My 2 Cents

Here's my thoughts concerning Mama2Dylan's recent post about Christo's and the comments that followed.

I re-read the post and got through all of the comments. Serving customers is a tricky business and there is no exact way of doing it. The only thing that most customers expect is that the person who is taking orders and bringing food to the table is doing their best. The service that M2D got that afternoon, from her server, made the other problems at the restaurant seem worse. That is a very warm restaurant and if the server had been more attentive, they would have seen the customer's discomfort and made amends by being more efficient bringing out the food and the check. To fault M2D for being upset is absurd. Nothing in her review indicated that she went into this experience expecting to find problems. The problems came about when she experienced substandard service in a restaurant that had few customers.

To be upset that she wrote about her experience on this site instead of dealing with it privately is also not valid. M2D has reviewed lots of restaurants on here, both good and bad. If she had been pleased with her meal, I know she would have been raving about the experience. Her visit was written in the point of view of a regular customer and that information is valuable to other customers who are considering dining at that restaurant. I don't want to hear about how a celebrity gets treated when they dine out in Salem. I want to know what it'll be like for a regular Joe/Jill because that's how I'll be treated when I go there.

It was also unfair to call her a liar before knowing the facts. There's a phrase, "the customer is always right." If customers are treated with that thought in mind, many of the problems that M2D experienced would have been avoided. What wound up happening here, is that the restaurant, in trying to defend themselves, alienated their customer.

I know that everyone is wanting to be optimistic about the Salem dining scene, I want to be too, but if we ignore the problems and focus only on the positives, that is doing a disservice to community in the long run. We can't fix our problems if people don't know what they are.

With all that being said, Christo's is a great restaurant. They have reviewed well in the past at the new location and their old location. It's tricky moving to a new location and it always takes some time to work out kinks in the system. I had lunch in their the other day and enjoyed my pizza very much. With a bigger restaurant like that it, is expected that service is stepped up.

Just remember that this site is people's opinions and everyone has a different one. M2D summed it up well in one of her comments where she said
"Eat Salem is meant to be a place where people can review Salem restaurants. So, whether you agree with my review or not it is simply that- my opinion and my review."
If you differ from the points of view posted here, you are more then welcome to express your own opinion. The more voices that contribute to the clearer the picture and more information we'll have about eating out in this town. Please continue to be civil and honest in the discussions, we are all in favor of seeing the dining scene in Salem succeed.


SeanL said...

I think the problem was the perceived tone of M2D's letter/review; it seemed a bit demeaning. More words were spent to elaborate small negativities (the salad bit, wait time, heat, etc.) than aspects she enjoyed. Some issues seemed understandable enough to not even be issues. A pizza will take over 20 minutes total - even if your order is first. Salads are made from scratch by someone occupied with many simultaneous tasks (and croƻtons are toasted throughout the day). Fresh food does take a while to prepare.

And yeah, it was only Christos's sixth day of being open to the public.

In my opinion, the letter just lacked understanding. That is all.

I completely agree with the service part, however.

Salem Dinner Table said...

Thank you Salem man for clarifying what I was trying to get across. While Christo’s has been serving Salem for many years and I’m sure they have given their customers a good dining experience, I just happened to have a bad experience. That doesn’t negate all the positives however. I was hoping that any mature potential customer would be able to discern that.

Eat Salem is meant to be a critics corner if you will. said it best 2 years ago in an article that launched this site; “Honesty is the policy, and that means that every restaurant in the Salem area that serves good food and service has something to look forward to. When local establishments offer outstanding quality chow with an attractive presentation and great customer service, then it will be a pleasure to rant and rave about how good they are.
Accordingly, those that offer food and service that are disappointing will also be justly described to readers.
With this new service (Eat Salem) teamed with, Salem area locals have an opportunity to apply a sort of cyber pressure on restaurants and help them in raising the bar when necessary.”

While a host of people did have a good experience during the soft opening weekend at Christo’s (by reservation only) I do equate that to how celebrity gets treated when they dine out in Salem because they knew exactly how many people to expect, staffed accordingly and had their Sunday best on.

I felt my complaints were valid and yes, I was trying to get across the point that "the customer is always right." And so unfortunately as a result Gino hit the nail on the head when he said, “What wound up happening here is that the restaurant, in trying to defend themselves (on this board), alienated their customer” that customer being me and my ability to not recommend them in the future.

Salem Dinner Table said...

Before writing a letter to the owners of Christos I checked on-line to see if they had a website. I was surprised to find that a restaurant that had been serving Salem for 12 years did not. I came across this article on-line entitled “Ten Reasons Why Every Business Needs a Website" I have to agree with the writer.

SeanL said...

Thanks for the link. We'll try to set up a website once all other issues have been dealt with, and once a solid menu is in place.

Sorry, again, if I seemed rude earlier. I get a bit defensive when I feel my livelihood is under attack. The place took so much work to establish, it's a shame all of that had to be overlooked because of bad service. I think it would have been better to wait for a reply to that letter, instead of posting it immediately online as a review. That is what really confused me, and gave the impression of an attack.

KandN said...

Hey Sean, Is it okay that I attached a copy of the old menu to the original Christo's review? If not, I can remove it or change it to something more up to date. Let me know . . .

SeanL said...

Well, we have a new menu with several new pizzas and items. The old menu, if posted to the old location's review, can stay if you'd like. It's the last remaining artifact from that place, besides the front counter my dad built 13 years ago... which still our front counter.

KandN said...

You sound nostalgic. I imagine I would be. It was a great little pizzeria.
The menu is looked at on a regular basis. I'm guessing it's customers wanting to make a phone order. I love the old menu, but want to be sure your customers are getting the correct info.

SeanL said...

Oh, it might be good to scan the new color menu then. There's a smaller take-out one too, but not as inclusive.

KandN said...

Okay! I'll stop by tomorrow to pick one up. Thanks! :>)

SeanL said...

Cool. Thanks for a refreshment of positivity :D

Anonymous said...

We've been to the new place twice and both times we've gotten great food and service.

I'm not sure what they are going to do on very hot days, but this place still remains a great restaurant.

Park your car (or preferably take a bus or bike), eat Pizza or pasta, check out a fine movie at the Salem cinema, and when that bakery and cafe open up, have some coffee and a pastry...or maybe have a drink at the Space or Boon's Treasury.

Christo's Pizzeria and Restaurant said...


This is a message endorsed by Christo's Pizzeria and Restaurant.

While SeanL is an employee of our company, any of the views and opinions he has earlier stated are NOT representative of Christos Pizzeria and Restaurant. We deeply regret and apologize for any rude comments that were made and would like to stress that they are in no way whatsoever what we consider good business.

We strive to provide the best service, food, and atmosphere that we can. Feedback from our guests is welcome and very helpful to us.

We would also like to thank you all for the support you have shown us in our opening weeks at our new location.

We understand this is a customer based review blog so we will not be replying to any posts. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to call us or stop by our new location. Thank you very much.

Christo’s Pizzeria and Restaurant
1108 Broadway NE

jeff said...

Ooooh, I think Mama just got upset with SeanL...

I think I've been in your location when it was an appliance repair (and furniture sales?) company.

Turning something like that into a restaurant takes a lot of guts.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Me thinkith Sean got upset with M2D which caused a ruckus. In his posts he even admits to and apologizes for being "rude" and "defensive”. He came across very unprofessional in trying to defend his family’s restaurants honor, especially when he publicly called M2D a LIAR. Sean also said, "mama2dylan, you called our restaurant asking me to publicly apologize, even though I already did." (My 2 Cents post; Apparently M2D called the restaurant, left a message for Sean's parents to call her so they could talk because the posts were getting downright dirty. They never returned her call although they state here, "If you have any questions or comments please feel free to call us or stop by our new location." More than a week after M2D called they finally posted their disclaimer here.

Anonymous said...

did she leave a number?

Salem Dinner Table said...

Yes, I most certainly did leave a number and a lengthy message where I was audibly upset. I never received a return call.

Dad-Do said...

I have been going there since they opened and regardless of service issues somebody had, the pizza is fantastic and the owners are really good folks. We had great service the last time we were there.

I highly recommend Christo's. The new location is fantastic. They did a great job remodeling it.

I like the fact they now have a bar area in the back to grab a glass of wine before a movie. That is just plain cool

Love the Magherita pie. The spinach salads are simple and fresh. Just right.

A nice cold beer, a salad and a tomato and basil pie. Ummmm...

Trust me - I am a certified pizza fanatic. I eat more pizza than just about anybody. I have had pizza all over the world. I selected a conference in New York instead of Seattle, just so I could roam the streets and get slices at my favorite shops (skip the provided conference lunch to walk two miles in 90 degrees for a slice)...etc.

Christo's is a treasure to have in town. One of my favorite places.

Mike R.

PS - good thing I haven't had lunch yet! I got hungry for pizza just thinking about it.

SeanL said...

M2D, I will email you my phone number if you really think there's anything more to discuss. My parents do not speak on my behalf, and they have much more important things worry about than an internet argument.

Or we could just move on with our lives, and you could stop by for dinner someday.