I’m sorry Carrabba‘s, I didn’t want to take your title away from you so soon. You really were the worst meal I’ve had in ages, until this past Friday. The new reigning champ is Oxford Street Cafe here in Romeoville. With the double whammy of bad food and apathetic service, with a dose of poor managerial skills, Oxford takes the crown of “Worst Dining Experience Ever”
With Katie having the morning off, we decided to go get some breakfast. We haven’t eaten a breakfast out in quite awhile, and decided to treat ourselves. With full intentions of checking out Crispy Waffles, also in Romeoville, I, pardon my French, fucked up the address. We were starving, and about 3-4 miles where we were supposed to be. Instead of making the trek, we instead settled for trying out Oxford Street Cafe instead. We should have driven the 4 miles.
Located at 38 S. Weber Road next to the Jewel in Romeoville, Oxford Street Cafe is very much your typical family owned restaurant. It may be a stereotype, but it felt like every Greek family restaurant I’ve ever stepped into. The menu also reflected that. There was nothing special about it, yet nothing stood out either. We were seated by the manager’s 8-year-old daughter after yelling she wanted to do it, and grabbing the menus from his hand. Our waitress stopped by asking if we wanted anything to drink, and then told us we would have to wait because they were out of clean glasses. Never mind that it was just turning noon.
I glanced over the lunch/dinner menu, but there wasn’t much or anything there for vegetarians. Looking at the breakfast menu, their Greek omelette (spinach and feta cheese) caught my eye, but I ultimately chose the apple cinnamon Belgian waffle. Katie went with the chocolate chip Belgian waffle. We also ordered a side of hash browns, because who doesn’t love shredded potatoes?
After delivering the food, we saw our waitress only once briefly, which was probably for the better. Katie’s waffle had maybe 2 dozen chocolate chips tossed on top, while my waffle seemed to have 3/4 of a can of canned apple pie filling dumped onto it. Katie took a bite of her waffle, looked at me, and whispered, “This isn’t good.” Not having paid attention to my waffles, I didn’t notice they were shimmering with gelatinous goo. It clung to my fork as I spread it around the waffle, and yeah, it was apple pie filling. If there was cinnamon, I didn’t notice it. The waffles themselves were nearly flavorless, relying heavily on the topping. Unfortunately, the hash browns didn’t carry any flavor either. While they weren’t greasy, they weren’t really anything.
We ate quickly, but not quickly enough to watch the manager yell at one of his staff not once, but twice on the floor in front of the few customers he had. The first time he reprimanded him for using the wrong type of container for soup. The second time Katie heard him grumble to the kid, “There’s 4 or 5 more just like you.” If the food didn’t makes us lose our appetite, the poor managerial skills did the trick.
To makes matters all the worse, it looked like the entire extended family was hanging out at the bar. When we went to pay our bill, some random guy wearing a ball cap and sweat shirt rang us up.
I couldn’t help but turn to Katie went we finally got out that it was the worst meal I’ve possibly had. The restaurant felt like it was about to close due to lack of business, and after getting mediocre food with a shocking floor show, I’m not surprised if that was the case.
Finding a good breakfast joint here in the suburbs isn’t easy. The best we’ve found so far has been Egg Harbor in Naperville. But, until we discover otherwise, we’ve easily found the worst.