The Worst Dining Experience

I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually had a horrible restaurant experience. It doesn’t happen to me that often. Usually I’m pretty good at picking decent places to eat! However, Friday night’s experience at Jose Malone’s in Troy was sorely disappointing.


My friends and I went there for dinner after going to the Ruck. I got to The Ruck at around 6:00 on Friday. Chris and his friend had been there for a few hours already, so everyone was pretty hungry. The guys decided to walk down to Jose Malone’s to put our name down (this was at about 6:30), and the hostess said the table would be ready by 7:30.

We got there at 7:30 only to be told our table was not ready yet, and there was one large group ahead of us so we went to the bar.

I got a frozen strawberry margarita, and it was pretty tasty.


We also chatted and took some pictures to pass the time while we waited for our table.


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Another hour passes…someone in our group finally said something to the hostess that if we weren’t going to get a table soon then we were going to leave.

So they finally put two small tables to fit our group of seven.

Fifteen minutes go by until we get a server. We order our drinks (I order a water). Another 10-15 minutes go by and the server says they are all out of water glasses (!!!). Seriously? How does a restaurant run out of glasses?

Another 20 minutes go by and we don’t see our server. Finally, my sister asked to speak to the manager. We explained how we’ve been waiting and if we had to wait any longer to get someone to wait on us we were leaving.

By that point we were all starving, since it was after 9:00PM. (We got there at 7:30.) The manager was really nice and explained how unusual the situation was. I said how I’ve heard good things about the food at Jose Malone’s and was really disappointed in the service. She really wanted us to stay for the food and promised us it would be good and that she would bring out a few appetizers for us.

Less than five minutes later a new server came to take our orders.

Now by this point I was starving. The appetizers that came out were oysters and sausage, and chimichangas. The chimichangas had chicken in them so I didn’t eat them. I did however try an oyster and it was good, but I don’t really have anything to compare it to.


Finally my dinner came out. I ordered the sweet potato and goat cheese enchiladas with mole sauce.


It was very, very good. Now, I know everything tastes better when you’re starving (it was past 9:30 and I hadn’t eaten since about 3PM) but the enchiladas were delicious. It really disappoints me when a restaurant with good food has TERRIBLE service. The service we experienced here on Friday convinced a few my friends to never come back.

I do know now to never come back here on Friday night, ever. And why on Earth doesn’t this place take reservations? I haven’t made up my mind if I want to give Jose Malone’s a second chance. It was one of the WORST dining experiences I’ve ever had. Was it a fluke or a common occurance?

Would you give a restaurant with terrible service and amazing food a second chance? Or would the bad service alone convince you to never go back?

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  1. As you kind of hint to, I think the best thing to do is give it a few weeks, and when you’re ready to go back, try for a night that isn’t so busy.

    I’ve been to Jose Malones a couple of times and never had issues with the service (although given their setup, I could actually imagine your situation actually being a common occurrance). I liked my food but wasn’t exactly wow!-ed. I’d go back there, but definitely not on a busy night.
    derryX recently posted..derryX Picnics – What

  2. I’ve never been to Jose Malones, but this actually the first bad review I’ve ever read about them! I get really annoyed when there is terrible service. I’m usually extremely understanding when I go out because I get that sometimes there are certain situations beyond a server’s control, but there is a certain point where it gets ridiculous.

    There are definitely a few restaurants I have not gone back to because of the service, even though the food was great. However, because the manager was really nice about the situation, I might try going to the restaurant again. I usually don’t go back when the manager is really rude or I have a really rude server.
    Emily recently posted..the week in review and some fashion friday

  3. One of my favorite Thai restaurants in Madison has really poor service, but their food is SO good. They also happen to be the closest Thai place to our house. We still eat there – but most of the time its take-out – and even then sometimes the service is still not so good. I guess I just have to know what I’m getting into when I go there. We definitely get there pretty early if we are planning on dinner there, that way if we have to wait for our food we are not too starving!
    Kelly recently posted..Restaurant Review- Lazy Jane’s Cafe

  4. I’ve actually had the same exact experience as yours, Jen @ Jose Malone’s – only my food was almost as bad as the service! When the service puts you out like that and it ruins most of your visit to a place, I would never go back. Especially if you waited that long! El Mariachi’s is always there for you 🙂

    1. I know, Chris and I were pining for El Mariachi while we were waiting. Never had a long wait there. And they don’t charge for chips and salsa!

  5. Jen. Thanks very much for your review and this post.

    I would guess this is a common occurence at JM’s as I’ve expierenced many of the same problems during my 1st visit to this place:

    like you, I had heard many times from friends and by reading reviews that this place was great and that the food was to die for or was a “must try”.

    I called the day before we planned to go, and I was told by the manager, that they would not accept reservations, (but asked me how many we had in the party – that was planning on coming). I told her 2 or 4 and she said no, we don’t take reservations, but that they would be able to get us in and get us a table, even if they were busy. She said if we had a large party, they would take call ahead seating??

    We arrived and the place was busy. There was a wait and there was people standing around (crowding over) other peoples tables, because there was not enough room in the bar area or waiting entrance hall to stand. we had to try several times to get the hostess’s attention and she took the number in our party and our name. We went to the bar, to start with drinks and after a longer than told wait, we were seated at our table. it took much too long – upwards of 15 or 20 minutes for a server to come over and we were already ready with our drink and appetizer order. we got the Guac. it was expensive and not great and it was brought out immediately from behind the wall, and we were stuck with no drinks (including a water order also) and not enough chips. I can’t remember the price, but it was very expensive for the portion. (especially compared to places like El Mariachi or Salsa Latina just for comparision sake) I dont mind paying for fresh guac, and it was fresh, but it just looked like they crushed avocados and added nothing else.

    We each took a look at the menu and asked some questions about some of the meals. the server didn’t really know how to answer our questions or if the meals we asked about were spicy (or how hot).

    There was a reduced menu, becuase it was a show night or special event at revolution hall.
    What I planned to order, (after viewing the menu online the day before) was not available. neither was my 2nd choice.

    Long story short, our meals took a long time to come out and it was not worth the wait. one wasn’t even hot and the other one just didn’t taste good. there was plenty. the portions were huge and we both took meals home in to-go containers, but they weren’t even really worth eating. The server was pleasant, but continually apologized for the wait for food and drinks and how crazy it was. one person at our table took a bite or two and then left the rest, even though we were all hungry.

    I wish I had gone to ryan’s wake or troy brew pub instead. we were very dissapointed and may never give them another try.

    I know every rest. can have crazy or unexpected nights or dinner services, but learn from your mistakes. Take reservations. Be HONEST about the wait to get a table. The drink prices at the bar were higher than anywhere else on that street or in Troy.

    1. thanks for your input! after tweeting about the experience on Friday I have heard the same from others. Not too great of an experience. Sorry your meal sucked!! My food was great–but I could get something similiar (and better tasting) at EL Mariachi in Albany, which is my favorite mexican place around here. And they don’t charge for chips and salsa!

  6. OMG! I am surprised by this post. Sucks that you had to go through that. Did you talk to the manager that night? If something like this happens to me, I complain until I get a free meal.

    I have been their MANY times and never had this problem. You may want to give it another try. Next time, I will go with you.

    My ABSOLUTE favorite Mexican restaurant is El Loco on Madison. LOVE IT!!!!
    Melissa G recently posted..Our Story

  7. just stumbled upon this. love the food. each and every time though i have had bad experiences with the service. my husband and i have wondered how they manage to find a waitstaff so disinterested in actually waiting tables. i hated waitressing, but i never let the customers know. but yeah, those enchiladas are killer.

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