6401 Riverside Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95831. (916) 391-7990.
If there ever was a restaurant that needed a Gordon Ramsay-type intervention, it would be Pocket Bistro. On a recent Sunday morning, I met up with a friend and her two adorable, well-behaved children for a brunch there. What followed was one of the more crappier dining experiences of 2013 for me. This wasn't a restaurant I planned to review, but after the sub par food and the even worse service we experienced, well, I just can't keep my mouth shut.
We arrived at The Pocket Bistro around 11:30 expecting a bustling eatery but what we encountered was more akin to a dimly-lit Ghost Town. That should have tipped us off right away, but we stayed anyway. Bad move. After standing awkwardly in the doorway for about 5 minutes while the waitress did everything in her power not to make eye contact or acknowledge us, the bartender in the next room came over, gave us a friendly greeting and seated us. There was only two other tables occupied in the dining room (a solo diner and a two-top), yet service was slower than molasses in January. We had to flag down our waitress to order. My friend ordered a sandwich, I went with an omelet and we got a grilled cheese for the kiddos to share. Not a complicated order at all. The only modification made was that I asked for no cheese on my omelet because I'm lactose intolerant. In a near empty restaurant, it took over 30 minutes to get our orders once they were placed. It was ridiculous. Honestly, I was amazed that my friend's kidlets remained so well-behaved as most children would have been kicking up a fuss with a wait like that. When we got our food, my omelet was slathered with melted cheese and my English muffin was MIA. I pointed this out to the waitress, to which she gave me a look like I had two-heads, mumbled something about having told the kitchen no cheese and then walked off with my plate. About 15 minutes later, she returned with the same omelet with the cheese scraped off, now cold, and still no English muffin. (But there were jam/jelly packets and butter on my plate, go figure. Guess it was for my invisible English muffin?) To put it bluntly, the omelet set before me looked a bit like something that had been regurgitated. My friend and I looked at each other like, "WTF?" At this point, I stuck a fork in the cold omelet because I wasn't going to drag out this craptastic brunch any longer then we needed to. The omelet tasted as unappetizing as it looked. It was rubbery, dense, overcooked and looked like it had been stuffed with kitchen scraps. The accompanying potatoes had a hint of garlic flavoring, but they too were cold and tasted like they had been cooked in too much oil (they were not crispy, more like greasy and gloppy). Serving slop like this on a plate and calling it brunch should be a crime. Honestly, we would have been better off hitting up a Denny's.
As soon as we got our bill, we paid and got the heck out of Dodge. We didn't want to hang out at this place any longer than necessary, it was putting a damper on our Sunday. I did notice though that as we left, the bistro was just as empty as when we arrived...and now we knew why. Pocket Bistro failed to deliver on anything resembling a decent meal. Since life's too short to eat bad food or to put up with substandard service, I will be avoiding this place in the future.