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Fatty Arbuckles American Diners
Member Name: stickywicket
Fatty Arbuckles American Diners
Date: 06/05/01, updated on 06/05/01 (359 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap, Good kids meals.
Disadvantages: Takes so long, get eye strain from trying to attract the staff.
When you walk into a restaurant or diner I was under the impression that the you waited to be seated, browsed the menu, maybe had a drink and ordered, consumed the food maybe, paid your bill and left a happy punter. It seems that Fatty Arbuckles at Valley Park Croydon, don't actually believe in the taking the order bit...
Christmas Eve last year, family trip to see Jim Carrey's 'The Grinch' out of Warner Bros either Frankie and Bennys (I wish we had...) Burger King (heaving) or Fatty's. Well the latter appealed after a good experience at the Hove Marina diner in the summer a year before, where everything had been perfect, down to the fact we had stated we were going to the Virgin multiplex in an hour and a half for Toy Story 2. They were extremely efficent with the service and the food was excellent.
So what happened in the Croydon branch? The whole atmostphere was different, the staff obviously peeved at working Christmas Eve, sat us down and presented us with the menu. Around us the decor was your typical Marylin Monroe posters, baseball heroes etc, fine alls well. The menu is extensive, but not really ground breaking stuff. Burgers, steaks, pasta prices ranging from £5 - £12 with your starters including the usual mushrooms, caesar salad, grill to share etc. The kids menu is good £2.50, crazy mamed dishes for your nuggets or sausages, with the choice of fries of smiley face potatoes. About the only smiley face I saw though...
Ok, having chosen, you know you do the head stretching try and catch the eye of the waiter/waitress thing? We tried and tried, the place wasn't exactly busy, about 10 - 15 people mostly families. The kitchen 'front' was in view and we wern't far from a waiting base, which had a large cash and carry economy tomato sauce bucket size bottle in view, while all around on the tables sat Heinz ketchup bottles.....(for goodness sake hide the evidence...) 15 minutes later our order was t
Kids getting bored, they finished their juice and started on the falling of chair thing, the obligatory trips to the toilet (reasonably clean) played with the salt and pepper, stressed mum, irritated Dad. The kids activity mats had been given to us, but no crayons or pens around.
20 minutes later, childrens meals appeared, plates full and good value for money, although I don't know many 4 year olds that appreciate onions on the salad garnish. Hubbys burger with the lot, chips piled high, looks good, they are all happy. Me? Ordered a main course Caesar Salad with garlic bread. Really dissapointed. A lettuce shredded with some croutons and a teaspoon of parmesan cheese grated over the top, the garlic bread was......microwaved, pale and as appetizing as the squashed chip on the floor.
So one out of three isn't bad I suppose. Everybody done and dusted, empty plates, apart from the onions and garlic bread, then came the long wait. Our plates sat there for another half an hour, we caught the eye of the young girl assigned to our table, she indicated she'd be over several times in this period, until hubby got up and went to her, we quickly ordered an ice cream for the children and asked for the bill,£22, after all my negative points I think this is very resonable for a family of four.
The experience at the Brighton diner was so different, the staff were consistent, cheerful and helpful.