20 March 2016
After a very long night having dinner with old friends, I didn’t manage to get to sleep until past 3am — knowing I had to hit the road in just a few hours. On very little rest, I drove north into Pennsylvania, making a short stop in York before getting to the capital of the state, Harrisburg.
A long afternoon and no food, and running on very little rest, I was losing steam quickly late afternoon. So I decided to head to dinner early. I had found a place called Stock’s on Second by accident online, and the menu looked interesting so I had booked it in advance.
I got there and the booking was probably not necessary. It was empty. So I got the window booth and ordered a sazerac to start the evening. I looked over the menu and just as a snack with the food I placed a quick order.
So over a so-so cocktail my opener came, and it was pretty good…
Nice set of spiced pork rinds, though a little underspiced. Was still popping when it arrived, so nice and fresh. I stopped for a second to order a few more items as I worked on this snack. Just as I finished the next items arrived, and it puzzled me…
Both items were in skillets, hinting they were hot, yet the server just left it on the corner of the large 4-top booth’s table…erm, oops? I moved them myself and turned out not to be hot at all. Just a service fail…and a kitchen fail? First for me to look at was the pork belly.
Oh yeah this was a fail. The belly were cold, burnt to a crisp, and the meat side was basically when a brick meets sawdust. What the hell was the kitchen doing? Was this from yesterday? This could have doubled for drywall… I abandoned this dish and looked at the other, the oxtail with chillies.
Huh? What chillies, was it thrown in at the last minute? There was absolutely NO taste in this dish. Plus it was cold-ish, and what little meat left was basically melted. Again, this looks like something from yesterday that bears no resemblance to anything on the menu.
I essentially abandoned both dishes and asked for the bill. The manager came by and told me he took the belly off, but this was such a stupid evening of dining. Easily the worst meal I’ve had this year, possibly the last few years. Now I know why it’s empty, not just because it was a Sunday. The front-of-house seems untrained, the kitchen has some of the most incompetent execution I’ve ever seen in my life.
Stock’s on Second
211 North 2nd Street