Sheraton Detroit Metro Airport
8000 Merriman Road
Romulus Mi 48174
(minus 3 stars)
The MRF, (Motorcycle Riders Foundation) Meeting of the Minds, convention was held this past weekend at the Sheraton Detroit Hotel (aka Crown Plaza). We attended Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Some of the activities included hours of educational sessions, hands on motorcycle riding tactics, games, a banquet, blessing of the bikes, and a ride. Our last day there wrapped up with an awards banquet; food cooked and served by the host hotel, the Sheraton Detroit Metro.
Our first thought about the banquet: the food should be decent, after all, it was a Sheraton, and so we purchased banquet tickets. And considering that several hundred bikers, from all over the world, were in attendance and staying at the hotel, I would consider this a very biker friendly place…especially when we played biker games in the parking lot–not a peep or strange look from anyone.
Friday: We started the day slow. By the time the afternoon sessions ended, it was dinnertime. Friday was a “you’re on your own for dinner” day so we took a few seconds to decide where to eat. We did note several people heading next door to McDonald’s… we should have followed them. My DH left the “restaurant” choice totally to me. I suggested Big Boys which I discovered later that I did not speak up loud enough for him to hear me cast that vote, so he suggested the hotel restaurant–I agreed. The restaurant is known as Bistro 94, seats 110.
We travel more than most and having dined at the very best and very worse restaurants around, we had eaten in Sheraton’s before. From experience, we were sure this particular Sheraton would fit into one of those categories preferably the very best. We were wrong–it is in a category all by itself.
I should mention the hotel is going through some renovations specifically by the lounge near the indoor pool. There is yellow caution tape in selected areas and there’s just enough dust sprinkled in the air to be noticeable. The restaurant was not being renovated (maybe an overhaul would have been in order)…but then again I didn’t see the kitchen.
We entered the restaurant, greeted by the Hostess who led us to a booth. The room was dark, cold with a friendless atmosphere, empty, not many decorations. There may have been one or two other diners, which I though unusual being it was dinnertime.
On the plus side, the Hostess allowed me to bring my can of half-empty Diet Coke to the table. (That would save us some money.) The menu was a book type, very simple, not elegant. And the fact that the hotel was crowded, it was dinnertime, most people were staying here and there was only a few patrons eating should have been a clue; the others probably ate breakfast here, and they knew something we didn’t.
As soon as we sat down, the server placed the menus on the table and asked if we were ready to order…hmm…No. So not to keep her standing there we ordered water, she returned with water and basket of rolls; chewy, nasty, rubbery things that may have soften up under high pressure and gravy but we didn’t have time to try. (BTW, those were the same rolls served at the banquet the next evening; a day later and no improvement).
The waitress returned (I’ll give her 3 minutes) so feeling a bit rushed my DH decided to start with the onion soup and I selected the New England Clam Chowder, which by the way was the waitresses’ favorite restaurant item. “…” red flag moment? She wasn’t leaving so we ordered the main course. We both selected Capellini in garlic and butter sauce with tomatoes. The price on the menu: $11.95 and directly beneath it was the word shrimp: $14.95. So for an extra $14.95 you could add shrimp?
And then she had to ask, “Do you want to add shrimp?”
“Not at those prices” I replied. (It’s probably a commission item)
Capellini is very thin pasta, and may take three minutes to cook, to toss in the garlic butter sauce and vegetables may add another 2 minutes…we waited about 40 minutes for our dinner.
Btw, my soup was okay. The clams were actually tough; I only ate half of the bowl of soup. My DH’s onion soup was good, he ate it all.
When dinner finally arrived, we were served two big bowls of steamy pasta–smelled great. However when we tried to eat the pasta, we discovered the cook, or could have been the waitress, had cut up the Capellini into baby bite sized pieces, no twirling with a fork here, in fact a teaspoon was the perfect utensil to use because the bits of cut pasta slid through the prongs of the fork. I wonder if they cut up steak orders in bite sized pieces?
Well to our disappointment, the Capellini was actually a bowl of mush–the worst meal either of us ever had. After a taste, we both pushed the bowls aside, not wanting to eat anymore. The manager, who was observing us from the greeter perch, came up and asked about dinner. I told her the pasta was way overcooked: my DH asked her if the entire mess was microwaved. She just said it was her favorite meal on the menu (another menu favorite?) and apologized because we didn’t like it, and offered a 20 % discount off the entire bill: about a $5 discount…no doggie bag offered.
What the manager should have done; offer to re-cook the entire dinner, offer another type of dinner or give us a gift certificate for two free dinners for some future time, which, if she would have done the later, saved the restaurant $5 because we will never return. Which brings me to the reason I started this website…as for the banquet–oh oh same venue, we were in trouble.
On the way home, we went to McDonalds and ordered hamburgers and fries. We should have followed the crowd.
Total bill before tip: $29.77 (After the $5 discount)
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