When we entered there were 2 staff members and a customer at the bar. The TV at the bar was tuned to Fox News. As my SO & I sat the chef (we assume from the chef's jacket) left the bar area and went towards the kitchen. There was only one waitress and she was chatting loudly with the other customer about the controversy about the "mosque" being built at Ground Zero. I didn't care to hear her opinion about it one way or the other (I don't care where they build and I live in NYC) but because she was practically yelling and the restaurant was otherwise empty I couldn't avoid hearing her.
I shook this off though because it's my b-day and I was determined to stay happy and care-free. And even at work she's allowed to have an opinion so whatever. It's not like she was arguing with me or anything. The reason I include this is to highlight that it was a little off-putting at the get-go when we arrived.
The lunch menu was a little limited but we ordered our food and drinks and the drinks arrived in a timely manner. As we were waiting for our food 3 other parties arrived (so the 1 waitress had a total of 5 parties to attend to.) When our food came out I was disappointed to realize my burger was one of those frozen type burgers that are pre-formed into patties at the grocery store. But as this was suppose to be a cajun restaurant and not a burger joint I shook it off, took some bites and mostly ate the potato salad and coleslaw that were actually good.
None of this is what I consider the bad service. Since I was dissatisfied with my food I reached over to my SO's plate to grab some of his. He loves cajun food and ordered puff shrimp with scallops and crawfish in an oyster sauce. Clearly, I'm thinking, this has to be good stuff since it's kinda their thing, right? WRONG.
I took a bite of shrimp and had swallowed it before I realized it tasted off because it was raw. I checked his plate and sure enough while one side of the shrimp I cut was pink the other side was gray. He checked the rest of the dish and the other shrimp were semi-raw. He checked the scallops and they semi-medium (as oppose to well done). The crawfish was cooked correctly but aside from the sauce being warm the dish was lukewarm at best (and the "meat" cold in the middle). We waited about five minutes for the waitress to come by (understandable as she seemed to be the only wait staff there & had other tables). He told her he wanted the seafood cooked well and she took it back to the kitchen. In the mean time he took some bites of my burger as I ate the potato salad.
When she took the plate back we could hear stuff being banged around and general raised voices coming from the kitchen but couldn't make out any of what was said. 5 minutes after she took the plate back my SO got his food back. The shrimp was mostly still raw and he realized that the shrimp was mostly unshelled but some had little legs on, like someone had started to clean it but forgot. The scallops were medium this time, still not well done. And again lukewarm at best. My SO, a cook believes they put it under a heat lamp rather than toss it back on the fire.
He became pretty disgusted at this point and said he didn't want it. So we called the waitress over and he told her that it was still cold. She offered to take it back and he said "it's not good, I don't want it." She asked if it was too fishy. (Um, it's a seafood dish why would he mind if it was too fish?) He re-iterated that it was still not good and I asked for the check please.
I was fully prepared to pay for our drinks, my burger and even his salad (which was part of the dish he ordered) but when she brought the check ($30) it included the dish that my SO didn't eat except for the bite of raw shrimp I took. We were pretty pissed but both determined not to let this spoil our day so I paid and we left.
I'm thinking of writing a letter to the restaurant but I believe the head chef is the owner, so I'm not sure it's worth it. I did leave a copy of this review on Yelp and Trip Advisor and that made me feel a little better.
TLDR: chef sends out cold, raw food twice; restaurant charges us for a meal we couldn't eat.
EDIT: the charge of the undercooked meal is more "poor_customer_service" to me than bad_service, you know? I think the true bad_service is sending out the food almost exactly the same the second time.