Monday, October 8, 2007

Review: Perkins Restaurant (Spokane Valley)

East 9019 Mission Avenue, Spokane, WA 99212 (509) 927-2640

I will admit upfront that I had a preconceived notion that Perkins has bad service and mediocre food. Before this visit, it had been about 10 years since I dined at Perkins. However, I was dining with a group and did not choose the location. I also thought I would give Perkins the benefit of the doubt and try them again. Unfortunately, no improvements have been made in the service or food at local Perkins during the last decade.

I thought the visit was off to a good start when I approached the front door and an employee standing outside greeted me with a smile and opened the door for me. I was feeling optimistic as I joined my group, which was already seated. When it took about 20 minutes and someone beckoning a server to place an order, my hope was diminishing. I ordered the Heartland Omelette. The menu boasted diced ham, applewood smoked bacon, sausage, American cheese and diced fresh tomatoes in the omelette. It included hashbrowns and toast on the side. The server was friendly and able to answer questions during the ordering process.

My order arrived in a reasonable amount of time. The omelette was hot, but the cheese was only partially melted. The sausage was more plentiful than the other meats and it over powered any other flavors. It might have been balanced by the fresh tomatoes, if they had been included. The hashbrowns were a greasy, undercooked pile of what tasted like the frozen variety of potato. Even something as simple as the toast wasn't done well. It was under toasted and over buttered. I might have pointed out some of these inadequicies or at least requested the missing tomatoes, if our server hadn't abandanded our table after delivering the food. We didn't see her for about an hour and at that time she only made an appearance to drop of the check.

Just when things didn't look like they could get any worse, two employees began vacuuming and cleaning next to our table. Concerned that our group was delaying their closure, we inquired if that was the case. The employees told us they don't officially close until 10 p.m. (the time post on the door), but if it's not busy they close early. Apparently "not busy" and "early" qualifies as 9:15 p.m. when there are still customers in the restaurant.

When it came time to pay the bill, the hostess at the front dished out a lecture about using a coupon. I had clearly stated to the server that I had the coupon and would be using. The server had no problem with it, but the hostess had other ideas. She claimed because we had a group, we had to have a minimum order and coupons don't qualify. The problem is, no one in our group was ever told about those requirements when reservations were made or during the meal.

I left Perkins reminded why it's been so long since I've set foot in one of their restaurants. It also made me wonder how they have stayed in business for so long. I can't imagine they have a large following of repeat diners with such poor customer service and frankly, unappetizing food.


Patrick said...

Oh wow, when I was 18 we used to go to that Perkins for hours and hours and the waitresses just HATED us. Good times. Sounds like the ratty old place hasn't changed much since then.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Sioux City, Iowa and the Perkins there was open 24 hours and the food was delicious.

Since moving to Spokane Valley I've eaten at the location the reviewer chose, as well as one in Coeur d'Alene, and I experienced the same kinds of things the reviewer did. I used to love going to the Sioux City Perkins, but I can't stand the locations near me and I'm looking for a good restaurant to fill the void.

Scott said...

Ok. I'm not a huge fan of the Denny's mode of restaurant, but I found this Perkins to be very good. (We went to the same one reviewed here in Spokane Valley) We went there 2 nights in a row because we were in town to see a family doctor for several days. The service was excellent and so was the food. In fact, the servers and management were overly solicitous, I thought.

Maybe they saw reviews like these and decided they need to get their act together.

Over the course of the 2 days we had the crispy chicken salad, the pot roast, French dip, dollar pancakes, and Cheeseburger, and grilled cheese. All was very good, though my crispy chicken salad could have done without the red and green bell peppers. (which I normally like. I was just in a mood.)
So, I say try Perkins again. They also found ways to get us discounts both nights, which was awesome in this economy.