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Thursday, March 19, 2015

J. Alexander's

     Put a fancy dress on a Ruby Tuesday or a Chili's, hike up the prices by 20%, and you get J. Alexander's. It's an elegant space with a striking wood beam ceiling, dim ambient light and hostesses in sharp black uniforms with pearls as the required accessory.
     They smartly provide each table with a charming, old-fashioned milk bottle full of cold water, but table bread is noticeably absent. The service is somewhat slow at this location in Ft. Lauderdale, and the table bread would go a long way in deflecting the attention of the patrons from the long wait for their dinner. Besides, no table bread screams corner-cutting to me. It's a popular trend in chain restaurants these days.
    
     I ordered the baby back ribs with shoestring fries and coleslaw. John ordered the steak and fries. He said it was a good piece of meat although it looked unevenly cooked to me. The coleslaw was pleasant enough, the ribs were tender and fell off the bone easily as expected, but the barbecue sauce was a little spicier than I could handle. The fries, however, were a complete disappointment. Both John and I found them exceedingly over-seasoned and the pepper was so overwhelming, even Hubby complained of a burning mouth. Our server was very attentive and happened to catch me vigorously fanning my mouth. She intuitively concluded there was a problem with the fries and offered to bring me a fresh, unseasoned batch, for which I was grateful.
      A good server and classy surroundings are always well appreciated, but sadly they don't make up for uninspired, bordering on unacceptable, food. Even the dessert menu didn't offer consolation. Nothing on it but tired, overdone choices.
     Pointless and forgettable, as meals go.

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