Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Restaurant Review: Rumors

5205 Monroe Street
Toledo, OH 43623-3139
(419) 841-4529
Mon-Thr 8-11; Fri-Sat 8-12; Sun 8-10

I've eaten at Rumors several times over the past 12 months or so, and I've patronized this place for three reasons:
  1. It's close to home
  2. The food isn't bad
  3. I've forgotten how lousy the service is

Rumors advertises a good selection of Mediterranean and American food backed by a full bar, and in that it succeeds - sort of.  The place does have a selection of Mediterranean food, but the Med is a big place and the food is diverse.  Rumors is not.  Diverse, that is.  Rumors offers the same items you can get anyplace else that offers Mediterranean food - fatoush, shish of various kinds, falafil and the ubiquitous gyro sandwich.  American items are burgers, steaks and lake Erie perch.  The tip off as to the quality of the food begins with the disclaimers in the menu:
There will be an extra charge for fatoush, hommous, Greek and Tabouli Salads on non-mediterranean dinners.
With Hommous extra $2.00
Sorry we will not be responsible for steaks ordered medium well or well done.
All Platters served with two items: Salad, Coleslaw, fries or vegetables. With Hommous extra $2.00. With lettuce, tomatoe, and cheese extra $0.75. Greek Salad extra $1.00 Cary Out Box $0.25
I can kind of understand the caveat about the well done steak, but medium well?  No.  All that means is that the place is buying a poor quality of beef which people have been complaining about and they don't want any more complaints.  Ditto with the extra charges.  These people are trying to dollar the customer to death and with their dollar here and two dollars there, you'll end up with a significant bill before you leave.  Plus, if you want to take your leftovers home it'll cost you an additional quarter to do so.

The food at Rumors isn't inferior enough to make me write the place off once and for all.  While the food isn't substandard, neither is Budweiser.  Bud isn't bad beer, it just isn't great beer.  That won't stop me from drinking one and follow it with another, I just won't go out of my way to do so.  It's the same with Rumors food.  Not bad, just not great.  One thing I can say about the food is that the portions are enormous.  Here's a sample of gyro meat from the appetizer menu:

Gyro Meat Appetizer
Once you dig into the gyro meat you'll find iceberg lettuce and some sliced onion underneath.  I guess I'm not surprised.

Judging by the decor, Rumors is trying to be a refined, upscale sports bar.  The acoustics are good and sound doesn't echo.  A few big screen televisions are positioned strategically so as to allow the sports minded man to keep an eye on the game while he slurps down his beer and ignores whatever the old lady is carping about.  Women can screech at each other in raucous voices without disturbing the patrons three tables away, and the place tends not to attract many children which is nice for everyone.  I would have to say that Rumors succeeds here, mainly because of the acoustics and because the prices tend to keep families away.  Rumors is not an 'all you can eat' place.

While the food is mediocre at best, the service is crap.  Our waitress was a fat, dumb girl with an affected accent of some sort.  East side, maybe?  She refuses the glottal stop (voiceless glottal plosive) found in the letter T, so little comes out sounding like li-uhl, with a sort of hiccup in the middle of it.  For clarity, have someone hit you in your solar plexus while you say the word 'little' and listen to the sound.  I find the affection annoying, but I could overlook it if the porcine idiot would show up when we needed her.  When I'm sitting at the bar and I can't get a beer, there's a problem with the service.  After I observed the wait staff for a while, I discovered that they tended to congregate in the kitchen and when they were floating around the dining room they refused to actually look at anyone in their section.

As I write this, I'm convincing myself not to go back to Rumors, and given the choices in Toledo I don't think I will.  Until I forget how lousy the service is, anyway.  Here's my summation of Rumors:

  • Ambiance: 6
  • Service: 2
  • Food: 5

Rating: 4


Stephanie Lorée said...

I've never even heard of a place that nickels and dimes for a doggy bag. What kind of crap is that?

Thanks for the heads-up. I definitely won't be dining at Rumors.

Mad Jack said...

Yeah, I had a hard time with that as well. I really don't think I'm going back to Rumors.