Thursday, December 15

Haretna for Gyros Review

My family likes us some gyros, sometimes. In the case of Haretnas, however, we won't be returning. We got a Restaurant.com deal to try the restaurant, and the fact we didn't pay full price is the only our experience would be rated as almost acceptable. Like 2/5 stars. At full price, 1/5. Really.

When I walked in with my daughter at around 8pm, I asked if the place was still open. A pair of blue-hairs were seated in one booth having long ago finished eating, while a disheveled man sat in another booth with no food. The main employee was doing paperwork. There might have been a cook in the back. But this is a large restaurant inside, and it seemed bleakly empty. The main who told us to sit wherever also claimed the restaurant was open, so we went with that. 

It's reasonable to assume some of the food on the menu is fine, but we just like gyros, so that's what we order. I'm always a bit worried when a place lists the gyro meat as being either beef or beef/lamb mix. This place claimed to use beef and lamb. We ordered the platter that came with fries, except our server said there were no fries. That's because they shut the fryer down because they were basically closed, which he should have told us from the get-go.

$12 for a gyro platter isn't outlandish, but the offer was for us to now get a side salad instead of fries, which was kind of a disappointment because both of us were hungry. But it got worse when we actually got the food: the salad was just the same lettuce that was already sprinkled on the gyro, so just more of something that may or may not belong on a gyro. But worst of all, the amount of meat on the pita was about half of what I generally expect on a gyro. You could literally fold this pita up like a burrito, with half of the food inside consisting of lettuce and Tzatziki. Maybe onions, too. It doesn't matter, because it just wasn't very good. The meat, the pita, the sauce. None of it. It was about as good as the Trader Joe's prepackaged gyro meat with a sauce submitted to an online forum by some old lady from North Dakota. But mostly it was a big doughy pita without much on it. 

My daughter didn't touch her salad, partially because there was salad as part of the gyro, and partially because we were going out to eat. We eat salad nearly every night at home, so it's just not special to offer your high school kid two puny salads as part of a restaurant experience.

At some point, the server/owner/accountant/janitor told us they were short staffed. Fine, then say you're closed when someone asks. Or just close down and invest in a food truck. I know, I sound bitter, but if you're going to stiff a customer on a "platter," offer something better and make the gyros better than usual instead of serving what seemed like warmed up leftovers from another restaurant.

What sucked is that I was visibly disappointed, as was my kid, but our guy just went back to working on folding napkins or counting receipts. I had to track him down just to pay. At least the coupon brought the price down so that I based my tip (for nothing) based on a lower price. I always leave a tip, but this was very close to me leaving without. In fact, if I was in charge of this restaurant, a customer would have gotten the meals and an apology for free. Maybe a dessert. Anything to acknowledge how sucky you felt about it all. Oh well, at least I have the internet so I can vent and you can put this restaurant in the "don't bother" category, at least for gyros.

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