Service so bad…..
Jackson’s Bistro is located right on the water near the Tampa Convention Center and boasts a huge wrap around patio with great views and a bar. It was a humid night and so our group had reserved a table for eight inside. Our table was across from the double door entry which blasted us with the setting sun so that one side of the table needed sunglasses while the other remained in silhouette. The very large dining room was so noisy it made conversation nearly impossible. The place was very lively, with quite a lot of teenagers enjoying prom night. We enjoyed seeing the kids all dressed up and marveled with awe that the stunning supermodels passing our table were actually in high-school. How grown up they looked! Ah yes, we remembered those days fondly and compared prom stories.
I ordered Jackson’s signature Kale Salad topped with Grilled Salmon and have to say it was delicious. Hubby and a couple others ordered the Mushroom Chicken Marsala and they loved it but alas hubby did not. Do you see a recurring theme here? The Sushi Nigiri was very good as was the Lobster Bisque. So we gave it pretty high marks for food. But the service was just terrible.
Our waiter claimed to have worked at Jackson’s for almost as long as it’s been open. It appears he’s still in training. He seemed overwhelmed by how busy the place was and eager to rush away from our table. He mumbled and seemed to resent having to repeat himself. Half the drink orders were taken, and he never asked the other side of the table so had to come back twice.
When the entrees were brought, he hadn’t first taken the time to buss the empty appetizer dishes out of the way so there was an awkward moment of him expecting you to move your salad plate to make room for your entrée plate….very bad form. Mike ordered a burger but received a steak sandwich. When he mentioned this error the waiter actually argued with him about it and asked several times “why don’t you just take it”, until Mike got tired of protesting and ate it. It turns out to have been a real good steak sandwich but that’s not the point is it? When he found my dish on his cart he actually handed it to me across the large round table forcing me to stand and reach for it. Really? It was hectic and strange. He had to be reminded to refill sodas and water, often times leaving the empty glass when he dropped off a fresh one.
At the end he messed up our checks charging us for two Chicken Marsala dinners while not charging someone else for theirs. He seemed annoyed at us for his mistake and for having to redo the checks. It was a very strange experience to say the least.
Would I go back?
Maybe for lunch sitting outside on the patio and certainly checking first to make sure we weren’t in this particular waiter’s section. It really is a beautiful spot. By the way parking is in the underground garage and Jackson’s will validate your ticket for up to two hours. After that you’re charged $1/half hour.
Dessert afterwards at Hollie’s was a yummy blueberry cobbler and a sinfully good lemon cake all washed down with some Mexican Coffee (add a spoonful each of cinnamon and cocoa powder to your coffee brew basket and Ole – good stuff.
Jackson’s Bistro & Sushi Bar, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602