We have a pretty awesome neighbor who loaned us an air conditioner last summer when it was ohmygodImgonnamelt degrees outside and our air conditioner was dead and she mentioned a place she just heard about to my mom, so of course I asked if we could try it. (Thanks, Jennifer!) It’s called J Peters Grill and Bar and is in Mount Holly. They have several other locations in South Carolina and Georgia.
I have never posted a very critical review because I really don’t like to hurt peoples’ feelings and I really like it when everything is just awesome. So I need to tell you right now that this is a good review overall. I gave them 5’s on all five categories, BUT…there are a few things they need to improve on and Mom always says if you don’t get honest feedback, you don’t know what you need to improve on. So…this is the story all about how…hahaha no I am not going to sing Fresh Prince of Bel Air. But you thought I was for a minute, so I got you.
Well, my dad had his first Friday night off in a year so we decided to go for dinner last night. It was weird to have Dad home for dinner on a Friday night, but I like it.
So we rolled out in omygodImgonnafreeze degree weather to check it out. It’s only been open a few months or so but it was already pretty crowded at just after 5 PM. It’s right on the water on the Catawba River. It has a nice ramp to get in, but I took the stairs anyway because I need the exercise.
The first thing I noticed when we went in is that it is very loud. That loudness had a lot to do with everything that happened at dinner I think.
We did not have to wait for a table. We were asked if we wanted a table or a booth and we took a booth. Their booths are HUGE. It was me, Mom, Dad, and Spencer and we had plenty of room.
The first girl that came to our table asked us for our drink order. She didn’t tell us her name. We also ordered an appetizer. Honey-buttered croissants, which is part of what Mom wanted to check out when she saw their menu.
Another girl came back with the drinks and the croissants and took our order. She never introduced herself either but she was very nice and made sure to tell us what all was in a house salad, which was good because I can’t have eggs. Mom and I both ordered the 11 ounce sirloin medium rare and mom added fried shrimp. I got fries and she got their loaded mashed potatoes. Dad ordered the 14 ounce prime rib medium rare, also with the loaded mashed potatoes, and Spencer ordered the prime rib sandwich. I had to tell the server my order four times then Mom and Dad finally had to tell her for me because she just couldn’t hear me. My CP makes it hard for me to speak loudly and it was really loud in there. So if you are a quiet speaking person or hard of hearing, you might have some challenges here.
Ok, so those honey buttered croissants are DELICIOUS. Mom almost got me when I reached for the last one and Spencer and Dad were like “Have you lost your mind?” She was nice and let me have half of it. Mom really loves croissants. So do I. One of these days, we might fight over one.
Mom got busy doing things yesterday and didn’t get around to eating all day so she was REALLY hungry. She actually was probably hangry. If you don’t know what hangry is, you are lucky.
Our server came back a few minutes later and took the appetizer plates and said our salads would be right out. So we were all thinking “Cool. Salad. Then dinner. This is really good so far!”
A few minutes later, our server came back with salads. And our entrees. But the salads are pretty awesome. They mix ham and bacon and add almonds on top. And…they are served with another honey buttered croissant.
Well, ok. Not what we were expecting because we usually get salad, then our entrees, but ok. Not a big deal I guess.
Spencer’s sandwich looked AMAZING. Look at it. I mean wow. They definitely do not skimp on the meat. He said it was every bit as good as it looked and probably tasted even better than it looked.
My dinner looked pretty amazing, too (and it was!) The portions are on the huge end of the spectrum.
This is where things took an interesting turn. Mom is looking at Dad’s plate and says “That’s not prime rib.” Dad looks down and says “Oh, wow. Nope.” Mom cuts up my steak. Perfection. So then she cuts into hers. Medium well. Yeah not good. The server comes back a few minutes later. Mom says “Ok, sorry but we have just a couple little issues. My husband ordered the prime rib. That is a sirloin and I ordered medium rare and this is, well, not that.”
So…mom and dad are told to pull the dish with the mashed potatoes off and she takes the steaks and says they will correct it and the new plates will also have the loaded mashed potatoes, so yay for leftovers for tomorrow. They come back a few minutes later and have upgraded Dad to a 20 ounce prime rib (this is not on the menu) and it looked AHHHHHHHHHHMAZING. Dad was handed his plate and told this by someone we assume was a manager but didn’t introduce herself. She just handed mom her new steak without saying anything. Mom cut into her steak and…medium well. Again. Server comes back and Mom says “Thanks for fixing this so far. I really hate to be that person, but this is still medium well. Look at his (points at mine) and look at this. Not even close. His is perfect. This one, not so much.” She apologized all over herself again. Meanwhile, we have all nearly finished dinner. Poor mom who waited all day to eat has had croissants, salad, and a few bites of mashed potatoes. By this point mom had asked the server her name and gotten it. She really did go out of her way to try to make things nice for us.
Dad said it was really good prime rib and everyone agreed that the loaded mashed potatoes were crazy good and we are some very picky people about potatoes.
Now here is where it got really interesting. A man comes out with the server and presents mom her 3rd steak and asks if she is SURE it is right THIS time. He didn’t introduce himself either. Well, in all honesty, it was more on the very rare side but at this point mom was over it and really just wanted to eat her dinner and said it was fine. Mom felt like he had an attitude about it. He did kind of have a tone about it that was less than apologetic. Our server told us “Great news, we are going to give you all dessert since we got things so wrong.” Mom said the steak was pretty good after all that. But she was stuck on how a place that features steak could get it wrong not once, not twice, but three times.
The dessert we got is not exactly on the menu. They have three dessert items. One is “Strawberry Croissant Madness.” We got that but asked for no strawberries since me and mom can’t have them. It’s supposed to be deep fried croissants dusted with powdered sugar and topped with vanilla ice cream, strawberries and whipped cream. We got chocolate sauce instead of strawberries. It was ridiculously good. I didn’t even care that mom took a picture of me with whipped cream in my beard.
I will definitely order this dessert next time. Then go lie down on the couch.
When our server brought us our check, she told us that they were charging dad the price for the sirloin instead of the prime rib, so that was pretty cool considering our adventure.
So here is my rating, despite the things that happened:
- Space and accessibility – 5 It’s a really nice place, they have ramps in front and in back and inside the layout is easy to get around in. You’d have no issues in a wheelchair here at all.
- Sanitation – 5 Everything was very clean.
- Friendliness of staff – 5 Our server Kenzie (not sure if I spelled it right or not) was really nice and really went out of her way to try to make up for the things that went wrong.
- Service time – 5 Surprisingly fast aside the wrong orders, but their timing with the courses could be better.
- Overall taste – 5 Despite the mix ups, really good food.
- Bang for your buck – 5 Prices weren’t bad for steak/seafood American cuisine and at the price range they are at, the portions are huge. NOTE – they do not have a different lunch menu so the menu items, portions and prices are the same for lunch and dinner except that you cannot get a baked potato before 4 PM.
I should probably tell you right now that my mom worked in the restaurant industry for years before she became a Borg and got into technology and I grew up hearing all about it. She worked as a server, a bartender, a manager, and even got in the kitchen on more than one occasion, and she trained servers and bartenders, so she has some insider knowledge on how things work and what likely went wrong when things don’t work. So when she says something could be improved on, she usually knows what she is talking about. Mom says “Overall, J Peters is good, but they have a few areas they could work on.” She said servers should always introduce themselves, it’s just good manners and it also lets you know who to ask a hostess or other server for if you need them. I agree. Mom also said every restaurant she ever worked in, it was standard procedure for a manager to come to your table, introduce themselves, and tell you what they were going to do to make it right when they messed up. And usually that meant “comping” your meal or a portion of the check. Though the free dessert we got was pretty darn amazing and they did only charge dad for sirloin instead of prime rib. Mom said it was pretty obvious to her they had some “green” staff that just needed more training. Not a deal breaker, just something to know about. And our server did do her best to fix every issue we had, so there is that. Not at all uncommon in a new restaurant. Great restaurants take feedback like this and work the kinks out. So we will see what they do with our input.
I think my mom’s input on the issues we experienced is right.
We’re definitely going to try them again. The food was worth giving it another shot.
They have some really nice menu selections and they are priced comparable to Midtown Sundries or Outback and the portions are huge. The food itself is pretty darn good. But they do have a few wrinkles to iron out with some service and training issues. We’ll see how things are next time I go and mom said I should do an update when I do. So I will.
– the dude