And this is where things went south. As we watched the tables around us get served by no less than three servers, we waited. And tried to catch the eye of any one of the servers coming and going from our section. And waited. At this point, it was evident that we had not ordered, with several menus strewn across our table, but could not to catch the eye of anyone, including the three staff member standing behind the front counter chatting. After 25 minutes, I said, "Excuse me" to the server who had passed our table no less than five times by this point, and was ignored. I raised my voice significantly and said, "Excuse me, do you think we could order sometime? We've been waiting 25 minutes." After a quick glance, the server mumbled our server would be over. A few minutes later, the same fellow who sat us returned, apologizing profusely, saying he didn't know our server hadn't been by. He took our orders for pizzas and sodas and left.
The pizzas were delicious, as we have come to expect from Christos. We had several special requests (no sauce on half, build your own, and a kids pizza with the sauce on the side) and they got all of them correctly. The crust was chewy and thick, the sauce delicious and the cheese perfect. The only disappointment was the porcini mushrooms had a slimy texture and we ended up removing them.
Sadly, our real server (different than the fellow who took our order) or any other server never came back the entire time we were eating. And although the restaurant was much less crowded than when we came in, we weren't asked how our food was and our water and sodas were not refilled until we got our to-go box at the end of the meal. At one point, our server stood at the table next to us, less than a foot away, talking to the customers for about five minutes, while we tried to get any remaining beverage out of our glasses.
Upon looking at our check, we were charged an extra 50 cents for the sauce on the side of the pizza, as if we had ordered an extra side, instead of just taking the sauce from the pizza and putting it on the side. After waiting again for our server to come back, we finally went to the front desk. I asked the young lady who came to the counter if she could remove it and fortunately, she did.
One of the observations we made was it didn't seem like the servers had sections. In our area, there were maybe eight tables and there were at least three servers, plus the fellow who had to come take our order. And, if that is indeed the case, it makes sense why no one knew to help us - they may not have known who had our table. However, after seeing menus on a table for 25 minutes, one of the three servers should have asked if we had been helped.
Although the pizza was good, overall it was a disappointing evening. It's evident by the packed house that people love Christo's, and the pizza is excellent. But for me, customer service is as important as the food and for us, this level of customer service was not acceptable.
1108 Broadway St.
Salem, OR 97301