My family and I decided to give Cowling's another try on a Friday night. After hearing from several people that at times the incompetence of the kitchen staff was making customers leave, I decided to wait awhile before coming back.
I didn't wait long enough.
Now the dining room is mostly unchanged, as the fake plants still hang from the ceiling after 23 years, and are seriously in need of removal. Much of the pictures and other items along the walls remain also, though they have price tags on them which looks pretty tacky. The ceiling looks brand new again thanks to a coat of paint, albeit it's a dark tan, but it's a good start.
Upon being seated, we were greeted by three employees, and for awhile we weren't sure who our actual server was. Once settled in, our server appeared and took our order. That was at 8:25pm.
It shouldn't take too long to get two loaded baked potatoes, an order of fajita tacos and a chicken sandwich with broccoli.
It really shouldn't.
But, 35 minutes later, yes...at 9pm, the food arrived. It's not like the restaurant was busy, either. There were only 3 or 4 other tables in the entire restaurant, and one of them was Cowling's own head chef, off duty and with family of course.
Three of my party did order soup to start, the vegetable beef which was delicious. Once the food came, I found the broccoli not up to par. Parts of it were tough, and other parts were chewy, with dark marks on the stems of one piece suggesting it was overcooked. There was no offer of butter or butter sauce to add some flavor.
The baked potatoes were cooked properly, but our order of the fajita tacos had to be fixed because the tortillas were ripped apart when making the sandwich in such a way that part of them was ripped thin. This made the ingredients inside constantly try to get away. Overall, my family member said the fajitas were good but lacking something to truly make them stand out. Our server said that the cooking staff doesn't know what they are doing sometimes, which explained quite a bit. While not a good idea for a server to be so honest from a business perspective, I did appreciate her honesty. It confirmed what I suspected. We did get refills on our drinks reasonably quickly, though it took the hostess one time to get them.
We opted not for dessert. Our meal was $50, including nearly $10 for three soups, one chicken sandwich at about $9.49, fajita tacos at about $9 and two potatoes and toppings for about $9.
Given the quality of the food coming out of the kitchen, the wait time to get simple meals, and general carelessness in the attitude of some staff, I think I'll wait a while longer to try Cowling's again, if it's still in business.
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