Sunday, April 18, 2010


You know I like to have fun here and honestly, I like to be positive and look at the bright side, but godammit, sometimes when people are face-on in your grill, you just have to call bullshit.

What kills me is that I feel compelled to do it for the second post in a row. Lame. First it was the S-R, and now (may I burn I hell) Benniditos.

I've been waiting to burn enough calories to earn a pizza and today it happened. I was STOKED. The plan was to roll in, park my butt at the bar, have a coupla brews while I waited for the pie to cook, eat some of it there and take the rest home.

The bar was pretty full, so I grabbed a spot next to the register. A worker-dude came up and literally barked at me about what did I want. I instinctively barked back. We all like our cool neighborhood pizza joint, and I know they want to be all edgy and all that, but dude. You were so far out of line, so full of yourself.

Sitting next to the register was unique. A lady came up and was dissatisfied that she had to pay a mandatory 18% gratuity (she must have been part of a large group) for service that basically sucked. She was respectful and didn't say it that way, but the response from the female server was that she should take her business someplace else. After the lady left, the server bragged about her response to her co-workers. I threw up in my mouth.

I worked a bunch of years in the service industry and even if I thought I didn't need a certain customer, I would never tell them that. EVER.

I've never gotten good service there and I've just figured it's part of the deal, but now I see how it is. Well, I always did, but now it's too clear. I'll probably go back there at some point because some friends are meeting there or whatever, but it will never be my choice and I'll do my best to spend as little as possible.

I eventually got my pizza, but it tasted funny.


John Speare said...

I hear ya. For a long time, Beni's was the only game on the south hill with good beer and ok food.

That's changing, so there are other options now.

But I think Beni's will always be packed -- even with the crappy service. It's just too close to so many people and the beer is so good and rotates often.

Mike Sirott said...

You've now shot down two pizza joints on the South Hill. Where does 26InchSlicks recommend the good citizens of Spokane get their beer and pizza?

Anonymous said...

Is it the service is bad, or that management has hired too few servers?

I haven't been there in a couple of months, so maybe it's changed, but I've always liked both the pizza and the waitstaff--and the beer buddies. The waitstaff seemed too few for the number of customers, though.

Rob Brewer said...

I've only been there a couple times (and to the north side location a couple times too) and the service sucked at the South Hill location - one time even when there was only one other party besides mine! I liked the food, but dining out is a package deal that needs to be enjoyable in all aspects, otherwise I don't go back. And in this case I haven't.

Travis Nichols said...

I've given Beniditos three solid tries now and each time they have struck out on food, service or a combo there of. Good atmosphere, great beer, but horrible pizza, and atrocious service will keep me from going there ever again.

Traditional Bike Club Curmudgeon said...

I agree that their service is less than it should be. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's mediocre and all-too-often it's slow and less than welcoming.

I have three impressions:

1 - The staff turns over so quickly that management doesn't have (or take) the time to properly orient and train them.

2 - Cooks, servers and drives are sometimes so interested in talking to each other (or their pals) that they don't have time for the rest of us.

3 - Because there's no real competition in the area, the owners/managers know they are cutting a fat hog in the ass and aren't really paying attention.

I live three blocks away and find myself going there less-and-less frequently.

Pat S said...

Interesting comments, thanks guys.

I was obviously a little torqued when I posted, but after completing my mandatory 24-hour cooldwon period I can say that I've been conditioned not to expect great food or service there. And I'm totally okay with that. The beer selection is good and the atmosphere is great for getting together with a group. So it is what it is, and I know what to expect.

What happened last night, though, threw me for a loop, because I was in a position to see a ton of staff-patron interaction and I got shocked. So my expectations got bumped down a notch, that's all.

There will be get-toghethers there and I'm cool with that, but Patty and I really enjoy going out at this point in our lives and we're suckers for service and it will never be that go-to neighborhood place where we just relax and feel taken care of. No place can be everything to everbody.

Bottom line is that it doesn't matter at all what I think because they are packing the place, so obviously filling a need, and I'm glad to have them in the neighborhood for the times we want that atmosphere and we're also very fortunate to have lots of other great places for our other moods.

And Mike, to answer your question:

Pedro's kills for takeout.
Ferraros's is good, for smaller numbers.
I'm placing all my hope in 1) Pacific Pizza, where the service has been over the top so far along with good food and beers, and 2) the new, under-construction shop across from Downriver Grill.

FBC Spokane said...

Are we so close to Canada that everyone feels compelled to be polite?

They have poor service. They have no intention to ever have better service. The food is not so good that I am willing to endure that sort of treatment and certainly do not want to be responsible for exposing a group to it either.

Pat S said...

Leave Canada out of this, they've done nothing. I'm eating leftover pizza while trying to reconcile my emotions. Don't you have a bike club to run or something?

Anonymous said...

A friend of ours was in a big group that did the Komen walk on Sun morning. The group called ahead and asked them if they would open early, they had about 75-100 people in their group.
Benniditos agreed to open at 11:00 for them. Only one person from Benniditos showed up. He was trying to keep up with the beer and taking pizza orders but there was no one to cook them!
We were going to stay and eat with our friends but we did not have time to wait an hour or so for the pizza.
They have some of the best pizza in town but I find myself going to Davids more because of how long it takes.

Mark said...

The poor service is from the top down. The owners attitude is "so what, if you don't like it there are people lining up behind you for a table". I have always thought that service there would improve if they had a bartender to pour beers and sodas and handle the take out customers and the servers could focus on their tables. I just go in with low expectations.

FBC Spokane said...

Pat, all I'm saying is that Canada is polite and Beni's is not.

I would happily visit Canada and eat their pizza.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...back bacon pizza with passive-aggressive white sauce...

Pat S said...

Jeff, I was just goofing off with my canada comment, but your point is well taken. Why lay it out there in my post and then back off? They do truly suck and the only other thing we might have left to discuss is whether hanging out there with good company trumps the shit you have to put up with. Time will tell. Hopefully all the good company will eventually come to the same conclusion and the dilemna will vanish.