I found out I had something to celebrate for a few weeks ago. I accepted a new job with the company I had been a full time contractor for past 3 years at. It’s an exciting new opportunity and in celebration my best friend and boyfriend wanted to go get some dinner and drinks the day I officially accepted. We decided to head to Morris Tap and Grill in Randolph, NJ. It was a Thursday night which meant all night happy hour specials in their bar area of the restaurant.
I like to think that I provide honest opinions on my dining experiences, the good and the bad. While far more are good there are always a handful of not so impressive meals. I’ve been to Morris Tap and Grill in the past and had pleasant experiences. I actually once praised one of their burgers as being one of the best I have ever had. Unfortunately, my latest experience was not quite as exceptional.
We were lucky enough to grab a seat in the busy bar section upon arriving because another group was leaving. Our bartender/waiter came right over to take drink orders. I asked for a couple of extra minutes as I was a bit indecisive of what I wanted my congratulatory drink to be. We asked for our beverages and an order of calamari. Once we received our drinks the waiter walked away without taking the rest of our food order. About 15 minutes went by and the calamari had not yet arrived nor had the waiter ever returned. We had no water (which I suppose in the bar may not be automatic unless asked for) and our 1st drinks were near empty.
We were finally able to grab the attention of a different bartender/waiter and he was happy to take our orders and refill our glasses. He was animated; friendly and helped steer our menu choices in the right direction. I asked how the skirt steak dish is and he was honest and said it was tasty but, in his opinion, a bit chewy. I asked about their meatloaf sandwich as an alternative and he convinced me that it was the better dish. We put in our orders, asked for waters but did not mention the still missing calamari.
When 10 more minutes had passed without calamari we finally caved into asking where it was. We found out that the order was never placed. They were able to rush a plate out to us shortly after that. While finishing our late appetizer off our main courses arrived. The only issue, mine was the skirt steak that I specifically had said I no longer wanted. I received an apology and the meatloaf sandwich arrived a few minutes later.
Overall, the meals were good, if a bit sloppy in presentation. The calamari was well seasoned and crispy. My meatloaf was like an elevated sloppy joe, sweet and spicy. The pappardelle with short rib ragu was a savory comfort dish. Lastly, the Baconeater burger which is one of the restaurant’s cornerstone dishes was a big hit with my boyfriend. The root of our not-so-good experience was based solely on the service. While both servers were perfectly friendly, neither was attentive to our table. It was understandably busy however; we were never given that explanation. While I would never ask for something to be free, no offers of any consolation were offered for our forgotten or wrong ordered food.
It was one experience and I don’t expect that it would be repeated every time I visit. Morris Tap and Grill has great American fare and Happy Hour options that everyone can love. However; I may think twice about making this my first choice location pick next time it comes up as an option.
…all for the love of the dish