As a prelude to our impending movie date, Boyfriend and I wanted to eat out, but knew that a restaurant in close proximity to the theatre was vital. We decided upon Sauce in Bridgeville, a bar-restaurant that had been previously recommended by one of Boyfriend's friends. Boyfriend was eager to indulge in a delicious burger and I was ready to explore another new-to-me restaurant.
As we walked into Sauce, it was unclear if we were to seat ourselves or wait for a hostess. Boyfriend and I awkwardly stood near the door until a server finally came up and seated us in an extra-long booth with another couple. Shared tables are definitely not my favorite way to dine, but Sauce does not offer many other options.
Our server (who never introduced herself) came to the table and gruffly asked "what do you want to drink?" She was an attractive dark-haired woman covered in tattoos and wearing denim shorts smaller than my underwear. Had she greeted us with any semblance of kindness, I would have overlooked the minimal clothing, but her scowl just complimented her slutty grunge look so well.
Our drinks were brought to the table and Boyfriend and I each received a grunted "yeah," when we thanked her. For a moment, I felt badly for inconveniencing our server... But then I remember that this is her job. She, however, seemed to feel that her time was better spent talking on her personal cell phone at the bar or having some laughs with fellow waitstaff, who appeared to be off-duty, but who also felt no qualms about going behind the bar to prepare his or her own drink. Dinner was not off to a positive start.
For dinner, Boyfriend ordered a burger with bacon and gorgonzola cheese cooked medium and a side of fries. I opted for the Make Your Own Skillet Mac and had the option of choosing three add-ins from a sprawling list of choices to combine to a cheesy macaroni. I selected chicken, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses; I felt pretty eager to devour my cheesy dinner and anticipated its arrival to the table with optimism.
We ordered, then we waited... And waited... And waited. It seemed like our meals took a freakishly long time when considering the fairly empty restaurant. As we waited and checked our watches so that we wouldn't be late to our movie, Boyfriend and I observed the waitstaff having a good old time together at the bar, one of them standing on top of the bar at one point, while a scowling older woman wiped tables and seated customers. We weren't sure if she was management, proprietorship, or merely a server, but she really knew how to welcome guests by shaking a molded wash rag in the air and yelling "would you want your table wiped with this?!" to the other employees as Boyfriend and I looked on in horror.
I kept glancing at the kitchen to see if and when our food was ready. I couldn't see our meals being prepared, but I could see a heap of filthy dishes teetering dangerously in the filled sink. Perhaps Sauce's employees need not worry so much about socializing at the bar and offer some assistance to the one-man-band in the kitchen.
Finally, our food arrived just as I was ready to eat the table. My cast-iron skillet was huge and the proportion given of macaroni and cheese was out of control... But I wasn't complaining one bit. The pasta was my favorite twisty cavatappi drenched in melted cheese and topped with grilled chicken breast. How could we go wrong?
I took a large forkful of my dinner and found the cheesy mess good, but I am sad to report that the chicken was dry. To avoid wasting stomach space, I dodged the chicken and focused solely on the cheesy pasta. Upon further reflection, I don't think that I would choose pepper jack cheese again, as it seemed like the cook merely draped some Giant Eagle slices over the macaroni and melted it. I expected more of a blend. I ate only about 1/4 of my meal, but did have a heavy doggie bag to bring home.
Boyfriend is forever on the hunt for a delicious burger and I think that he had high hopes for Sauce. Unfortunately, Sauce's burger was served with a side of disappointment.
I mentioned earlier that Boyfriend ordered his burger cooked medium. What Sauce presented seemed to be a charcoal brickette slapped on a bun. The outside of the burger was black and when questioned, our server responded with "well, that's just how the cook makes them. They're always black." She asked if Boyfriend would rather have chicken or another meal, but unfortunately, with our lengthy wait, we were short on time before our movie began. Boyfriend choked down the burnt hunk of meat, but the server did remove the burger from our bill. Oddly, she seemed to become slightly more amiable as the meal went horridly downhill. She must feed off of the disappointment of patrons.
We paid our bill and ran to the car while dodging raindrops and looking forward to a large bucket of popcorn to make up for the sadness that was Sauce. My meal was good, but the deplorable experience brought on by lack of customer service and questionable cleanliness negated any good qualities. Boyfriend's burger was extremely disappointing, although we were pleased that our server had the price deducted from our bill.
Date night turned into a night of disappointing food (for Boyfriend) and a disappointing movie (for me), but at least we now know to scratch Sauce off of our list of places to try, unless we're in the mood for charcoal-meat. Been there, done that, won't do it again.