Top 5: Comments that irk local restaurateurs

Lenny Russo.jpg
Consider this the appendix to this week's Dish column about how restaurateurs are reacting to the proliferation of anonymous online reviews.

I've pulled a few of the posts referenced in the article from Yelp and Citysearch and republished them here. Decide for yourself if you think they're fair.

1. Heartland
I look at the menu, it is twice the price of my favorite restaurant , however there is a bountiful list of food listed on each item. We splurge, we take the three course meal. The waitress will substitute ice cream for the third course, since I have food problems. Now, where I come from, bread is served with every meal. So the joke of a bad meal is that you have to live on the bread. Well, at Heartland you have live on the bread, which is served first and I can't eat. Then came an appetizer the size of a quarter (I am not joking), served on a big plate. Oh that is just complimentary. The real appetizer comes next, a 3-4 inch diameter of food on a big plate, about 1/4 of what I would expect. It was good, or maybe I was just very hungry. Then the main course comes out, 4 thin slices of lamb hiding a tiny tiny amount of potatoes and carrots. I ask the waitress if I could have more potatoes and carrots, she says there would be a surcharge. I decline. It was good, or maybe I was just very hungry. Even in Europe I had more of a serving for lunch. Then desert came, four small scoops of ice cream. It was good, or maybe I was just very hungry. I think I could have gotten more food walking around the taste testers at Sam's club. My husband was there, or I would have gone begging to kitchen. "Please, just a bit more food, I am very hungry". -thegracekelly

2. Sea Salt

So DIRTY...need to clean it up!

I love the food at Sea Salt but it really needs a good hosing down. I've been there several times in the last few months and it keeps getting worse. The sidewalks are greasy and the floors inside dirty/dirt in the corners. Once even complete with a dead plant at the cash register.

Over Memorial weekend the tables and chairs were filthy, ice cream was all over the arms of my chair and cocktail sauce all over the table. I had to find someone to clean it up. All the while I see the yoga pants-ed owner as usual lounging with friends.

Not to mention they have to get rid of all the cheesy trophy's and bad framed photos strewn about with no rhyme or reason. Not that it has to be some Parasole/Phil Roberts concept, but seriously?

All the business they get you'd think they could afford to hire a good cleaning crew. Maybe they are just getting lazy or cocky but no matter how good your food is it can ruin your appetite when the atmosphere is disgusting. -Frankie G.

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I've been to Heartland a couple times, and I've learned that it's best to split an app and order a la carte off the entree menu. The tasting menu will leave you a bit hungry. Tasty, for sure, but small courses. That said, the person reviewing was clearly not an informed diner. Meritage is great, and I've had perfect service there every time. The food has always come out in a reasonable timeframe. And what can you say about the woman with the baby? Her entitled attitude speaks for itself. I'd ask her to be quiet if I was dining next to her. To feign being insulted? That's rich.


Heartland is great!  The food there is amazing, but I agree portions are way too small for the prices.  Hopefully Lenny can get more out of the food and less focused on profit?


Sea Salt over rated...


This is why you need to take everything on Yelp with a grain of salt. Not familiar with Heartland, but seems to me that the person didn't understand what to expect from the restaurant. I don't know if that's their fault, or the restaurant's fault for not ensuring they understand expectations. Sea Salt? It's a dressed up concession stand in the middle of Minnehaha Park. There is, on any given nice day, a line OUT THE DOOR for food, and at least an hour wait for your food once ordered. This is part of the experience, and when we go, we plan accordingly. Get a big pitcher of beer and go out to enjoy the weather, music and conversation. Dirt on the floor is BECAUSE IT'S A PARK. Sounds like this diner was looking for something to complain about. Meritage? Who friggin' brings an infant to a fine dining restaurant? And furthermore, who expects to be done with their dinner in an hour at a place like that? It ain't Applebees. Everyone loves babies, but as a sane and rational parent, YOU should have taken responsibility for the entertainment and comfort of your child. Dragging your baby along to Meritage doesn't make you a good, helicopter parent. It makes you an ignorant parent who is selfish enough to have not hired a babysitter. 


Basically, Yelp is now considered the first line of defense for customers, and really, you need to try to have the business resolve the issue first. Bitching later is bad form. 

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