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“Frustrating visit for day one”

Cafe on the Beach at The Palms Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$8 - US$38
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic, Child-friendly
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Takeout
Reviewed 29 June 2014 via mobile

The restaurant had the chance of being better than average, but the woman who waited on us ruined this chance.
After a one hour wait we asked for chips and salsa as
a appetizer, but after 20 mins with zero visits to our table, we lost our patience at this point. IT's CHIPS AND SALSA. Instead she decided to bring them with our dinner.

She found that cleaning tables and organizing condiments was more important than her table. As if that wasn't enough she then brought our check after dinner with the salsa charge.We refused to pay for her negligence and she had to correct the bill with dissatisfaction.

The rest of her staff was friendly and willing to work.They often helped our table more than our own waitress.

Rough choice for our first night in South Padre. I would consider elsewhere for a family.

3  Thank Kevin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tmetty, Owner at Cafe on the Beach at The Palms Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

I am so sorry we disappointed you during your recent visit to our Café. We were able to identify who your server was and discuss this with her. There is no excuse for what happened, but I would like to explain and share with you what we've done as a result of your feedback.
We were very busy that day - busier than we've ever been in June. Frankly, it caught us by surprise and we weren't staffed adequately. Our servers and our kitchen were spread far too thin, which resulted in slow turn-around time on food orders, and sub-standard table service for our customers. We have since added additional servers, bussers, and kitchen staff. Our service levels are much improved already. We have also shown your posting to all our staff to make them aware of the importance of prompt service and attentive follow-up.

The other thing that concerns me is that it appears your server didn't communicate effectively with you...starting with the expected wait-time for your meal. If she had done that when you placed your meal order, you most likely would have ordered the chips and salsa immediately (rather than waiting) so you would have something to munch on while waiting for your meal. Because we make everything fresh-to-order, it takes a little longer ... but the quality is so much better. Even our chips and salsa are made from scratch, fresh to order. When you ordered them, you probably thought we had a big bin of them in back and that they could be served immediately. Your server should have explained that they are made fresh so it would take a little while. She should also have offered to check first with the kitchen on the status of your meal. Clearly, had you known your chips and salsa would come out at the same time as your meal, you wouldn't have ordered them. As a result of your posting, we have stressed to all our servers to communicate frequently with the kitchen so they know the status of their orders and can let their customers know. We've all been in situations where we have to wait, but we don't like being kept in the dark. We appreciate it when we're kept informed. By not letting you know there would be a wait for your meal, and not letting you know that even chips and salsa take time, we disappointed you. Not removing them from your bill was like adding insult to injury, as my Mother used to say. They should have been removed from your bill before it was presented to you. We've also discussed this with our staff.

We are so sorry your first experience with us was disappointing. We work so hard to delight our guests and when we don't, we take it very seriously. We believe we have addressed the problems that led to your disappointment and we hope you'll come back and let us show you we know how to take good care of our customers.

Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your feedback. We always learn from our mistakes and we appreciate the opportunity to improve through these Trip Advisor postings.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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314 - 318 of 515 reviews

Reviewed 27 June 2014

We visit the Palms EVERY time we visit SPI. They have excellent Migas and the Eggs Benedict are to die for.

We went back for Margaritas and appetizers - you cannot beat the view!

Thank James W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tmetty, Owner at Cafe on the Beach at The Palms Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2014

Thank you so much! I'm delighted you enjoyed breakfast and that you came back for libations later in the day! We love hearing from our customers. We know we're not perfect, but reviews like this make all of us feel good about getting it right most of the time!

We look forward to seeing you next time you're on the Island!

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Reviewed 26 June 2014

I hate to keep piling on praise for the Palms but it's worth it. Yes, it is attached to what looks like a dive motel. Yes, it's pretty small and would never be described as up-scale. Even so, we were on the island 7 days and ate at 12 restaurants, the Palms was by far the best food and service and reasonably priced. Go there for their happy hour and lunch specials too.

One last thing, breakfast! Delicious!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank coopooc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tmetty, Owner at Cafe on the Beach at The Palms Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your feedback on Trip Advisor. I'm so happy you enjoy our Café. Now we need you to enjoy our hotel as well! As you might imagine, I cringe at the reference to a dive motel. The Palms was built in the early 70's, so it is definitely an older property. But we have "good bones" as they say. We've focused our budget dollars on upgrading and updating all the guest rooms over the past three years. This year we're committing additional budget dollars to cosmetic upgrades to the exterior of our building this fall. We may not look like much on the outside, but our rooms are spacious, clean and well appointed. Some might even say they're "cute"!!

Next time you're here, please stop by to look at our guest rooms. I think you'll find us to be the ideal beach get-away. As you already know, we have a great restaurant that is open all day, 7 days a week. We have direct beach access, and a great swimming pool. The Palms Resort is a great place to spend a few days relaxing without having to go anywhere else!

Thanks again for your feedback! Hope to see you soon.....

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Reviewed 25 June 2014

During our most recent trip to South Padre island, we decided to eat lunch again at the Palms Resort. Last time we visited the island we had dinner there and it was great. This time it was just TERRIBLE! First of all, our server was very rude. He continuously slammed our drinks down on the table. He slammed my ice tea down so hard that the lemon wedge fell out of the glass and he didn't bother to apologize. He even slammed down the mustard bottle that I requested with my boca burger (the mustard bottle was all crusty and gross at the opening I didn't even use it) My husband ordered the muffaletta and he enjoyed it. My daughter ordered the shrimp quesadilla and she didn't finish it because she said the cheese tasted sour. I ordered the boca burger and fries and it was disgusting! The bun was soggy, the avocado slices weren't ripe enough and it made the whole burger inedible.The only thing good about the restaurant is the view of the ocean. Next time we visit the island I will not be eating here again!

    • Value
    • Service
Thank Mietzie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tmetty, Owner at Cafe on the Beach at The Palms Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2014

I am so sorry your return visit to our Café was not as it should have been. There is no excuse for rude behavior. We've discussed your review with all of our servers and stressed to them the importance of outstanding customer service. We were able to identify the server that waited on you (based on your description of your orders and experience). As a way of explaining (but not excusing) we were unusually busy that day and short handed. The server that waited on you was clearly spread too thin and was too "rushed" in his service to you...giving the impression he was rude. He's actually a very fun server and he felt terrible that he left you with the wrong impression that day. We have since added additional servers to ensure everyone receives the kind of service we are known for providing.

The crusty mustard container is inexcusable. Again - with everyone rushing that day, the server did not inspect the container as he is supposed to before bringing It to the table. As the result of your feedback, we have now added additional layers of "condiment container inspection" to ensure a guest never receives a container that has condiment residue on it. I am so sorry you experienced that.

When it rains, it pours. We usually get rave reviews about our Boca Burger and our Quesadillas. They are always made "to order" with fresh ingredients. We have talked to our kitchen staff about using avocados that are too firm and stressed again that it is better to tell our guests that we are out of them rather than serve them before they are at their prime.

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback. We're always sad when we disappoint a guest. We have taken your input seriously and made changes as a result. We hope you'll come back and let us delight you with outstanding food and service!

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Reviewed 25 June 2014

We choose this restaurant because of the reviews on Trip Advisor. We were very excited to try it but were quickly disappointed. We arrived on a Monday night for dinner with two very hungry kids after a day at Schlitterbaun. We ordered right away but it took over 30 minutes to get our food. We asked for bread for the kids while we waited and the bread took about 10 minutes. The food was good but it was super expensive ($65 for 1 appetizer, 1 entree and two kids meals) and because of that, I would not return. Lastly, they did not have a kids menu, so we spent $20 for two kids meals.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank SHANNON H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tmetty, Owner at Cafe on the Beach at The Palms Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2014

I'm sorry you were disappointed when you visited us in June. This June has been our busiest ever. We were caught a little by surprise, but we have now added additional servers and kitchen staff to respond to this growth. I think if you came back today, you would be delighted by the service you receive.

One of the reasons we get so many positive reviews on Trip Advisor is that all of our menu items (including our warm dinner rolls) are prepared "to order". Nothing is made ahead of time. It does take 5-8 minutes to heat our yummy dinner rolls so I can't promise it would be different next time. We usually only serve our warm dinner rolls with our salad, so the preparation is timed accordingly. If all you needed was something for the children to snack on while they waited for their dinner, the server could have brought you some crackers. We'll alert our servers to this option for the future.

We don't have a separate children's menu, but we do offer very affordable meals that children enjoy. We have hot dogs, quesadillas, and chicken tenders that children love. Our corn dog basket is very popular (two full size corn dogs plus french fries or homemade potato chips) and is priced at only $8.95. One order is usually plenty for two children to share very economically.

With regard to our prices overall, we use the best possible ingredients for each of our menu items and everything is made fresh to order. The best ingredients cost a little more and preparation "fresh to order" takes a little longer, but we believe in our concept. We have (and always will) resist the temptation to lower our costs by choosing lower grade ingredients. Instead, we offer a wide range of menu items priced for everyone's budget. We have many menu items priced under $10, but we also offer sashimi-grade tuna, center-cut filet mignon, and cold water lobster tail at $25-$50 for a complete meal (Caesar salad, main course, warm roll and butter, grilled zucchini, and a baked potato). We never claim to be inexpensive or a "value" restaurant. We serve great food prepared fresh to order and we charge a fair price to bring you that experience in a location that offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.

We always appreciate the great feedback we get from Trip Advisor postings. Thank you for taking the time to help us improve.

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