SF Tony Avatar

Restaurant:  Raymond’s

Address: 28 Church St. Montclair, NJ

Food:  High End Diner

Price:  Above Average

Portions:  Average

Taste:  Great

Service:  Problematic

Atmosphere:  Old Fashioned

I was up north visiting some family when we stopped into Raymond’s during lunch.  My in-law’s know how to pick a good place.  Raymond’s has a classic diner feel, although the inside of the old building looked more like an old soda shop.  Montclair has gone all gentrified and hipster, thus the clientele were pretty young.  I decided on a cheeseburger, fries and salad.  The Missus got a Cubano and all the food was top notch, delicious.  They’ve got some good chefs in the back to be sure.  The price was a little higher, but what do you expect?  It’s Montclair.  The problem was the service.

Our waitress just couldn’t get it together.  She brought us lukewarm water with no ice.  Then we asked for ice and she became kind of rattled and scrambled to go get some.  Now, in her defense, it was pretty busy.  She had another table full of people, but still—  When you screw up the water, it’s a bad sign.  She finally took our orders.  I asked, “Can I have a side salad?”  She said something that they really don’t have side salads, but they could do some greens.  I said, “Fine, I’ll have that AND the fries.”  The plan was, the four of us were going to share the fries.

Naturally, when a second waiter brought us food, I got no fries.  I asked the second waiter, then the first waitress came back.  “Is there a problem?”  “Yeah, I wanted fries.”  “You said you wanted salad.”  “Yeah, WITH the fries.”  “Well, I have to charge you extra.”  “Yeah, sure.  Fine.”  Heavens to Betsy the fries come out and I won’t pay for the fifty cents worth of fried potato.  Are people in Montclair that cheap that it’s a constant problem?  We got the distinct impression the rest of the wait staff was covering for her.  There were a few other mistakes and she just took forever.  My father in-law generously tipped her 20%, but I wouldn’t have gone higher than 10%.  That woman clearly is new or doesn’t want to be a waitress.

Raymond’s is great as long as you don’t get our server.  I give it 7 out of 10 keggers.