After my experience last night, I’m left with only one big question- why The Frog Pond won the weekly poll by such a large margin. I was joined by Whitney and Justin Catalano at The Frog Pond in Canadohta Lake around 7:45 on Monday night. As I walked to the door, there was a group of patrons leaving the restaurant who strongly urged me not to order the stuffed pepper special because the ground beef inside it was raw. Needless to say, that wasn’t a great start to our meal. We were seated on the back deck with a beautiful view of the sunset over the lake; little did we know that this would be the single best part of our experience. Our server brought us some menus and our drinks, but didn’t return to take our orders for close to fifteen minutes. The house specialties on the menu are marked with a small frog, so we figured those were good options to try. Whitney decided on the seafood trio, a side salad, and a cup of seafood chowder. Justin ordered the seafood platter, mashed potatoes, and a cup of the same soup. He was informed by the waitress that they were out of mashed potatoes and that Whitney was going to get the last cup of chowder. He then asked for a baked potato and a Caesar salad, only to find out that they were also out of Romaine lettuce. Understandably frustrated by this point, he inquired about the coleslaw, which they did still have. I decided to steer clear of seafood so we didn’t all order the same thing and I chose the house favorite, Prime Rib. I ordered a baked sweet potato and cottage cheese as sides.
Our sides came to the table first, but we then waited another ten minutes to eat them because our server never brought silverware. While we were eating, the table next to us sent back a stuffed pepper special because the ground beef inside them was indeed raw. I’ve never been so glad to pass on a restaurant’s daily special. We each finished the salad, coleslaw, and cottage cheese, which were all pretty standard, and after another 40 minutes of waiting and watching other tables get their food, we noticed our waitress walking toward us sans food and sporting a slightly nervous expression. She informed us that the kitchen had decided not to serve the entrees ordered by my dining companions because the seafood was two weeks old and had gone rancid. This should have been our cue to say “thank you” and leave for the night, but our growling stomachs were not prepared to skip dinner. Whitney and Justin were asked to choose something else from the menu and with most of the seafood options out of the question, they both ended up with the house favorite Prime Rib as well. The steaks came out rather quickly after the orders were placed, which was very odd. All three cuts were served at room temperature or colder and were full of inedible, cold, white fat. The few pieces that we were actually able to eat were far from “prime” and weren’t worth the extremely long wait, or the $16 per dish price tag.
Obviously it’s safe to say that this meal was a disaster. Before our check came to the table, I asked to speak with a manager about our experience and was told that she wouldn’t be in until Tuesday. After a few minutes, however, the waitress returned and I was told that the manager would be out to talk to me shortly. She did eventually make an appearance, and I couldn’t help but notice that she was the same woman I’d seen earlier having a cigarette only a few feet from our table, so, apparently, she had been there the whole night. I told her what the kitchen staff revealed to us about the seafood we’d ordered and the poor quality of the prime rib. She disappeared into the kitchen for a few minutes and returned to the table with an apology and our check. She then proceeded to take my $50, the full cost of all three of our dinners. At that point, I felt even more strongly that we should have left when they told us that the seafood in the cooler was rancid. I did talk to a few other people I know who have been to this restaurant before and they said they’ve had decent food there, but that service is consistently slow. As for my experience, I honestly can’t say that I recommend The Frog Pond or that I will be back to give it another try.
Until next time,
Andrew — Beard vs. Food