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February 3, 2010

Sign at Opa!

Opa! promises fun.

The sign on the door to Opa! on Campbell between Glenn & Ft. Lowell promises ‘Greek Cuisine and Fun’.  There was very little fun involved with the lunch I had last week.  I was going to go into more detail for this post, but I started getting cranky all over again so I cut it short.

My colleague Stacey & I ended up needing to push off a morning meeting to a lunch meeting, so after some indecision we saddled up and headed to Opa.  I had been there once before, and remember the food being good but the service a little slow.

We got there at 11:30, and there were a few tables occupied.  We were seated pretty quickly at one of the football shaped tables that line the walls.  Our drink orders were taken a few minutes later.  Shortly after that, a plate of hummus and tzatziki came out accompanied by warm flatbread.  Both were good, but we (and by ‘we’ I think I mean ‘I’) could have used a little more bread.

That was the last time we saw our server for nearly an hour.

Some of that was our fault – we were working away on a report and didn’t really notice the passage of time.  After 45 minutes or so, though, I looked up and the restaurant was full and everyone was eating.  Everyone but us, that is.  I’m going to shorten this story a little bit and say that I asked about our food three times to three different people  before our server came out 10 minutes later and asked us what we had ordered.  We’d already told the first person I sent to check on our meal.  She seemed genuinely annoyed with us that she had to ask.

Turns out that they had lost our ticket somewhere between our table and the kitchen.  Had they been at all apologetic, or even courteous (which they weren’t) instead of snippy that would have gone a long way to making us feel better about the situation.  Had they been paying any attention to their tables (which they weren’t), this wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

Our food (my lamb souvlaki and Stacey’s chicken souvlaki) came out another 10 minutes after that.  Stacey said hers was good.  My souvlaki tasted good, but I was so hungry and mad by the time that it came out I didn’t enjoy it at all.  I also didn’t enjoy my cold, tough fries.  In all fairness, only half of them were cold and tough, so I guess I got the last of an old batch.

They only charged us for one meal, and our server perked up when she brought out the bill.  Even so, I’m not going back to Opa.  The poor service, cold food, and amount of time spent there make it the worst meal experience that I can remember having in years.

I really, really like writing about good things, so I’m going to try to get up something positive pretty quickly.  Anyone have any happy thoughts to put here in the meantime?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Cat permalink
    February 3, 2010 8:20 am

    Not cool! I can forgive poor service at a restaurant, but when the server has the nerve to act annoyed about doing their job or fixing their mistake, my understanding goes out the window, usually along with the tip 😉

    • February 3, 2010 8:49 am

      Hi Cat!
      I agree with you on that one. Just a little bit of courtesy goes a such long way…

      Thanks for the comment!


  2. Morgan permalink
    February 3, 2010 9:08 am

    Sorry Kevin! That is so frustrating! I agree with you about the bad service–every bad experience I’ve had at a restaurant is because the service is terrible…cold fries I can get over, but a bad attitude from a 19 year old just irritates the heck out of me.

    • February 3, 2010 9:31 am

      Hey Morgan!

      I can get over cold fries too when the service is good, because I know I can send them back without a hassle.

      Now that you bring up the age thing, I’ve had some great service experiences lately from some younger servers (the Fox restaurants come to mind). I think good training and a good work environment can make a big difference. Our server at Opa had enough experience to know better, though!

      Thanks for the commiseration!


  3. February 3, 2010 9:40 am

    Wow! I’m so sorry that you had such a bum day at Opa! I hope that Andreas, the owner, gets to see this review and finds out who the server was, because they won’t last long–if they are still there. Sounds like your experience was caused by one person (the cold fries can be the servers fault for not picking up the food in a timely fashion), so it does seem a little harsh not to give them another chance. But I don’t blame you for losing your appetite for Opa! I have a lunch date there tomorrow with a friend who has never been there and I’ll let you know how it goes. Certainly hope it is better than your experience. (But, really, I’ve been there a dozens or so times and although when they are busy I’ve sometimes had to wait a bit longer than I like, I never had anything as bad as your experience.)

    • February 3, 2010 12:44 pm

      Hi Vera,

      I know it’s harsh to say that I won’t go back, but when there are so many restaurants where I know I’ll get good food and good service, why would I go back to a place where I had such a negative experience?

      I’m also pretty sure that our server wasn’t just a server, but is connected to the restaurant somehow. When she brought out our food, she told us that she went back and cooked it herself. To me, that says she’s more deeply involved in the business.

      Looking at the Yelp (, Urban Spoon (, and Trip Advisor ( reviews, many people cite problems with their service (and in fairness, some people say service is great). If nothing else, this says that they need to work on their consistency.

      I am such a huge fan of small, locally-owned & operated restaurants that I hope this serves as a wake-up call to Opa. I never want to see a business fail, especially right now. As people eat out less and less, though, things like attentive service (which costs a restaurant nothing) play a bigger and bigger role in peoples’ choices of where they eat.

      I hope you have a great lunch there tomorrow, and look forward to hearing about how it goes!

      Thanks for your sharing your thoughts.


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