Original Yelp review of Duffy’s Ale House

01 Jun
June 1, 2010

I recently re-reviewed Duffy’s after I had a chance to revisit and had a much better experience. Kudos to John Scott for taking the initiative to call me and invite me back!

My two reviews were longer than Yelp would allow but I wanted to keep them original review available, just in case-

Original yelp review, 1 star, from 4/21/2010-

My trip here all started with a facebook post from these guys- “Menu Item of the Day,” Wednesday, April 21: Open-Faced Steak Sandwich with Rosemary Au Jus and Bleu Cheese Cream Sauce. Available at Duffy’s Ale House. Come by for lunch!!- They also had a snapshot of the sandwich.

I figured that it was as good a day as any to make my first voyage down to the new spot in downtown Reno. Arrived with a friend at about 11:30, they had construction going on in front, a guy on a ladder in the dining room and no customers inside so we asked if they were open for lunch. One of the three girls at the front answered yes, then they all seemed a little confused about what to do next.

We were seated at a two top table and ordered an iced tea and a 20 oz. draft root beer. Our server said that they only had bottles of the root beer, same brand though, no worries. I already knew what I was having from the FB post, my friend decided on their Fish and Chips Sliders.

The server brought our drinks- one tall glass full of ice and a bottle of root beer (the cap was still on and she pointed out that it was a twist off……) and a tall glass of tea, not iced tea, just tea with no ice that was just a touch below room temp. Seemed obvious to me that the tea had been sitting in the pitcher for quite a bit, a taste confirmed it was quite watered down as well.

So we order the steak sando medium rare($13) and fish & chips sliders($14) and I asked if fries came with my sandwich. “Nope, just the sandwich” —Here’s a hint, that would have been the perfect time to upsell me a side of fries!!!– Okie Dokie……

As we sat and waited for the food we counted 14 employees. 2 girls chatting at the front door, our server walking around nervously, 3 servers standing at the door to the kitchen eating, 4 guys doing circles in the kitchen, a lady dancing behind the bar and what I assume were busboys sweeping up the floor- right in the middle of the dining room.

Our server checked with us about every 2 minutes and I’m fairly sure she walked away saying “sorry!” EVERY TIME. We had waited about 15 minutes for our food when the server filled my tea out of the same room temp pitcher as before and brought my friend another root beer on the house- “sorry!”

Food arrives and looks decent. My sandwich was served on a wooden cutting board with steak knife, thought that was a nice touch. The fish and chips were served in a big bowl with fries scattered around three sliders.

My sandwich was served open faced so it was a knife and fork meal. The steak tasted like a pre-marinated, straight from the warehouse special and cooked a little over medium, the bleu cheese sauce came right out of a bag with crumbles of poor quality cheese on top, rosemary au jus had a very processed taste but the grilled onions were good! Imagine this- get a steak TV dinner, toast some white bread and serve it all on a sweaty sock…..that bleu cheese was funky!

I didn’t try my friend’s meal but when asked I got “It kinda weird” and “it’s okay, I’m not impressed. Keep in mind that he isn’t a foodie and, no offense to him, he is more than happy with average food.

We both finished our meal out of hunger and no desire to go somewhere else. We got our check, $36 and change for two poor lunches, warm iced tea and a couple of root beers. When the server brought the check she pointed out that she included a two for one coupon and apologized again. Needless to say we left the coupon, wouldn’t go back if it was free.

Overall I think our server knew that things weren’t right but didn’t know what to do. Everyone else seemed clueless regarding service, appearance, attitude, etc. and it’s obvious that they have no talent in the kitchen based on the quality of the food.

I wish I could say that I had a better experience. After all, this is part of the new project that will “revitalize” downtown and supposed to be a tourist attraction. All I can hope is that they turn the place around because event though I know that I’m critical I feel that not many people would have good things to say after a meal there…