The burger was good. Not great, but good. It cooked perfectly and very juicy. They cook all their burgers medium, which is the only way to do it, maybe medium-rare on occasion. The egg was a little overcooked, but still good nonetheless. I will say that the burger wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but I could tell that it was very fresh. The veggies, the bun, and the meat all tasted like they were cut that day and nothing was frozen. Also, I don’t care what anyone says, arugula does NOT go on a burger. I don’t think it goes well. That’s my opinion, I’m more of a spinach fan if you’re going to put a type of green on the burger that isn’t iceberg or romaine. The cheese on the burger was pretty good though. It was a pretty thick sliced piece of American Cheddar. Two pretty solid pieces of bacon as well. The meat may not have been the best seasoned, but the fries were off the rails. I absolutely love it whenever a kitchen not only season their fries, but they cooked their fries fresh. Those fries were pretty fantastic. If you read my reviews often, you’ll know that I’m a huge french fry lover. It’s the simple things. I paid about $10 for this burger, that’s including the fries, and I think that’s a very fair price for the freshness and flavor.
I love this place. It reminded me of a shotgun house in New Orleans. The narrow dining room was simply decorated, but was very elegant in design. The bar was well stocked and beautiful to look at. They had iron beams that made of the framing of the bar and a giant mirror in the middle of it. The roof was made up of a French ceiling tile pattern that was very classic looking. It really was a beautiful restaurant. It felt very clean. I didn’t need to visit the restroom while I was there, but if the cleanliness of the rest of the place was any indication of the restroom, it should have been very clean. The kitchen was behind a closed door, so it wasn’t loud at all. Overall, a great and comfortable place to be.
Okay, this is where things are going to get a little strange. I went alone for my visit. As a result, the kitchen was able to get my burger out to me in no time. This is, apparently, not the case usually. I say this because I’ve had multiple friends and co-workers go here on a regular lunch day and have to wait nearly an hour to get their food. On a Friday recently, for example, four of my friends went to The French Press and all ordered normal entrees. They even knew how long the kitchen can sometimes take, so they decided on their meals ahead of time and put the 4 top in at 12:15. They didn’t get their food until 1:08. That is completely unacceptable for a lunch rush, which is all The French Press does. They do not have a regular dinner service. It shouldn’t take nearly 1 hour to put four entrees together. Especially if you’re having a lunch service and you know that people likely have to get back to work. So, while my experience with the kitchen was met well, whenever you go with a group, expect very long kitchen wait times. I usually always base my opinions on my own experience, but the details and source in which I received this information go further than normal. I went ahead and took their account into my review and it will affect the score.
This is another section of the review that will be influenced by my friend’s recent visit. The server appeared early in the meal to take the order, and get the drinks, but then pretty much completely disappeared after that. Once again, this is completely unacceptable. Whenever I visited, it appeared as though they had close to 15 tables in the place, perhaps a few more, and about 4-5 servers on the floor at that time. Let’s do the math, that’s about 3-4 tables per server. If the servers cannot visit 3-4 tables enough to get refills and check in on the them, then the service is outright bad. I’ve done this before and waited on 6 tables that all got sat at once, so I know what it’s like to be busy. Everyone is different, there is no doubt about this, but time management is something that needs to be kept in mind at all times. I might have had a decent experience with the service on my trip, but hearing about this level of service from my friends would have made me not want to visit this place, if I had never been before. Word of mouth is everything in this town, so if someone has bad service, or slow service, they’re going to tell their friends and likely recommend going someplace else. I’m not marking off too many points, as I wasn’t there, but there will be some marked.
Look, there is no denying it, the food at The French Press is good. Considering I’ve only ever had a burger, there is likely something even better on the menu that I missed. The point I’m trying to make is that no matter how good the food is, it’s not going to matter if people avoid your restaurant because you provide mediocre service or have a slow kitchen. I’m going to sit here and just criticize without giving some sort of feedback, so here’s my two cents. Train your servers on time management better and get your kitchen moving faster. It’s as simple as that. I’m assuming I’ll get the response of, “have you ever run a restaurant before?” The answer is obviously no, but I know how restaurants operate well enough to feel comfortable calling my criticism “informed.” Call it what it is, but this review will get better likely once I re-visit. I’m always trying to change and update my reviews. This one will likely not stay this way.