Last night we had our first meal at Caitie Girl’s inside of the historic St. Nicholas hotel. This restaurant is located in downtown Springfield, Illinois directly across from the Amtrak station. For awhile now I’ve wanted to see what all the buzz was about.
We were greeted promptly and asked if we had a reservation. After letting our hostess know that we didn’t she looked to see where we could be seated. Our choices were by the window or a seat a bit further in. It was decided we would take the seat more inside.
After being seated we were given water and told a waitress would be with us soon. At this point we started to look over the menu. Cheryl had sent me a website link a few days before. So I had a good idea I was going to have the mac and cheese. But we needed to decide on an appetizer. It had been some time after being seated but a waitress hadn’t made it to our table. We weren’t aware that the one we had been seeing would be ours. That was until she asked our hostess / bus woman if we had been taken care of. This is when the hostess said something in regards to we had been there awhile. The waitress politely replied that she needed to be made aware of new customers arriving.
There weren’t any issues with placing our order. By the time the waitress arrived we pretty much had all of the evenings meal planned out. So she was able to take the full order of drinks, appetizer and main course right then. Caitie Girl’s serves Jones Soda ( I’m an affiliate of this Seattle company ). Our drink order got to us quickly. The appetizer didn’t take what anyone would consider an unusual amount of time. We were updated one time each on the progress of our appetizer and main course.
The menu options on the Caitie Girl’s website haven’t been updated. I’d assume the menu changes with the seasons. Unfortunately this will make it hard for me to give exact names to what we ate that evening. Our appetizers were the Truffle fries and French onion soup. Cheryl had the soup and we shared the fries. I thought the Truffle fries were something different that you might not see a lot of in our area.
While I was very hungry that night I don’t remember the wait for the main course as extremely long. Most of the time Cheryl and myself are understanding when a restaurant is backed up. Our waitress and hostess / bus person always seemed to be busy. Food was making it’s way to customers in a timely fashion. At various points we saw a woman who I would assume was the floor manager helping out with customers as well. For a Friday night with a small staff everything looked to be running as it should.
Our main course selections were the Polenta Lasagna and mac and cheese with pulled pork. Cheryl had wanted the Shirley’s Biscuit Lasagna. This wasn’t offered on the current menu. The mac and cheese with pork reminded me more of a beef stroganoff. This isn’t a criticism just a personal observation. To me the flavor of the mac and cheese had a slightly mild kick to it. But this flavor was subtle to the point of maybe being a little to understated. Overall the meal was good. I can tell you I don’t like seeing food being brought out with garnish that many people wouldn’t consider edible. Both the fries and mac and cheese included this. Of course you will see the same exact thing in many other restaurants. During our meal and after being done with the main course the hostess / bus person asked several times if we would like more water. Believe it or not this simple thing is something that gets missed in many places nowadays.
As we waited to ask for to go boxes and desert to go along with them. Something very interesting happened. During our meal four ladies had been seated by the window a few tables away from us. I hadn’t paid them much attention. One lady was talking about a town she grew up in and how it had been ruined by commercialization. At some point the waitress comes to that table with their wine. The waitress starts to ask who had which wines. After asking about who one of the drinks belong to she was corrected on how she pronounced the name. The lady who had been doing most of the talking in the group actually corrected the waitress. To me this just makes the woman look like a pompous ass. Then again this is why I really don’t drink wine. Everyone who drinks it thinks they are an expert and they act as such.
So the waitress has two glasses of wine left to serve. As she heads to the other side of the table disaster strikes. Both glasses start to wobble and both spill on the tray. However one glass decided to shoot it’s contents onto the customer and her purse. Unfortunately this didn’t happen to the lady who felt the need to be a wine school teacher. The younger woman sitting behind this group said her coat also got sprayed. The good thing about all the drama is the wine must have been white. The waitress apologized several times. She tried to clean up the mess as best as she could. A little while later she came back with more towels to handle the problem. A male employee from the kitchen also came out with a mop to clean the area. While this showed the restaurant takes these things seriously. I’m not sure the mop was the right choice. Some mild cleaning solution on kitchen rags would have been better. Most people don’t like to have a kitchen mop used around them as they are about to eat. Either way the situation was handle promptly and all guest were asked what the house could do to make up for it. The couple behind the group ended up and took free desert and drinks. These types of things happen daily in many restaurants. It’s how you deal with them that can make the difference.