Hot Rods in Palestine, Texas? More Like a Hot er… Cold Mess!



Hot Rods in Palestine Texas 

So, off from work today, my wife asked if I would join her from lunch.  Of course, I said yes.  We decided to try out a new burger joint here in town called Hot Rods.  I had heard mixed reviews about the place, but had to try it for myself.  Afterall, it is a burger and I love burgers.  

We walked in and at first glance it appeared to me like they had a concept for a fifties style car themed type restaurant and got about half way and ran out of ideas.  Not sure about the need for the TV showing Lovebug movies.  Or for that matter, the oil drum sink and mechanic soap in the bathrooms.  Quite corny if you ask me..  

Now, about the food.  You walk up and place your order, there is a sign right there explaining how their fries are hand cut and fried to order along with their onion rings, so please allow 10 to 15 minutes extra for these items.  Not a big deal, I can wait for some fresh hand cut fries.  I placed our order,, a cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, fries, onion rings and two drinks, 22.78!!!!!!  Outrageous for a lunch for two if you ask me. I did not order the steak tartare thank you!  Anyway, we got our drinks, and sat down to wait for our food.  Well, only about two minutes elapsed and we had our food.  Hmmmmmm…thought we had fifteen minutes for fries and onion rings.  Now, back up to go over to the condiment bar for tomatoes, pickles, onions, jalapenos and rust colored lettuce.  I don’t know about any of you guys, but I don’t like to have to get up so many times to eat my lunch.  Finally, sitting down to indulge in my lunch I have to say I was sadly disappointed.  Burger ice cold and had the texture of 73/27 ground beef, now don’t know that for a fact, but 22.78 for lunch I should not even be questioning quality of beef.  Onion rings, tasty but luke warm at best.  Fries, limp, soggy and cold.  Wow, I really would not have minded waiting for some fresh cooked food, guys.  

I cannot see myself going back and spending that kind of money there again, when I have the likes of the Burger Bar and Chip’s here in town where I know I can get quality burgers for less money!!!  

Sadly, I must give Hot Rods a thumbs down.  I truly hope they can straighten some things out and turn it around.  Maybe, I will give it another try in the far far future.  


Switch Pizza: A Future Model of Business Failure

So, yesterday my sister-in-law took my son with her for the week leaving me and the wife alone to enjoy each other’s company!  And being a Saturday night I thought what a great opportunity to have “date night”!  I had been hearing for a week about this new brick oven pizzeria here in town called Switch, and how their gourmet pizzas, while a little pricier than the norm, were well worth it.  I checked out Yelp and saw a couple positive reviews and figured we should give it a try.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we pulled into the exit instead of entrance due to the lack of clear markings.  And, then my wife made the comment that our car might not be shiny enough for this place.  I just brushed it off thinking this is small town East Texas, we are country folk, how pretentious can it possibly be?  After all, I have cooked in Austin where you can walk into some of the finest places in shorts and nobody thinks anything of it.  Or, at least nobody makes you feel uncomfortable about it.  Anyway, we walked in and from the moment we did I could tell my wife was uncomfortable.  This was not what you expect from Brick Oven Pizzeria.  Instead of feeling a warm and welcoming atmosphere it was cold and sterile and filled with every trendy cliche’ you could throw in a restaurant these days!  High polished granite bar top, non-matching art deco lighting, rafters looking like some sort of high glossed reclaimed wood and those type of bar stools that are not only uncomfortable and weird looking, but you just can’t figure out how the hell you should sit in them.  The four-seater bar was right in your face as soon as you walk in. If I were there only for cocktails, I would hate it!

Despite all that, we put our names on the list.  There were two names in front of us and we were quoted fifteen minutes.  No problem at all!  The two parties in front of us were sat and as we waited I could not help but observe an open two top and four top staring me right in the face.  I just brushed it off figuring it was not that servers turn in the rotation or something.  As we waited, a few more parties arrived and put their names on the list and two women who just came and sat at the bar and ordered wine.  They were enjoying themselves when along came either one of the managers or owner who apparently knew them and said hi while pouring himself a rather large draft beer.  Now, I am not sure how you run your business, but if it were me and my new restaurant I might try to stay sober!  Next thing I know the three parties that had arrived after us, including those two ladies, were sat in front of us!

It was at this point that we were informed it would be another thirty minutes before we were sat because the kitchen was behind.  Kitchen behind?  I looked back and saw three “chefs” standing around doing absolutely nothing!  I shared my opinion of the situation with the hostess and left in disgust!

Now, Switch owners, allow me to enlighten you on something.  You might think that you are some kind of upscale specialty restaurant that is going to cater only to a certain type of people; however, you are in the wrong town for that.  You are in Palestine, TX, small town USA, and you can ill afford to alienate people here or else word of mouth will soon find you getting slower and slower.  The one percenters will keep you afloat for awhile but they can only eat there so many times before they start looking for something else.  Wake up and smell the oregano people!!  Or your ovens will soon be Switched OFF!!!!!