Monday, May 17, 2010

Time For Some Quality Control At DTD Wolfgang Puck Express

I had a disappointing meal at Wolfgang Puck Express at WDW Downtown Disney this past April. Here's the story.

The last time I was there, which was this past December, 2009, I actually had quite a good meal. I ordered the pocket moo shoo chicken, which was very yummy. Another in our party had the chicken melt, which was also excellent. On a later visit during the same trip, we went back and ordered the pizza. They were disappointing to say the least. The pizza crusts were limp, and the bottom of the pizza were short of being doughy. It was not what I expected, considering that Wolfgang Puck made his name with Spago and practically popularized the California pizza craze.

Anyhow, these are the pictures of the moo shoo chicken pocket, and the chicken melt.

So when we went back to WDW this past April, we had dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express. I already made up my mind to order the moo shoo chicken pocket again and staying away from the pizza. Well, guess what? They had changed the menu! No more moo shoo chicken pocket. I also don't recall seeing the chicken melt. It was highly disappointing. So instead, I ordered the grilled vegetable sandwich.

Now, I should have known that there would be trouble ahead as early as at the cash register. When the cashier repeated our order, he mentioned my order as "veggie melt", which isn't even on the menu board. So I corrected him and told him that I order the grilled vegetable sandwich (which is what was written on the menu board). He told me that that's what it is, and that "veggie melt" is their name for it. So I said OK, even though I didn't expect the sandwich to have anything to melt.

OK, so now we were waiting for our food at our table while enjoying the conversation and the evening. The food arrives. Er... wrong order! I got a "turkey melt"! I showed the server my receipt and that I'm supposed to get the grilled vegetable sandwich, and told him so even though it said "veggie melt" on the receipt. So he apologized (the server was actually quite pleasant in all of this, and really, none of this is his fault at all) and told me that he will make sure they tackle my order immediately.

Now, before I told you what I got, here's a question for you. When you see something that says "grilled vegetable sandwich", what do you envision in your head? For me, when I see that, I see sliced pieces of vegetables such as green peppers, onions, zucchini, etc., all grilled, having charred marks, and then layered between bread to make a sandwich. I mean, I've had plenty of grilled vegetable sandwich before. In fact, Artiste Palate at Saratoga Springs has an amazing grilled vegetable sandwich. So I don't think I am being unusual in expecting something close to that.

Well, here's what I got when the order finally came. In between the two pieces of bread, I saw at the bottom of the pile, some small amount of DICED vegetables (can't figure out what they were, really) that had been smothered with a melted cheese. On top of this mess, was a heaping pile of arugula. Now, I like arugula, and I don't mind such a heaping pile at all. But where were the GRILLED VEGETABLES????!!! The sandwich should have been called arugula sandwich with diced vegetables and melted cheese. I then realized that the name "veggie melt" was the more appropriated name for it than what was advertised on the menu board!

When our server came by to check up on us, I asked him if the grilled vegetable sandwich was supposed to look like this, especially when there were no "grilled vegetable" in evidence. He kinda acknowledged that this was what the sandwich was supposed to look like. But then, he told me that next time when I order the sandwich, ask for the vegetables that were meant for the pizza. Supposedly, these are larger pieces of vegetables, and if I ask for them, these will be used to build the sandwich.

OK, so now things are getting confusing, and frankly, ridiculous. First of all, I thought the vegetables used for pizza are usually diced vegetables, which was what I got! Secondly, why is there even this option that isn't told to the customers?

At this point, I just got fed up and ate my sandwich and vowed to no longer go back to Wolfgang Puck Express unless they bring back my moo shoo chicken pocket. I'll go back to my reliable Earl of Sandwich, which gives you exactly what you expect, and having a consistent quality of food, without any "hidden" menu items.

I suppose if you order the pizza and the "standard" items, you probably won't go wrong there. But try ordering something that isn't that popular and who knows what you would get. Calling what I got as "grilled vegetable sandwich" is false advertisement. Someone there needs to be taught some culinary information on what such a thing should be.



Steph said...

Hi there! New follower here. I live 10 minutes outside of the Disney parks and go pretty much every weekend! :)

Anonymous said...

ZapperZ, you really shjould print this letter and send it to Disney/Wolfgang Puck Express!