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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bill Bateman's Bistro

We were intrigued by the claim that Bill Bateman's Bistro had the "best wings in town". Dave and I both love some really good wings. It reminds us of Trivia Night in Florida when we'd hang out with his friends and eat pile after pile of various flavored wings while playing a ridiculous trivia game.

We tried out the White Marsh location (Gold Ring). We were greeted warmly and seated quickly. We ordered our beverages (I started off with a Cherry Bomb type thing, it was cherry bacardi, pineapple and cranberry juices and man oh man was it delicious), then started deciding on our meals.

We started off with an order of mozzarella sticks. It's definitely a passion of both of ours. I've loved mozzarella sticks ever since one almost killed me as a child. I swallowed a piece and started to choke on the giant string of cheese, frantically attempting to pull it out of my throat but the cheese just kept stretching. My mom, naturally, flipped out and I was banned from mozz sticks until adulthood.

So we ordered the mozz sticks and nearly a half an hour later they showed up. Room temp, cold enough that the cheese wasn't dangerously stretchy. In fact, it was like eating a cheese stick wrapped in breading. The sauce was piping hot, so you could make a case that it evened out.

A little while later our entrees showed up. Dave opted to try these famous wings of theirs so he ordered one plate of 20 wings teriyaki flavor and one plate of 10 wings bourbon flavored. Here, they don't let you mix flavors and they offer their wings in plates of ten. So you can't get a plate of 20 and split the flavors. If you order 20, you need to order them all the same. Which we both hated. When you're a "wing place" you need some flexibility.

Now, I've eaten my fair share of wings. I was really optimistic by the friendly comfortable atmosphere, the claim of "best wings in town" the delicious sounding flavors listed, and the personal message from Bill Bateman on the back of his menu telling us that they use only the best, freshest produce and meat around.

Dave's wings did not reflect any of those claims. It was all crispy tough skin and bland seasoning. There was hardly any meat on them at all. They were tiny and chewy.

I went for the seafood platter that had a lobster cake, fried shrimp, fried fish, coleslaw and fries. This being a seafood area of the country, I'm always curious to taste a new place's take on seafood. When my plate arrived the first thing I noticed was the golf-ball sized burnt lobster cake. The whole top was torched black. I started sampling everything. The fries were lukewarm and rubbery, the lobster cake was burnt and salty, the fish was cold and rubbery, the shrimp was actually pretty good, but not fresh (it was definitely frozen at some point) and the cocktail sauce to go with it was mostly horseradish so I had to "ketchup" it down a bit, and then the coleslaw was warm. Five bites in and I was done.

Our waitress came to check on us and asked if I needed a box. I declined and she asked if it was good and I said no. She asked what wasn't good and I said "Everything". She immediately jumped to help. She offered a conversation with a manager which at first I refused then changed my mind. I read an article recently encouraging people to complain when something is terribly wrong at a restaurant. Most people don't, and then business drops off because most people would just rather not come back than complain about something. So I decided to inform the manager that there was a problem and what the problem was.

She listened with intent, and then offered us some compensation which was wonderful. We didn't mentioned Dave's chicken, just focusing on my dinner. The waitress was incredibly sweet and kept apologizing.

My recommendation is if you decide to patron this establishment, stick to alcohol. Their alcoholic drinks are marvelous. Skip the food.

1 nom.

Dave's 2 Cents:

I almost called Groupon and demanded my money back. How dare they promote themselves as the "best wings in town", what town? where? Baltimore?! hell F%#$ no!

I would have had a better experience if i dipped my leather wallet in BBQ sauce and tried to eat that.

I can't wrap my mind around the fact that they force you to only take 1 flavor per order, wither its 10-20 or 50. 1 sauce only. If you want 20, with 2 sauces, you have to order 2x 10 pieces, which rings up another $4-5.

Bill, If you advertise yourself as the best, #1 your food better live up to the name, and #2 offer some customer service and give us wiggle room.

Unless however your meat comes off a truck in frozen bags that includes the toss sauce, hmmm.

Folks, do not go here for wings. Your better off buying a frozen bag @ Sam's club and microwaving it for 30 mins.

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