A review of the restaurant Screen Door Cafe in Soddy Daisy, TN.
Living just outside of Chattanooga in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee means that my dining out choices are limited unless I want to drive in to Chattanooga. It’s not that long of a drive, but still I get excited when I discover a restaurant out my way. So, it was with high hopes that we went to Screen Door Cafe on a Saturday evening.
I wish I could say that I could post a glowing review, but unfortunately I can not. We got there on a Saturday evening at 6 o’clock and had to wait about 15 minutes for a table. Since the restaurant is just one long-ish room, you sit in a little chair just inside the door to wait. While waiting I noticed several tables without their food. They weren’t really talking just gazing longingly at the door to the kitchen. That was not a good sign. They had that look of people wondering where the heck their food was.
We had time to peruse the menu while waiting and while at our table. It took our waitress quite a bit of time to see that we were seated, even though you could stand just about anywhere in the restaurant and see every table. She finally came over, apologized and took our drink orders. We were ready to order food, but she left quickly without asking us. Then, in a move I’ve never seen before, she literally flew by our table, dropped our drinks off and headed away. No chance for us to order! She then went to stand by the register and play with someone’s baby, wipe off the drinks dispenser. Pretty much anything but take our order. I watched a table that was seated after us get their order taken, and still we waited. Finally she came over and took our order. She did not notice that my water glass was empty.
Then we waited again. After about 20 minutes, she came by to tell us it might be a while because they had a bunch of orders, again not noticing my water. We looked around. There was only one other table waiting on food, the table that was seated after us. I assumed it must have been a massive to go order. The table seated after us received their food and still we waited. I was so angry. If she had taken our order when she was supposed to we would have probably had our food by now. As I watched the other table eat, I just got more and more angry.
Someone came in and picked up their to go order. It looks like it was about 5 dinners. That must have been their bunch of orders. Finally after a 45 minute wait, she brought out dinner and told us that it was worth the wait! The table that was seated after us had already finished eating! I wasn’t even speaking to her at this point (childish, but it made me feel better). When she saw me take out my camera and notebook, her whole demeanor changed. Suddenly she was all chatty. She topped my water glass 3 times and told me how the meatloaf was her favorite. Too little too late.
The sad part is that the food was wonderful. The meatloaf was nice and browned on the outside and moist on the inside. The potatoes were great and the onion gravy was delicious.
A gentleman who was seated about 10 minutes before we got our food, got his food at the same time as us. So, I think whether or not you are a happy customer depends when your order is placed in the system. It doesn’t seem like they can keep up with a steady stream of orders, or more than one or two tables placing an order at the same time.