Eddie Merlot's

Tristan Indiana
2005/02/14 11:09:02
For Valentine's Day I took my sweetheart out to dinner Saturday night. We decided to try someplace new so we made reservations at Eddie Merlot's, a higher end steakhouse on the north side of Indy. Indianapolis Monthly raved about their Bananas Foster and since I haven't had that dessert since the last time I was in NO, that was enough to make me want to go. We arrived on time for our reservation, but were told there was about a 20 minute wait for our table. We didn't really mind because the architecture of the place was fascinating with a large barrel ceiling and walls done with various woods and stone. We mingled around the bar and looked at the interesting details of the restuarant until our table was ready. They gave us a nice big booth in the corner, there was a party of about 10 celebrating next to us, but the we were able to talk without shouting over the noise which was nice.
They have enormous shrimp cocktails that are served in a fog of dry ice which is impressive but I knew if I got one I wouldn't have room for dessert so I declined. I decided on the peppercorn encrusted filet minion and Lisa tried the shrimp stuffed wth crab and blue cheese. The filet came brown inside instead of pink (I ordered it medium rare), but service was so painfully slow, I gratefully ate my piece of meat rather than ask for another one. Lisa declared that her shrimp were delicious. The were very big, like small lobsters instead of shrimp. Four of them covered a full size dinner plate. Everything is ala carte so we ordered a couple of field greens salads and split an order of fried potatoes to go with our meal. The salads were very small but tasty. The fries were nothing special.
With the main course over it was time for dessert. I can only say that I was disappointed. They wheeled out the preparations for making for the Bananas Foster, the liquer, the rum, the bananas ,etc. The waitress puts the ingredients in the pan, flames it, and serves it immediately over the ice cream. The bananas didn't have time absorb the flavors, to turn brown or to even get warm. None of the ingredients had a chance to mix. It was cold pices of banana with rum and sugar and banana liquer on them. I promised Lisa we'd make it to the French Quarter some day and I'd get her a real Bananas Foster.
Overall, I'd say the restuarant is physically beautiful, the service (this time) was unbelievablly slow, the food varied from great to just ok. Dinner, 2 drinks, and tip set me back $120. Not sure if I will try again, they did enough things right I probably will. But the next big night out, I'm insisting we go to St. Elmo.
RE: Eddie Merlot's 2005/02/14 12:06:35
If I ordered a fillet mignon medium rare and it came out "brown inside" it's going back . . and fast! That's just absurd. I wouldn't put up with that at an $8.95 steak house. Am I being picky? I'm surious as to what others here would do in such a situation.
The service was slow, they blew the steak and the dessert. . . exactly how is it that "they did enough things right" to go back again?
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: Eddie Merlot's 2005/02/14 12:19:43
If I ordered a filet mignon medium rare you could be sure the person ordering was an imposter. But, if I ordered a strip medium rare and it came out brown inside it would go back.
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: Eddie Merlot's 2005/02/14 12:36:39
I have to say that you are more forgiving than myself on a $120 tab. I would have sent the steak back, as no medium rare should be brown on the inside -- heck, medium rare should barely be brown on the OUTSIDE! I am with SouthHillbilly on this one -- overcooked entree, overly slow service and disappointing desert does not equal return visit in my book.

Filet Mignon
RE: Eddie Merlot's 2005/02/14 14:26:59
I'd agree----we all know its not possible to sell me $120 worth of food in two dinners--so what you are pauing for is quality and service---and you DID NOT GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR! worring about it in a 9.99 steak buffet is futile--but anyplace that is SUPPOSED to be high end should have a a staff that knows that. Complain noiw even if it is too late to do anything about the meal---call and talk to the OWNER or MANAGER and let them know how you felt---oh and by the way--let them known that you also told about a gazillion folks online!!! and there poor service may have cost them alot more then just two customers! I am willing to bet that if Eddie Merlot got a overcooked steak the cooks would hear about it!
Tristan Indiana
RE: Eddie Merlot's 2005/02/15 00:48:28
Thanks everyone for your responses and pointers. In reality, I probably wouldn't recommend this place. I was trying to put the best face on an important evening for my girlfriend and it carried over to my review. To be fair, her entre was very well prepared and since shes never had Bananas Foster, she didn't realize how bad they screwed it up. And she would be the first to tell you I am normally not shy about speaking up and demanding proper service. Just tried to make it a relaxing pleasant evening for her, plus I wouldn't want to wait another hour for them to prepare another filet.
One last funny thing, I was telling my best friend about the dinner today, commenting on how unprofessional the service was, and he says he understands because his brother-in-law is a waiter at Eddie Merlot's.