Let's say 3.5 Stars. I couldn't go any higher due to the way we were snubbed at the hostess stand. It was mad windy Saturday and we had just come off of one of those double-decker tour buses. I was wearing jeans, flip-flops, a cute top and a little jacket. My friend was wearing a maxie dress with a little denim jacket and flip-flops. Unfortunately, our hair was whooped from the wind but um that should've been expected(with the weather being no secret and all). We didn't look like ragamuffins or hoochie-mamas, I mean we were dressed for tourism. Anyway, when we walked in - all wind-blown, there were 4 (yes 4) people standing behind the host stand conversing. At least 2 of them looked up and down at us, didn't acknowledge us at all and then continued their conversation. Um, isn't part of the job description of "host" to greet customers upon entering the establishment? I mean, isn't that why the host stand is positioned at the entrance and not in the back by the kitchen? After a few minutes, I piped up and said, "Excuse me, is there a bar area for casual dining?" It was obvious that we were not dressed for the dining room but damn. We were then pointed in the direction of the bar. Technically, we should have left but we thought we'd see this venture through in its entirety.
We proceeded to the bar area and had a discussion about the reasons why we don't patronize black businesses often (if at all). As black women (people), it's sad that at times we cannot get the same level of service we've become accustomed to at an establishment that is non-black owned. The host is the first point of contact and the interaction between the host and the patron usually sets the tone for the experience. Unfortunately B. Smith's host crew lacks the most basic skill of their job description: Greet guests.
Ok, let's talk about food: Lucky for us, we happened upon Happy Hour! 2 of my favorite words:-) Yes, B. Smith's has a Happy Happy hour Mon – Sat(I forgot what time it begins but it ends at 7) that offers special cocktails depending on the day and certain small plate items. Drinks are not included in the Happy Hour on Saturday though.
We ordered Thai-Spiced Wings, Catfish Fingers(nuggets really), Mac-N-Cheese and Collard Greens. Overall, our food was amazing. The sauce on the wings was phenomenal and they were cooked to perfection (no pinkness near the bone). The catfish fingers were fried to perfection and lightly seasoned. I could've used a little more seasoning but they were still so freakin' good. Oh, if you're like me, you like hot sauce on your catfish. If you like Louisiana or Redhot hotsauce, bring your own. I know it's ghetto but the sauce they have is just too damn hot which to me, takes away from the flavor of what you're eating. But hey, if you like that type of heat, then go for it. The mac-n-cheese was pretty good, not totally bomb out of this world but good. It was nice and cheesy and had good flavor. Um, let me tell you about those greens though - can I just say that they were the best greens that I've ever dared to try at a restaurant. These greens were fresh too, not canned - fresh. Somebody de-stemmed, washed and cut them before cooking (just like I do). I wanted to take some home and freeze them, they were just that freakin good.
Bartender - Nathan waited on us. His service was exceptional. He was cool but maintained a professional interaction with us that was both comforting and knowledgeable. When I asked him if the greens were canned or fresh, he responded, "Oh, we don't get down like that, they're fresh". He knew what he was talking about too and makes a mean Apple Martini.
In spite of the cold - bourgeoisie attitude we received from the host stand, we will return and go directly to the bar area. SHOUT OUT TO NATHAN!!!!!
Pros: Our food was tasty
Cons: Lack of basic common courtesy and customer svc skills