over my plate to remove my lobster tail from its shell without asking me if I’d like it de-shelled. Prior to that, some guy who was not even our waiter walked by and took my shrimp cocktail off the table without a word – and without noticing we were not done with it as there was still a jumbo shrimp clinging to the side. Before I could object after a moment of speechlessness and shock, he was already half way back to the kitchen. A few minutes later, he returned to apologize for taking it, saying he didn’t see the shrimp there and gave me the cocktail back. Never offered to make me another one, or asked me if I wanted it back.

This incident was probably the biggest screw-up of the evening here. Proper procedure in what is supposed to be a high-class restaurant dictates then when you fuck up and snatch someone’s food off their table and don’t realize they weren’t done until you get back to the wash pit, you don’t bring the same thing back to them without offering to make them a new one. First off, it was your error and the establishment should eat the cost. Second, you have just had your grubby little hands all over my food, to bring it back to me and suggest that I eat it is an insult. Finally, you took my food back to the wash pit. How unappetizing is it for you to bring me something from the trash can to consume? Give me a break. Never mind the fact that the kid clearly doesn’t know the first thing about waiting tables in a decent restaurant, if he did he would have asked before reaching to the middle of the table while we are talking to ask if we were done with that dish. Heck, the even do this at family restaurants!

Finally, we get to the bill. Before the check arrived, I asked Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy what the check would be. I wasn’t adding it up and my surf and turf was a  market price item, so the price wasn’t in the menu. He guessed about $80 and I concurred. I felt that was about what it was worth, sort of. When the check arrived for $141.75, we both exhaled at about the same time and said words to the effect of “no way, not worth it”. They charged $75.95 for my surf n turf, and I must say that while the lobster tail was good size, the turf portion of my dinner was barely larger than a business card. I don’t believe it was a 7 oz filet, even if that’s the precooked weight. We both agreed that it wasn’t a $75 plate. Of course, presentation goes along way to making a diner feel like they got a good value

The bottom line: Mickey Mantle is an overpriced steakhouse that touts its ritzy location on the Bricktown canal to the hilt, charges way too much for what they deliver and is extremely over rated. I don’t mind paying for quality, but when you are gonna stick a bill for $170 (including 20% tip) on my table over a diner for two that didn’t even include drinks (Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy rarely drinks), you had better be doing something doing something exceptional to earn your asking prices. At the very least, give me competent service from a wait staff that acts like they have worked in a world-class restaurant before. These hacks were a complete disgrace to the profession. Its clear that the management does not provide training and has terrible hiring procedures.

Now, lest this review find its way to the wait staff who served us this evening, I want them to know that I don’t blame them for the awful experience. I blame their boss. Its clear they were doing the best they could with what they were given. They were polite and caring, but are clearly just ignorant of the proper way to wait tables. The responsibility for that, my friends, rests solely with the management, as it is the management who is ultimately responsible for the performance of the wait staff or lack of it. Oklahoma’s Most Beautiful Boy owns several businesses and while I don’t always agree with his business decisions, there is one thing about his approach to business that is spot on and that is that management is always responsible for the success or failure of the business and satisfaction of the customers. Knowing that, he often chooses to manage everything himself rather than delegate that to anyone else.

The buck stops with the management, period. All failure or success in a business, regardless of who actually screwed up or did good, is a product of the management and therefore they are directly responsible for it. This is something that Mickey Mantle could apply to its business methods. Start taking responsibility for its staff and get them on par with other area restaurants, because this one is far below par to say the least.

I am printing a copy of this blog post (along with a cover letter) and mailing it to the owners of the restaurant with a copy of my receipt along with an address of where they can send me a refund check. The experience was that awful. I wouldn’t recommend Mickey Mantle Steakhouse if it was the last restaurant in Oklahoma City unless they had a dollar menu, because they don’t deliver much above fast-food levels of service.

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