Pros: 44 ounce soft drinks and free refills.
Cons: Greasy food, small portions, bad customer service.
I won?t mince words here ? Long John Silver?s has gone down hill. Once the best place for fish and chicken combo plates ? they sunk to the bottom of the fast food chain faster than the Titanic. I don?t make these statement blindly, I visited four separate locations and ordered different meals at each but received the same outcome from all ? upset stomach, diarrhea and ?lead belly? [lead belly: feeling like you just ingested a lead weight rather than food].
Long John Silver?s serves your basic seafood items ? fish planks, clams and shrimp. They also sell chicken planks, hush puppies, corn on the cob and of course french fries. The menu is pretty basic and hasn?t changed much over the years. When I visited the United States about ten years ago I fell in love with the idea of ?fast food fish? ? lets suffice it to say the love affair is lover. I want a divorce and I want it now!
Presentation Is Everything
Sure. Most fast food places have mouth watering pictures of hamburgers with fresh, crisp lettuce, succulent tomatoes and a bun that looks light and fluffy ? when in reality you get something that is microwaved, wilted and sloppy. If there ever was a ?bait and switch? operation going on ? Long John Silver?s would be the first one charged with the crime. The pictures of the meals on the menu?s [both in the restaurant and on the drive-thru board] depict a huge meal with crisp chicken and fish planks, tons of clams and golden brown french fries. What you get is rather different ? the portions are smaller, the fries are cold and hard and the coleslaw ends up everywhere. Would it really be that hard to have plates that are deeper to keep the food separated? Oh, sorry, that might cost a few extra pennies.
I?ve had almost every item on the menu except the fish sandwich. For some reason I just can?t get brave enough to order it. Most of the time my french fries are cold and hard and covered with pepper. I specifically ask for them to be unsalted and unseasoned since I detest pepper in any form. Even with making this perfectly clear I still end up with seasoned fries every time. The chicken and fish planks are different sizes ? this is so there?s no mistake in preparing the different plates ? the batter is good but it could be better. The chicken planks are long and thin while the fish is triangular ? sorry, I?ve never seen a triangular fish. The clams look mouth watering ? however once you try them I am sure the first thought will be ?rubber?. I know deep fried clams will be a little chewy but they have taken it to a whole new level.
I?ve got a real gripe here. The beverages aren?t included in the price of the meal ? unless you order the kids meals that is. At the four locations I?ve visited the beverages are not self-serve so you have to wait in line for refills. Would it be that hard to have a self-serve area? I guess so. In my area they serve Coke, Diet Coke, Mr. Pibb, Orange Soda and Iced Tea. Asking for water is also a major ordeal ? it?s almost like you are speaking a foreign language or asking for the answer to an advanced calculus question.
?You want water??
Yes, I?d like a glass of water please.
?I don?t know if we have that?
Don?t Order The Corn
Sure it might sound appealing to get two ?nibblers? for .99 cents but in reality a ?nibbler? is half of an ear of corn. Do the math ? that?s .99 cents for an ear of corn. Without fail ? every time I order the nibblers for the kids they forget to add them to the tray. I have no clue why the kids like them ? they are soggy, messy and taste disgusting. Most of the time they are steamed and shoved into yellow Long John Silver bags and put in a holding tray. This makes them overcooked and soggy and a real mess to get out of the bag. If you order the corn be prepared to have the ?butter? everywhere. To me it would make more sense to make them to order ? sure you might wait an extra 30 seconds but at least they would be edible.
The Mystery Shrimp
Curiosity got to me and I ordered something from the ?add a piece? menu. Three shrimp for .99 cents sounded like a good deal ? and they looked great on the menu. What I got was some type of deep fried mystery item. It didn?t taste like shrimp, when I peeled back the batter it didn?t look like shrimp and the tail was missing. Someone please tell me what it is I ate ? I can handle the truth.
Isn?t Tartar Sauce Made With Mayonnaise?
I might sound like I am totally nit-picking here but it?s my understanding that products made with mayonnaise are supposed to be on ice or kept cool to prevent spoilage. Still, at the condiment station along with the ketchup and shrimp sauce there?s tartar sauce in a pump dispenser. I sure hope that there?s something keeping it cool because that is a breeding ground of bacteria just waiting to get squirted onto someone?s plate.
You Call That A Kids Meal?
The first time I ordered a kid?s meal I expected something that would fill up my kids ? but after I looked in the bag I knew that wouldn?t be enough to tame my brood. The kid?s meal consists of a fish or chicken plank, a handful of fries, one hush puppy, a small beverage and ?a surprise?. Yeah, some surprise ? it?s a Long John Silver?s whale [or pirate] that you can write on [comes with one ?wipe off? crayon]. That?s not fun ? fun is a toy or something that will entertain a kid for a few minutes. Someone better rethink that whole ?treasure chest of fun? idea because flat out ? it sucks. The price is around $2.99 depending on which meal you choose but to me it?s a rip off. The kids are usually still hungry and I have to keep running up for refills every five minutes.
As I said, I visited four different locations and all of them seemed run down, dirty and in need of major renovations. The white paint on the walls was strewn with ketchup and mystery dirt, the bathrooms were completely filthy [no toilet paper, no seat covers and in three out of the four location graffiti on the walls] and the tables were all uncleaned from previous patrons. I even went so far as to ask for a sponge to wipe off the tables hoping that might inspire the manager to check the dining area ? no such luck.
The floors were dirty as well, most of the time they were sticky from spilled soda or ketchup. In all the times I?ve visited the various Long John Silver?s locations I?ve only seen one person mop the floor or wipe off a table and I am guessing that it was due to a customer?s complaint.
Hey, What About That ?Add A Piece? Thing?.
If you just can?t get enough of the Long John Silver?s menu you can ?add a piece? to your meal. Chicken planks are .99 cents, fish planks are $1.09 and a three ounce portion of clams will set you back .99 cents. You can also order hush puppies for .99 cents for four. I already mentioned the ?shrimp? [three for .99 cents] so there?s no need to go over my feelings on that subject again.
Things They Should Sell
Face it, Long John Silver?s isn?t the healthiest place to eat. I still find it rather shocking that they haven?t jumped on the ?health train? like other fast food places. They could easily offer a baked or broiled fish dinner that would require the same amount of prep time. I?d rather pay a little more for something that is a bit healthier. If they added baked fish with a crumb topping or had some frozen fillets I am sure they would increase their traffic. Anyone who eats at Long John Silver?s on a regular basis is just asking for trouble in the future.
How about baked potatoes as an alternative to french fries? Sure, that might not fit into the overall gimmick of ?fast food fish? but again, time?s change and so should menus. And the coleslaw ? how about a fruit cup or small tossed salad? The health conscious consumer wouldn?t be caught dead within fifty feet of Long John Silver?s with the current menu offerings.
Are Tattoo?s And An Attitude A Requirement?
I might sound like a hypocrite saying that because I have several tattoo?s myself but is it on the application form to have visible tattoos in order to work here? Sorry but if someone has a tattoo of ?Killa? on their hand I don?t want them touching my food. This goes hand in hand with the lack of customer service at all of the locations. When I asked for the forgotten orders of corn nibblers I didn?t even get an apology ? I got attitude. Hey, I paid for it ? and in a round about way am paying your wages so get off you?re a$$ and get my corn! At all four locations the employees had attitudes, not the standard ?I hate my job? attitude but rather ?I?m too good to work here? attitude.
Today was the last straw. I had my fill of ?fast food fish?. What pushed me over the edge? After I ordered and got the food ? minus the corn again ? I started looking for a clean table. Now, I have four kids with me ? four hungry kids that just want to sit down, have some food and go to the park. I counted 24 tables ? a few of which were occupied by other customers and all the rest were dirty. So I stood there ? I asked if anyone planned on cleaning the tables soon so we could eat and was told that no one was free to clean and bus the tables. No one was free? Hummm, what about the three people that are outside petting a customer?s dog? Hey, wait a minute, they just walked in the door and started back to work without washing their hands. I was completely blown away ? these people walked back inside and started taking orders and boxing food and never stopped to wash their hands. Sorry Long John Silver?s that was the final straw.
It?s an unavoidable thing ? fast food is a necessary evil in these days of field trips, soccer games and road trips to Los Angeles. It?s doubtful that I?ll ever visit another Long John Silver?s ? fast food shouldn?t make you ?fast sick? as well. Looks like its Jack In the Box and Mc Donald?s for this Freak from now on.
As always, thanks for stopping by? ^V^ Freak ^V^