Sure, food is important, but so is the service. Where do you feel the love?
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As much as it pains me…Decatur Chic-Fil-A
For the money, you are absolutely correct, it’s Chik fil a. I also enjoy the service at FarmBurger. Lastly, while not inexpensive, I have some very good expereince with servers at Wahoo.
+1! We love Cafe Lily and the wait staff is a big part of that!
Yep, their policy of saying “my pleasure” really works, doesn’t it? Even though I *know* it’s a company policy. it still pleases me. Good job ChickFilHate.
My vote goes to Twain’s for most improved kitchen and awesome waitstaff. The brew guys are pretty FAB, too.
Twain’s has definitely stepped it up, service and menu ( the crispy kale sandwich is a new fave for a meatless meal). I’ve always gotten great service at the bar though, less so otherwise.
Feel the exact same way about Twain’s service.
The bakery at Cakes and Ale —always so nice and recognize the regulars…love that.
+1…LOVE Cakes and Ale!
Sure…but for the money? Think I need a foot rub and a shoe shine for C&A to enter this discussion.
Mezcalito’s, seriously? I’ve never had to consistently wait so long for service in my life!
There are awesome servers at these spots, though:
Sun in My Belly
Maybe they just don’t like you. Every time we’ve been the service as been as great as the food.
I’ve also had good experiences at Mezcalito’s.
Service can be good at Mezcalitos and it can be well below average so it doesn’t earn a place in this conversation from my perspective. The food, however, is always great.
yup, when they get in the weeds, abandon all hope.
we always get top-notch service at leon’s.
Agreed. Was there with my daughter this weekend, and the poor waiter accidentally spilled an entire serving of frites all over her when he tried to place it on our table. They couldn’t have been better about how they handled it.
Also, the Old Timer on their spring cocktail list is highly enjoyable.
I disagree on the “my pleasure” thing at the Chic-Fil-A. In my opinion, the idea is to PORTRAY that; not robotically say it. Theirs is the best fast-food service around. Yet, as someone in denial about their Chic-Fil-A addiction, it drives me crazy.
I’ll go ahead and be the stick-in-the-mud here and point out that the question was “best restaurant wait staff”. Handing over a bag of fried food across a counter does not qualify as restaurant service in my book, not even close. I’m glad that Chick-fil-a staffers do well compared to their peer group, but I’m also thankful that real restaurant service in Decatur isn’t dependent on underpaid teenagers.
Square Pub. The bartenders are friendly and the owners are always there talking with guests.
Love the folks at Sushi Avenue- both sites.
They remember what I like and bring it quickly with smiles!
Leon’s and Square Pub
The staff at Chai Pani are super nice and answer my silly questions about unfamiliar Indian dishes with a straight face.
The Brick Store. I love the team approach. Anybody will help if you so much as raise an eyebrow.
+1 on the team approach. That’s just as it should be from a patron’s point of view. Who wants to scan the room for “your” waiter when there is wait staff all around?
Yep. That’s what sets Brick Store and Leon’s apart from most other places. That and the fact that by all accounts they treat their employees very well.
Doug at Cakes & Ale and formerly of Watershed is my favorite waiter anywhere. Great guy and his service is always fantastic.
I second the Sushi Ave and Leon’s comments as well, both have always been great service experiences.
I agree with the folks who have mentioned Brick Store and Leon’s. They treat their staff well and it translates to great service.
Dancing Goats (I know it’s not a restaurant but some weeks it’s as close as I get to one.)
The Marley House
Rise and Dine
This is quite the list, and I only disagree with one. I would describe service at Kavarna as ambivalent.
I debated on that one. It depends on who is working the counter. But some of them are so good that I decided that the service, on average, is still high. It’s also more of a coffee/bar than restaurant but as I mentioned above, sometimes coffee is all the entertainment I get.
I was once worked as a Server at Papadeaux seafood. In my college days, I had worked at a total of ten restaurants in Atl. Both locations had the same training standards, which were the most rigorous I had ever seen. I have no affiliation whatsoever with them. While you have to like Cajun seafood, the is no place I have ever seen where absolutely perfect service is as reliable.
Though I certainly don’t dispute what you’re saying about the training at Papadeaux, I had terrible service both times I’ve eaten there, along with close to an hour waits for just ok food. Never again.
Interesting about Papadeaux. Glad you voiced a counterpoint.
For the money, it is Raging Burrito. They take great pains to follow special requests to the letter, which can’t necessarily be reasonably expected at many places serving a $7 meal. No one bats an eye when I call out four different taco platters with four different and completely bizarre combinations of items. In fact, I always get a smile, and I don’t think they’ve ever gotten it wrong.
So glad to hear that! I don’t go there often these days, but I used to frequent it years ago and my group of friends had a running joke about whether or not they would get even one order right (and we’re not talking anything crazy). It was just the price to be paid for sipping the yummy margaritas on their patio. It’s nice to hear they so improved.
Logan at Steinbeck’s! She rocks, food rocks.
I have to say that Chick-fil-a on N Druid Hills is the best service for meals under $10. On nights they are not busy we’ve had them bring our food to us and they are happy to serve. Don’t agree with their politics but darn it’s always top-notch service and I love CFA…sorry to see the carrot-raisin salad go tho…
Square Pub. Staff is the best.
I’m not going to name any names because I really like most of these restaurants. But there’s a handful in Decatur that have relliably slow and disorganized service. At one point I was going to stop patronizing one of these places in particular. But I like it so much for the food and atmosphere that I’ve learned to accept/overlook the slow service. We’ve also learned the value of carrying cash with the right mix of bills so we can always just get up and leave once the check comes.
Why not name names? The restaurants may have other redeeming qualities, and sometimes a realistic expectation of the service makes ensuing lapses less bothersome.
I vote for the staffs at Pastries a Go Go and Sweet Melissa’s. Friendly and efficient – a great combination.
I forgot about Sweet Melissa’s. Always awesome service there. The Gurevitch’s run a great staff.
I have to say the wait staffs at Pastries a GoGo, Taqueria del Sol and Leon’s are the best in Decatur for our family. I realize there is likely to be some dissent on the TdS front, but they have always been fabulous to us.
Iberian Pig (especially Derrick and Lane)
Mar (especially Kat!)
Leon’s. They treat their staff well and it translates to great service.
Avellino’s on College Ave. is always good.
Yes! Always polite; always a smile. And the guy who delivers by bicycle (!) is faster than car delivery from anywhere else.
I’m happy to say that I’ve rarely received anything but great service in Decatur restaurants. BrickStore/Leon’s are models of efficiency–no waiting for “your” server to get a drink or a water refill–and if pressed to name just one place here I’d go with Leon’s.
Square Pub is always great, and Bob one of the co-owners is a super nice guy who always seems happy to pour a pint if the bartender is busy. Pastries a Go-Go has a great, friendly staff.
Honestly, I’d probably be so surprised by a bad service experience in Decatur (outside of a chain) that I’d be predicting it’d be only a matter of time before they shuttered– because of the very competitive scene here downtown.
To my list I’ll add something from unincorporated Decatur. Though perhaps not quite up to the standards around here, the staff at Napoleons over in Oak Grove does a great job and Erin at the bar is wonderful. Plus, people really dig the classic rock/pop cover band they have on Thursdays and Fridays.
+1 for Erin. She’s the best bartender in Atlanta.
Old-timers: Sweet Melissa’s, Brick Store, Noodle
Newish-timers: Chai Pani, Mac McGhee’s, The Pinewood
If we leave “for the money” out, Cakes & Ale.
Now, what do you tip for really (!) good service.
If it’s less than 15% I usually call for the manager to explain the reasons. But I have gone as high as 25% when warranted.
Maybe this is a question for a different thread.
Would be a good thread. I usually tip in the 20-30 percent range, and 10-15 for mediocre service. I’m occasionally extravagant and tip 50% or more. Dining out is one of my favorite things in life though, so I never feel burdened by tipping and count myself fortunate to be able to tip well. I save the frugality for elsewhere in my life.
bad service in Decatur is pretty rare–is there a more dense population of this many good restaurants in Atlanta? don’t think so, and that level of competition keeps the quality pretty high.
unless the server is completely incompetent or the kitchen/staff overwhelmed, i tend to get good service at most places. i think how you treat a server is half of the equation, and am always amused by people who think it’s ok to be boorish yet expect service staff to turn the other cheek. most homies don’t play dat.
The West Side probably has Decatur beat for restaurants. But it’s close.
it is close. zagats.com says there are 31 “west side” Atlanta restaurants; 40 in Decatur.
of course they can claim Bacchanalia.
which is nice.
I think the “west side” is a little better on the high-end, but Decatur is better on the less pricey end. Downtown Decatur, though, is unbeatable when it comes to being able to walk from one place to another.
that’s fair–we definitely don’t have as many white table cloth joints
True, and same with Oakhurst. Westside is a park-eat-leave scenario. Nightmare for pedestrians. Great for suburbanites though.
What’s the definition of Westside? Buckhead, Midtown? Or way west like West End?
re: restaurants. i’d say west of 85 from North Ave up to Chattahoochee Ave, mostly along Northside Dr, and Howell Mill Rd
I wonder what Zagat’s definition of Decatur is? Based on that count I’m assuming unincorporated Decatur is included, which adds a bunch of interesting Indian and Ethiopian restaurants.
Oh, I guess I’m showing my Decatur provincialism. I barely know where the Westside is and if I’ve eaten out that way, I don’t remember it.
Surprized no one has mentioned Melton’s App & Tap yet. Love that place.
Was just thinking that myself. Always great service.
What about Petit Auberge? It’s location in Toco Hills is <> to Decatur.
Petit Auberge is one of those long-standing places nearby I have always meant to try and have never gotten around to it. Same thing with The Red Snapper on Cheshire Bridge.
Moving a little further afield, we love the whole staff at The Shed at Glenwood (they put a white tablecloth out for our anniversary dinner. Only tablecloth in the place), the folks at Ammazza are great, and we’re always treated well at H. Harper Station.
Steinbeck’s!! They are all awesome but Logan is awesome+.
Café Lily has the best wait staff bar none.