Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Revisited : The Pongal @ Billerica, MA

Unlike my many other restaurant review postings, this post will not contain pictures. Read about (and view pictures) my first visit to The Pongal HERE. My first experience wasn’t that pleasant; both food and management weren’t at their best.

We were there again over the weekend for some reunion with hubby’s ex co-workers. There were 11 of us and 8 were Indian (that’s why we chose this place). Food this time was MUCH better than the first. At least the food were not overly salty or bland this time. All seasoned quite perfectly unlike the first time we ate there. The dish I enjoyed the most there was the Manchurian Okra and the Cilantro Rice.

However, I do want to rant about the spotty service we received. The service we got from the management to be exact. Service from the wait staff was excellent. They never gave us a chance to empty the water glasses; they were always topping it up to the rim. Empty plates were also cleared away very timely. Thumbs up to the wait staff for doing a great job.

With 11 in a group, one of our friend decided to call ahead to make a reservation. The husband and I was the first to arrive (unfortunately) and had to deal with the whole nonsense from the management who obviously don’t know what they are doing or just don’t appreciate their customers. In my opinion, they have zero to none customer service!

When we got there, there were 3 hosts (they might be the owners?) at the counter. One was quite friendly, the other two not so. The friendlier one tried to help us and we told her we have a reservation for 11 and she brought us to a table; the wrong table. They weren’t our friends. We walked back to the counter, the lady was obviously lost and confused coz there weren’t any records of a table for 11. And she did not apologize to us either. All she did was smile sheepishly. She asked the other not so friendly guy who then acknowledged that he know of such reservation, and proceeded to escort us to the “table” set for 8. Apparently, someone gave up our seats. And no we weren’t late. In fact we were 10 minutes early! With no apology, the (rude?) host said that he will place 8 of us at the same table and said he’ll place 4 people at another table, once that is cleared! WHAT THE HECK? SERIOUSLY? What’s the point of making a reservation if they are going to give up your seats when you’re not even late! 

I was getting impatient and really PISSED. This host never did apologize to us either. Thank goodness all of the husband’s friends showed up coz it would have been embarrassing that we make all the fuss and nobody showed up!! When our friends finally came, we waited about 5-10 minutes for the management scramble and make room for everyone. They had to move the customers (which happen to also be a big party) next to us, one table down to accommodate all of us at the same table.

After finally settling down, we went right ahead for the buffet.  The meal was good, the crowd better. It was funny how hubby first got to know his friends in Chicago and now work brought to everyone Massachusetts. It was a nice little reunion for the husband.

Will I go back? Most likely NO. With this crappy customer service we received from the management, I rather spend my money elsewhere. Lunch buffet was $14.95, quite high for a lunch buffet. I think the price went up by a dollar since our last visit almost a year ago. 


1 comment:

Cin Twin2 said...

Thanks for the review! Customer service can definitely "make or break" a restaurant visit. Glad the food was decent!

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