Perkins Restaurant Review
||1871 Oakland Ave
Visited: Friday, May 18, 2007 for dinner
Pricing - Moderate
Relatively clean family oriented style and atmosphere. A few details stuck out to us, like the dust that was collecting on the back of each piece of lattice near the ceiling. The large dirty and open trash can in plain site of at least half of the dining room. There was also this old fashion street lamp top in the front corner planter that had an extremely bright light bulb in it. It was almost blinding and very distracting.
We were greeted and seated right away when we walked into the restaurant. Our waitress came by quickly to take our drink orders (a raspberry tea, an unsweetened tea and a vanilla milkshake), however never introduced herself. She did have a name tag though. After deciding what we would like to order and 7 minutes later, a different waitress came up and asked, "Would you like something to drink while you're waiting for your milkshake?" We thought this was very odd and we must have looked confused, because then she said, "Like water?" We were served our drinks by our waitress 2 minutes later.
We placed our food orders (Chocolate chip pancakes, Everything omelette and a Steak [medium rare] and shrimp combo) including our side dishes which there were plenty to choose from. We chose Wheat toast, extra crispy hash browns, caesar salad, baked potato. A mere 18 minutes later passed by when we were finally served our food.
After our plates were in front of us the waitress said, "I'll bring you a knife for your steak. Is there anything else?" I said that I would like the salad that I also ordered. "Oh yes, I'll bring that and your knife right away." She brought both my salad and my knife, so we could now eat. I don't know about any of you out there, but anytime that I've ever ordered a salad, except as the main course, I've always been served the salad as an appetizer. I guess that's not their policy at Perkins though. Oh well.
I'm now looking at my steak that was supposed to be medium rare, but looks like it was cooked yesterday and was heated up on a grill with a lead weight on top of it, because it was flatter then the pancakes that my son just received. I know that I don't need to cut into to it to see that it was very well done as opposed to done very well. I cut into it anyway with great effort to confirm my extra dry very, very well done steak. My first thought was an old joke that we used to say in the restaurant business, it goes like this... "Waiter, waiter, this steak tastes like old leather!" The waiter replies, "But that can't be sir. We just got that leather in yesterday."
Well, I've been served many a "not too medium rare" steak before, but this one was rediculous. I look for my waitress, but can't find her. The Manager was out on the floor (good), but I couldn't get his attention either. After a few minutes, my waitress serves food to the table next to us and then goes to leave. Luckily, because I read her name on her name tag earlier, I call out her name and got her attention. I asked her, "Do you remember how I ordered my steak?" She replied, "Hmmm..." and started leafing though her orders to find mine and then says, "Yes, medium rare." I said, "Yes. I'm not usually one to complain, but does this look even close to being medium rare to you?" "No, I'll get you another piece right away!" (I refrained from asking if I could have a whole new steak instead of just a piece)
Now I had my salad, a baked potato and 4 fried shrimp as an appetizer to eat while waiting for my steak. A few minutes later my waitress returned with a just off the grill steak that was cooked perfectly. She apologized again for the issue and asked if everything else was alright. The waitress was very attentive to us after bringing the second steak.
The Chocolate chip pancakes were very good according to my son. They had plenty of chocolate chips inside and were garnished with about 10 chocolate chips sprinkled on the top. It was served with 3 different varieties of syrup. (My son opted out of any side dishes, so none were served)
The Everything Omelette was of good size, but obviously just made on a flat grill and the ingredients just folded in. The "Extra crispy hashbrowns" were indeed extra crispy with a definitive taste of charred flatgrill.
The Caesar salad wasn't served until after I requested it after being served my meal without a steak knife. It also had very little dressing on it, but looked very good. It had fresh grated parmesan cheese on top and plenty of croutons. The medium rare steak (mentioned above) was obviously well overdone, flattened and completely dry. The replacement "piece" was served on a separate side plate, however was cooked properly, juicy and a flavorful as a sirloin steak gets. The fried shrimp (4 pieces) was hot and cooked well, but was obviously your typical institutionally prepared frozen shrimp bought in bulk packages. The baked potato was nice and hot with a fancy zig cut on the top, however the only things that they offer for toppings are sour cream and butter. Both of which were served in little plastic cups and only one tiny, little scoop which was enough for a new potato (the little tiny red potatos). The cocktail sauce was also served in a little plastic cup, but was enough for 3 times the 4 shrimp that I was served.
Perkins restaurant is a nice family oriented restaurant with moderate pricing and a nice bright atmosphere. Generally speaking, it is of good value and service, however a little more attention to some details would help the overall experience a good bit.
Unlike many restaurants, the open floor plan was very welcome and you never felt crowded by the other patrons. The glass solarium is a nice touch and fit in well with their planter scheme.
We would recommend Perkins to any family or anyone that would like a casual dining experience, however you would most likely want to look elsewhere if you wanted alcoholic beverages or a more intimate dining experience.