14 November 2018
Despite a horrible hangover the next morning, I had an extremely busy day in the area that required a vehicle, so off to rent one. Some nice explorations that took me through Magnolia Cemetery, then up the coast to Georgetown, then back for a quick visit to Mepkin Abbey then finally to Middleton Place. At the latter, I had a wonderful slow stroll, hanging out with the many poseurs there…amazing how they all pose for photos!
Long day, and worse, I had logistical issues when I got back that related to the car accident I was in months ago in Pittsburgh, as well as the looming snowstorm that could mess up my flight home tomorrow. That was a damn headache to deal with. I was looking forward to dinner at one of Charleston’s most venerable restaurants, 82 Queen.
I went old-school by going to 82 Queen, somewhere I had a wonderful meal many years ago. I arrived and it was already a bit chaotic. I was seated in the upstairs section, and just as I was relaxing to look through the menu, a huge and noisy group took over the adjacent room. Oh great…
Took for ages to get any service, then finally ordered. Relaxed and relaxed and relaxed and relaxed…took quite a bit of time to get a drink, then more time… Then finally my starter, the pork belly.
Ugh…it’s actually cold. It’s probably been sitting around because no one ran the plate up. This is just awful. By the time I got someone’s attention I’ve already eaten half of it because I’ve not had any food all day and was hungry. Sigh… Awful. They offered to take it off, but they already took off the wine because it took 20 minutes for a glass of wine to appear. This is a shitshow…
Then of course my glass by now was empty, and NO SERVICE STAFF ATTENDED THE DINING ROOM FOR 15 MINUTES. What the heck happened? This is just piss poor FoH management, even with the noisy party that’s clearly annoying other diners as well. Finally someone came up and I ordered my wine. Then the main appeared, the gumbo.
Again, cold, like it was plated and sat around for another 15 minutes without being put under a heat lamp. This is restaurant 101 stuff, how are they screwing this up so badly? The shrimps here were barely edible, and you have a combination of undercooked and overcooked here, with a few colder elements. Now I’m starting to think it wasn’t plated and left around, as the coldness was by ingredient, which means it was put together with a few really bad elements. This is piss poor kitchen work.
This was a total shitshow and I’ve had enough. The manager kept apologising as they noticed how bad things were going, but I’m not gonna even bother. This is a joke. Maybe it’s time for the venerable restaurant to take a breather and re-tool. At least re-train both the FoH and the kitchen.
82 Queen Street
Charleston, South Carolina
* The shitty dinner made me go to the Bar at Husk next door for quite a few drinks. I had planned to avoid Husk due to what I mentioned yesterday, but this was needed. The snacks were awful (terrible pork rinds, even others at the bar complained), but drinks good. Then more drinks around town and it was all a blur…
** The next day a total clusterfuck as American Airlines’s Twitter team decided to bump me from my flight, then LIE to me telling me it was cancelled. It was NOT, it had a mild delay. And more and more BS, I ended up having to stay an extra day in Charleston. Needless to say this is likely the last time I’ll visit Charleston — and DEFINITELY the last time I’ll fly American Airlines.