Friday, June 15, 2012

Bad Service, Slimey Pork Sandwich Puts Fork in Brother Paul's as Viable Dining Option

“Why did we stop going to Brother Paul’s?”

This is the question I asked my wife when we were thinking of going to the Eagleville, Pennsylvania establishment a couple weeks ago. The reasons were somewhat vague in my head. I sort of remember friends of ours saying they got hassled about coming into play darts too late? I think there was something where another friend wanted a certain sort of glass for his beer and it was seen as a major affront by the staff. There may have even been something in there about a waitress being generally rude. But we couldn’t really remember so I figured we should make a return trip.

Anyway, now that we have returned, the reason for our lack of patronization over the last few years has been crystallized anew: The service blows. And the food isn’t much better.

On the day we went to the place, it was a very nice day outside. We chose to sit outside on their patio, which was oddly deserted. It was just us, one other group, and the loud buffoons who would show up every once in a while to puff on their cancer sticks far off in the periphery. When the waitress came to take our drink order, I asked her if they had a draft list, a fairly common occurrence when you go to a decent beer bar. She informed me that she could not do this because their computers were down. I rolled with the punches and gave her my order once she ran off a most likely incomplete list from memory. But after I had time to think I kind of wondered what the computers being down had to do with the price of tea in Uzbekistan. Does their list change every day? Couldn’t they write it down on a piece of paper so a person could have all options before making a decision? I don’t know. It was kind of weak.

Anyway, I did eventually get two beers to my liking and it is easy to say that Brother Paul’s a) stocks good breweries and b) keeps those babies fresh. The Stone Arrogant Bastard I consumed was spectacular. If you need me to tell me why that beer is tremendous, you are most likely beyond help. Stop reading this post and consult the Yellow Pages for a psychiatrist. However, the true revelation of the day was Stoudt’s Heifer-in-Wheat. I don’t remember many specifics about the beers at this point (aside from the distinct flavor of banana), but I can certainly say that the Stoudt’s beverage drank like a classic of the Hefeweizen genre, right up there with the recently tried-and-cherished Troegs DreamWeaver. After I had it, I made a mental note to buy a six-pack so I could do a 50-word review, but more importantly so I could enjoy the act of drinking six in rapid succession.
For food, we ordered a plate of their nachos and a pork sandwich. The wife is a big fan of the nachos, as am I. It comes down to preference really. If you like nachos with vine ripened tomatoes, lightly sprinkled cheese, fresh grilled chicken, and perhaps some finely diced chives, go someplace else. If you want your ingredients (jalapenos, black beans, chili) liberally applied on chips that don’t have to be emerging directly from the oven, this is a good item. The pork sandwich – unfortunately – was an absolute bust. I can’t even remember what it tasted like because I was so appalled by its presentation. The sandwich, which came with fries and a pickle and featured roasted red peppers and cheese, was so wet and slimy that the roll split in half PRIOR TO MY PICKING IT UP! This resulted in a consumption so messy I only ate half it, not because of poor flavor (it was average at best), but because I was tired of having pieces of napkin flaking off on my hands after every bite. I don’t know about the rest of the menu, but with that sandwich they either have to find a way to reduce the moisture or get thicker rolls. How thick? Dunno. Have you ever seen Amber Rose?

It should also be said that in order to keep our son quiet for a few more minutes, we ordered ice cream for him. I had a bite. It was the type that was so frozen it actually crunches when you take a bite. Avoid at all costs.
Of course, I mentioned the horrible service of Brother Paul’s so that seems a perfect place to wrap up this review. I already mentioned the violation of no draft list. Our waitress – a nice enough young lady – saw no problem with disappearing for ten to fifteen minutes at a time, no doubt to deal with her customers inside the doors. I have no doubt I would have had more than the two beers if her service had been a little attentive. We waited at least fifteen minutes after our meals were complete and our drinking glasses drained to get a check. Once we got the check, she ONCE AGAIN disappeared like Blues Traveler’s once-robust fan base. It was so bad that I had to eventually walk into the store to confront her and say, “Hi, we would like to pay for the food and drink that we have consumed and then quietly depart from this establishment, please.” She runs the bill, gives me an explanation about how slammed she got, waits for my insincere statement of understanding, hands me a pen…and then disappears for a stretch of time longer then William Henry Harrison’s Presidential tenure. In fact, she never returned. So confused was I that I put the cap on the pen, folded the signed piece of papyrus into the stick of the cap, and left payment on the counter near an otherwise indistinguishable cash register.

I am still not sure if Brother Paul’s received payment for our dinner. Nor do I care.
“Why did we stop going to Brother Paul’s?”

Now I know why. And this time I don’t plan on forgetting.

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