Does anyone here know what happened to RATT this year? It’s not like it’s ever been the greatest place to grab a beer and a burger, but shouldn’t it be, well, better? Don’t we deserve more than a plate of limp fries in a years-old plastic basket and a too-sweet Aprikat? Doesn’t anyone else feel that from the minute you walk into RATT these days, it’s just not the same? Does anyone else think it’s time we started asking RATT some serious questions?
Hey RATT, remember when I braved the SUB elevators to pay you a visit, enduring the horror of the door that only closes on its fifth try? Or how I was stopped at the entrance by a kid who looked maybe 15 years old at best and asked for my ID? Does your bouncer not realize that the difference between the two of us is that when I was growing up, my school had world maps featuring the USSR?
How about the fact that when I finally did get in, I had to wait 30 minutes for a server to come over to my table? And how when I got up to ask if someone was going to serve me, your server gave me a look that asked how dare I even breathe such a question? Did you not notice how I was sitting at a table in the middle of the room with no one around me? How exactly did your server not see me sitting there? Did you not even notice that lonely $20 bill just sitting at the table for the hour? Or how I slipped it in my pocket after I passed the half-hour waiting mark because you never bothered to?
Do you remember, RATT, last year, when burgers were cheaper and had two slices of bacon rather than just one? And do you know why you — at least last time I was there — cooked the burgers in the oven rather than grilling them? Do you even know what makes a good burger? Is it your understanding that a meat patty should be oven-cooked to bland evenness rather than allowed to bask in glory amidst flames, bravely risking becoming charred in the pursuit of true perfection?
And speaking of that grill, how many students can afford the $17 steak? How many, when seeing that addition and the removal of affordable staples such as the buffalo chicken wrap, simply went to Avenue Pizza to enjoy their $11 steak sandwich instead? Why, in the name of all that is holy, is there a single menu item in a student bar that costs $17? How many have you even sold? Can I just get a grilled cheese sandwich instead?
But why do you make it impossible to even order a grilled cheese, RATT? Remember when I ordered my grilled cheese only to be told by the waitress 20 minutes later that you ran out of bread? Not cheese, or even butter, but frickin’ bread? Do you not realize that bread is one of the most readily available food items in the world? Tell me, RATT, do you buy one gleaming package of WonderBread in the morning and pray to the gods of the seventh floor that it’ll last you the day? And what, exactly, was going through the waitress’s head when she made me pay full price for my meal after having to wait another 20 minutes to receive my next order — after my co-diner had already devoured all of their own cold fries?
Tell me, RATT, would you want to eat at a restaurant that runs out of tartar sauce but still serves fish and chips? Have you ever tried fish and chips by themselves? Do you realize how tasteless they are? Did you see the pool of grease left behind on the plate? Did the soggy fries that absorbed that grease disgust you as much as it did me? Did you not realize that tartar sauce is basically just mayonnaise and relish, with a little bit of onion? Do you know how cheap all those things are? Are you aware you could probably have picked up everything you needed at SUBmart?
Do you know why, when I last ordered food, our pitcher of beer arrived along with it — 30 minutes after the order was placed? Does it take that long to fill a jug? And did you mean not to put the onion rings in with the burger? Can’t you understand that’s the whole reason I even made that menu choice? Was it even busy that day, or at some point, did you simply stop caring? And with regards to the beer, how about that time when a good half of your beer choices were missing? Then when we did find a palatable option, why was the pitcher not accompanied by glasses? The place was essentially empty, so why were we given plastic, clear — not red, but clear — Solo cups? As an SU business, aren’t you all about sustainability?
Was I a fool for having faith that I could order a decent Manhattan from your bar? Did you assume I wouldn’t notice the lack of the smooth background flavours of the Angostura bitters that should be complementing the sweet vermouth and whiskey making the cocktail serenely complete? Do you take me for an uneducated lout?
Did you know you have a dessert that’s basically just a plain waffle with ice cream? Did you think that would be appetizing? Have you actually tried it? Did you know that when the ice cream melts onto the waffle, you’re left with a pile of mush?
Did you still expect a tip, after that experience? Is your debit machine broken, or did you mean it to give an error message when I selected the “no tip” option? Twice? And if so, did you think I was so stupid that I wouldn’t simply select “yes” the next time and pick zero per cent, like I did? I hope you understand that I don’t like not tipping, but with the level of service you provide some days, do you really think I have a choice?
Can we go back to how things used to be, RATT? When you were a place of joy — a place where students could grab a cheap and tasty meal between classes? What happened to the chef hired with much fanfare in the summer of 2011? Did he leave and you forgot all that he taught you? Was it worth it?
How are you doing, RATT? Are we going to have another Powerplant situation on our hands, here? Are we? Can you just do us all a favour, embrace your identity as a dive bar, and just get back to being decent?
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