The Drunken Cook Preview

I've been patiently waiting for the open sign to be plugged in and turned on at The Drunken Cook's restaurant at 1555 12th Street. Fortunately, daughter Lise and I were lucky enough to be making a stop at Santiam Wine Co., when we noticed they were open.

We enjoyed our food, a little conversation with the chef/owner and the eclectic collection of family memorabilia on the walls and chairs around the tables.
Stop in and give their Italian family style dinners a try.

Fri-Sat @ 5pm – 11:00pmTues-Thurs @ 5pm – 9:00pm
Closed: Sunday and Mondays
503/581-7400
Website

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say our party was very dissapointed in our dinner at Drunken Cook. Over an hour wait for main course. Soup was tastless and , they ran out of bread,our main dish portion was very small.Not worth 14$$.

KandN said...

Anon, Too bad about your first experience It's one of the reasons why EatSalem only previews new places. It takes time to work out the kinks and find a rhythm. Your feedback is important to them. Including a few more details (like time of day) might help even more.

Anonymous said...

Try to be constructive, how would you have handle the rush (I was there Sat. evening)...or could you have?

Anonymous said...

In response to KandN's response to anon...True it might take time to work out kinks and find a rhythm, but we believe this should be applied to service only, not the food itself. A new business needs to perfect what they will be serving BEFORE opening up to the public.

Doug Gabbard said...

Asking a customer to play the role of consultant does not seem constructive.

DeeDeeDiner said...

Not sure what happened to my first reply but will try again...

I may be misinterpreting the gist of Karla's enquiry, but experienced restaurateurs typically do one of several things to smooth over disappointment such as that described by Anon of 10/13:
1. Apologize profusely to the customer for the inconvenience
2. Give free food and/or drink
3. Pass out a small gift certificate to ensure a return visit and hopefully better second experience.

Yes, it impacts their bottom line, but the advantage of generating good will far outweighs the bitterness of an unsatisfactory first visit.

I agree with Anon of 10/16 that in a perfect world the food will be ready from the get-go. We all have encountered times it doesn't work out that way. It's actually one of the reasons I typically wait for a couple of months before making my first foray.

My $00.02.
DDD

KandN said...

DDD, Going back over my previous comment, I see that I forgot to say, tell them while you're there so they can attempt to make things right. Though I have no idea if anonymous did that or not.

I know I've been guilty of not bothering to say anything when something isn't right. And why not? If we can tell our friends we had a lousy experience, the least we can do is tell the restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Glad to know we were not the only ones! We ate there Tuesday, Oct 30th. Got there at 5:10 and there were 3 tables with a total of 7 people in the restaurant. Didn't want wine, asked about iced tea, which they don't have (?--even McD's has iced tea)) so ordered soda which came in a can! So, clearly no refills. Minestrone was tasteless and barely lukewarm. Bread came with no butter or olive oil till we asked for it. We were asked if we were done with our soup and then the dirty dishes were left for another 15 minutes. At 6:15 we still did not have our meal, asked why it was taking so long and were told by the chef that he forgot to roast the eggplant and it was taking longer than expected So, why not saute it? I told them they would never make it if they ever got busy because people aren't going to wait 2 hours for a pasta dish (and a $14.00 meal on top of it!). Pasta when arrived was a ridiculously small amount for the money, my pasta had canned tomatoes, raw garlic and some basil--missing the flavor, a few chili flakes and fresh tomatoes would have helped. 2/3 way through the meal we were asked if we wanted cheese. I told her that would have been nice at the beginning of the meal. We were promised free desserts to "make up" for the inconvenience and we both ordered Tiramisu to go since we were there for so long. They charge $6.00 for their dessert and they clearly took one order and split it into two containers for us. If they charge $6.00 for the sliver we each got, then they are truly delusional as to what they charge. It was also dried out and awful and we threw it out. We'll stick to spaghetti warehouse where for $11.00 ( $9.00 for seniors)you get a nice bowl of soup or a large salad, hot bread with garlic butter and enough pasta to have for the next days lunch. And they have iced tea or even an Arnold Palmer! I got the feeling with Drunken Cook that they woke up one morning and said, Let's open a restaurant. No experience evident! Too bad, we were hoping for a good neighborhood restaurant.

Anonymous said...

I am very sorry, but the name they chose for this place rather turns me off anyway, but after reading these reviews, I doubt that I will even give it a try.......

Anonymous said...

Hello Everyone: We are contacting you to let you know that the official web page of "The Drunken Cook" has been updated with a new tab for the up-coming month menu.
In addition we have made some changes to our staff. We have added two more members. One to help in the kitchen cooking and the other on the dining room floor; host/ busser.
We were not expecting the response we received in Salem. So we were under staffed for the volume we are now doing. The good thing is that this is an easy fix which has been done.
We want to thank you for your understanding and patience and we will see you next time.
Thank you:
The Drunken Cook

Lisa Anne said...

I really liked the food and the chef was very friendly! I'm sorry a few people had bad experiences so far. Fortunately, I'm not one of those people. The pasta primavera was delicious and hot! Love garlic and veggies!!! It seemed to be the right amount to me. I hate places that try to make up for the bad quality by giving you enough food for 4 dinners. The quality of this pasta was so good, the quantity was just right to fill me up. The servers were just learning the ropes so I'll give them a little time before I critique them. (you can read between the lines if you wish)

Anon. Nov 1: In response to your canned tomato comment...I think that is a personal preference. The best (authentic) italian places I've been to used stewed tomatoes for many of their sauces. Its not canned, its stewed and peeled. They are so yummy! Raw tomatoes are only used for a few italian recipes I've seen.

Anonymous said...

Do they only have vegetarian dishes? I don't see any meat listed in any of the menu options on their website? I will never get my hubbie to go there if this is the case....

KandN said...

Just checked their online menu. I spotted meat balls, salmon and bacon and didn't read the entire entry.

Anonymous said...

Lisa Anne--with all due respect, I have cooked enough years (and I am very good at it) to know the difference between stewed tomatoes, raw tomatoes and canned. Trust me, these were canned tomatoes, runny juice and little flavor. I am happy to hear that they have added more staff. I always try to give new places some time to find their footing, but still feel they are incredibly overpriced for what they offer and it will be a long time till we try them again. Perhaps it might be smarter to have two price points, one with wine and one for that ridiculous canned soda. I am happy you enjoyed your experience. Like I said, I like to support new businesses so i hope they get it all figured out.

Lisa Anne said...

Apologies Anonymous, it was unclear that you were a seasoned cook. Anyway, some of the best stewed tomatoes I've had were canned and from Italy. So it's hard to say these days.