First and foremost, let me say that it is not often that we visit chain restaurants, let alone blog about them, but our experience here was so weird, and such a trip back in time, that I thought it was worth writing about it.
The night started as we had to take a ride across the Route 1 bridge into PA to get some Halloween props that we could only find at one store. Afterwards, we figured we’d go for a little drive since we had never been in this area, and figured we’d find something to eat somewhere. I remembered this Cheeseburger in Paradise was by the mall, and just joking, I threw it out there for Zelda to contemplate. Surprisingly, she was game, so being the burger connoisseur that I am, I figured why not.
So we get rock star parking in the lot, and walk in, and there was a young girl working the hostess stand. She’s working hard on something, and says hello without even looking up to acknowledge us. Next a girl comes up and starts rattling off table numbers to the other girl, who then grabs some menu’s and starts walking. About 5 steps later she asks us to follow her. Weird!
She must have had a specific table in mind for us, as we walked past 10 or so open tables en route to our destination. When we get there however, the table was just being bussed, so we stood there and waited while they cleared the dishes, and wiped down the table. OK, so we’re sitting, but what the heck was this all about? What was wrong with the 10 other tables that they passed on the way to this one? Or maybe it was our servers turn next, and we had to sit in her section. From the looks of it however, they were not broken up into sections, and each server had tables scattered around the entire restaurant, which I also thought was weird.
Regardless, our server came over, and she was very nice, and very young. She asked if we had ever been here before, and we said now, and she gave us a nice welcome and immediately took our drink orders. I went for the Paradise Beach ale that is made for them, and went with the 14 ouncer –vs- the 22 ounce pour. Zelda opted for a Tanqueray and tonic.
From here we perused the menu for about 5 minutes. Both of us thinking we were coming here for burgers, and my mind was pretty well set. The table next to us had their food brought out, and I saw the bacon cheeseburger, and it really didn’t look all that appealing. They also had a plate of sliders, which did however look delicious, so my mind was set. 10 minutes after their food came out, another guy showed up at their table to eat the sliders. By this point, they had to be pretty cold. But where was this guy? Where did he come from? Very strange! He actually looked like he just woke up. Maybe he was at home napping and they didn’t want to wake him when they left for dinner?
A few minutes later, our server came back and told us that the bar was backed up, but our drinks were coming. In the meantime, we went ahead and ordered. Zelda going for the turkey sliders with pressed, which meant they were served with Velveeta cheese (YUM), salsa ketchup, pickles, and mayo. I ended up going the mini cheeseburger route, which had cheese, onions, and pickles.
About 5 minutes later our drinks came out. Thankfully, the “bar rush” must be over. In looking at the restaurant, the place wasn’t even ¼ of the way full, so obviously the bartender is not working effectively. In all actuality, it looked like there were maybe 4 people sitting at the bar, but I am sure this bartender was doing all the drinks for the entire restaurant. That said, we’ll let it slide.
As we sat waiting for our food, we did some people watching. Let me tell ya that this is a great place to people watch. Is this the land before time over here? The extremely young couple next to us was going through a contract of sorts, and talking about down payments. I think it was from a furniture store, so maybe they just got their first apartment or bought their first house, and are getting ready to finance some new furniture. I remember those days, and it was a very exciting time.
Meanwhile, the table with the guy that just woke up is scarfing down their burgers, as they talk with their mouths open. The guy that just woke up is making a spectacle as he jokingly stuff the sliders in his mouth whole, one after another. The table on the other side of us, a group of cougars talks about heading to a “club” called Michael’s, and they then talk about their plans for the young men they plan on picking up tonight. Good lord we are in the twilight zone! Did we leave civilization and go to Pennsytucky? Can’t be! We’re just 15 minutes from Princeton! God helps us!
Anyway, the manager, who couldn’t be a day over 23 brought our food out, and we were ready to eat. Our server came over and asked if we needed anything, and we stated that we just needed the world famous cheese that we asked for with the fries, and I needed silverware and napkins. Out came the cheese, and out came the napkins. I really didn’t need any silverware anyway considering the cuisine.
Zelda’s turkey burgers were tasty, and mine, although a bit overcooked had good flavors to them. The fries were warm, but could have been hotter and crispier. But even so, they were nicely seasoned, and the cheese for them was delicious. Would I go out of my way to eat here? Absolutely not, but it was better than some places we’ve visited, but that doesn’t say much.
I had finished eating, and our server came over to take my plate. She asked if I was finish and said yes, she then asked if she could take the cheese from the fries, to which I replied no as Zelda still had a plate full of fries, and a slider and a half to finish. She then asked if she could bring us dessert, to which I replied no, and she then said she would bring our check. OK, what’s going on here? Zelda’s not even done eating yet, still has 1/3 of her food on the plate, and she’s already bring us the check? Call me temperamental, but that is a bit rude.
Our check came over, and for $26 and change with a drink each, it wasn’t a bad deal. I throw my card in the book, stand it up on the table, and she comes and takes it a few minutes later. She runs the card, brings it back, and tells us to have a good evening. Easy enough. I open up the book to sign it, and what do you know, there is no pen to sign the credit card slip. Does she not want to get paid here? Thankfully, Zelda had a pen in her purse, and we’re on our way. We go to leave, and there is nobody at the front of the restaurant, and off we go.
Again, maybe I am used to having good service. Maybe this is just the norm in chain restaurants? Or maybe I am just a big fat @$$#*!&…I don’t know, but it was a weird experience, and worth mentioning. Cheers!
750 Middletown Blvd
Located at the Oxford Valley Mall
Phone: (215) 757-3179