The talk around the Nashville blogosphere lately has been about the trouble the Mothership BBQ is in. He needs monetary help or he’ll have to close down is what I’ve been hearing.
But when I first heard that, I have to honestly say that my first thought was, “I’m not surprised.”
Ok, don’t all flame me at once; don’t start your voodoo chants on me. Don’t hate me. (At least not for this post.) Listen to my story. I hate to see any business—especially a food business—fail. And I’m sure the owner is as great of a guy as everyone says.
But hear me out.
Back in the fall, all I had been hearing for weeks was just how great Mothership BBQ was. I heard from several people who know the guy that owns it just how great of a guy he is, and how awesome his barbecue is. Well, Ian and I eat a lot of barbecue. I mean, I’ve gone weeks before where I’ve eaten it probably five out of seven days for at least one meal a day. I tend to eat it at least once a week, if not more often. Every year for the last seven years I’ve gone to the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue festival and eaten barbecue from all over the place. I freaking LOVE barbecue.
So after hearing how great the Mothership was, I convinced Ian one Saturday that we should drive up there to eat lunch.
We drove 45 minutes to eat there. And 45 minutes back.
And the food was bad. And so was the owner’s attitude.
When we walked in (it was about 2:30, 3:00) there were two people seated and eating. We perused the menu for a second, and decided on some pork plates. We went to order, and were greeted by who I’m assuming is the owner. He looked like he does on his blog photo, so unless he’s got a twin, that’s who I’m going to assume was running the place that day.
Anyway, we walked up to order, and were basically treated like we were bothering him that we were there. No smiling, no greeting. Basically an air of “Oh great, I have to talk to these people.” There was no, “What can I get you,” “How are you,” “What would you like,” etc. We were just glared at.
Maybe our kind (people from Murfreesboro) aren’t welcome there? Is it that obvious?! :)
After ordering and giving him our money and our name, there was no “thank you.” No “have a seat, I’ll call your name when it’s ready.” No, “just a few minutes.” There was grumbling under his breath, a slamming of the cash register drawer, and more of us feeling like we were pissing him off just by being there.
We weren’t really sure if we should sit down or wait off to the side, and honestly were afraid we’d get our asses beat if we asked, so we kind of moved to the side for a minute. We realized by the actions of two people that came in and ordered after us that we should sit down and our name would be called when our order was ready.
After waiting about 20 minutes for our food, our name indeed was called.
And honestly, folks, it was not good. The barbecue was watery and tasteless, and the beans and mac & cheese were the same, except they were covered in pepper. A lot of pepper. I would have tried to save the barbecue with some sauce, except the only sauce we saw was a vinegar-like sauce. Ian tried it, but said it didn’t do much to make it better.
I understand that everyone has bad days. I’m no chef, but I’m guessing sometimes things don’t turn out like you want them to.
And since I work in Nashville, and everyone in the Nashville blogging circle seems to love this place, I normally would give it a second chance.
Except that I don’t want to drive another 45 minutes, 90 minutes round trip, to be treated like I am bugging the shit out of someone by attempting to purchase what they are selling.
I don’t expect to be treated like a damn princess, but I’d at least like to be made to feel welcome. Or to not be made to feel like I’m wasting someone’s time. I always thought when you want people to come in and buy what you are selling, you should try not to act like they are pissing you off, unless they actually are. But we are not fussy. We are not rude. We are—and were—polite. We always say please and thank you, especially at a restaurant because Ian is a good southern boy and I, dammit, know what pissed off restaurant people will do to your food if you’re not nice.
Attitude really makes a difference. At least to me. Maybe I’m too sensitive. But a bad meal coupled with a bad attitude doesn’t make me want to eat there again. And while I hate to see someone’s dream in trouble, it appears that I’m not the only one to have the same experience at Mothership.
Tags: barbecue, Nashville