Characters Quarters

13 Nov

Rating: 5 Fingers

Worth every myocardial infarction

I’ve been to this joint before. My first visit was a chance encounter; I was meeting a friend in Raleigh and this was a half way point. The thing that brought me back was a monstrosity called “The Characters Grilled Cheese Burger.” The main draw of this burger being, if you hadn’t already guessed, they exchange two grilled cheese sandwiches in place of the standard kaiser roll buns. It’s something I don’t treat myself to often, so when I do I get very excited about it. When my buddy decided to go to a hockey game my immediate reaction was to sing “Characters Quarters” over and over in my most childish voice. They have $6 pitchers of domestics on Sundays so my demands were met with minimal resistance. So over the river and through the woods, to the artery clogging restaurant we go…

One of the first things you generally notice are all the waitresses dressed up as characters, but since it was Sunday the uniform was football jerseys and booty shorts. The waitress came over and took our drink order, and I offered up our food orders as well. I ordered the Characters Grilled Cheese Burger while my friend got the Crispy Chicken Tenders. The waitress leaves, returns with beer, leaves, and after a reasonable amount of time returns with our food.

And this is is where the review will take a nosedive.

I’m saying the waitress returned with our food, but what  I mean is she returned with some food. I took one glance at the burger and noticed it was without the grilled cheese buns. I pointed this out and the waitress whisked it away to presumably sort out the issue. When she returned she informed me that there are two “Characters Burgers” and she thought I wanted the other one. She also proceeded to explain that I need to specify when I’m ordering to avoid confusion. And then apologized for it being her fault. Which sent me into full on asshole mode. Before she lectured me on how to order, I was freaking out to my friend. I was wondering if I ordered wrong (I didn’t) and since I have worked in restaurants I know how awful bosses can be about mistakes so I genuinely felt for her. After the lecture, I was beyond pissed. She was right, there are indeed two different burgers; the “Character Burger” and the “Character Grilled Cheese Burger.” Notice the difference in length, and the fact that only one has the word cheese in it’s title. So either I

  • Mistakenly ordered the Characters Cheese Burger, in which case she should have checked that I meant one or the other since they are so close in name and would technically not be the menu name of either (my friend verified I ordered correctly so this isn’t the case)
  • Ordered correctly and the waitress thought/mis-wrote Characters Burger or didn’t know that they were separate menu items, in which case the mistake was hers and my ordering had nothing to do with why I didn’t get my correct burger
  • Ordered correctly and the waitress just wasn’t listening or was otherwise distracted
None of this would have been a problem if the waitress hadn’t spent 5 minutes laying blame at my feet followed by a cover-up “but it was my fault” at the end. I’m pissed but I munch on my friend’s chicken tenders while I’m waiting. They appear to be hand made and man are they tasty. I forgot to get a picture, but think Hardees Chicken Tenders, except not shitty. I get my food shortly after and damn does it look good.

The burger is every bit of awesome that it appears to be. The grilled cheese buns are cooked to buttery perfection, the beef is medium, the fries crispy, and the pickle…… pickley. I think the fries were frozen: I don’t care. I actually prefer mediocre frozen fries to mediocre fresh fries. Shows my superior taste level and refined palate. I decided I was in more of a ranch mood than ketchup for fry dipping purposes, so I wait for our waitress to come back over for the customary “How is everything?” check up. And wait. And wait. I sat and waited for at least 15 minutes before I was able to flag her down to request my ranch. What the fuck?! Am I being punished for her mess up of my order?! She had officially been upgraded to Dumb Bitch. Does she not realize that her tip is based on her customer service? Or is she willing to sacrifice her tip to defend her pride? Whatever the reason for my being grounded from service, I was over it. Once I got my ranch (and another pitcher of beer) I just wanted to chow down and leave. The ranch was amazing, identical to what I had previously at J. Michael’s.

We paid our tab; stupidly tipped the waitress 20% and left. I could lie and try to make a point by saying they’ve lost a customer for life and I’ll use this blog that no one reads as the ultimate vengeance, but it’s just not true. I’ve worked in food service to know everyone and every place have off nights. The food is really greasy and delicious, and I’ll blame this on bad luck. Please don’t make a fool of me for it CQ. I am forced to rate this place 5 fingers though, because that’s how many it would have taken to make a fist and punch that stupid waitress in the face.

Characters Quarters on Urbanspoon

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