It Would Be Better if it Was on Fire

I love Indianapolis. I love the people. I love the night life. I love the food. I love the scenery. I just really like it here. I hate the winter and the music scene and that fact that no one ever plays closer than Chicago or St. Louis, but other than that I like it.

I would actually consider myself some what of an ambassador here in the city. I meet a lot of people and I work with a lot of musicians and every time they come to town it is up to me to show them a good time. It is up to me to give them something to do, somewhere to stay, and a place to get a good meal. Which brings me to the topic of today’s post.

A friend of mine, Evan Titus (yes, I have written about him before for those of you true fans) tells me about this thing called Devour Downtown. It was a collection of the better and more expensive steak houses that were putting on specials for a few days. It was a combination of 2-for-$30 and individual $30 meals. Each restaurant was offering different specials and they were all incredible packages of food.

Evan went the last Friday of the event and told me that I needed to make some last minute reservations to take advantage of it. He chose St. Elmo’s. It was $30 for a shrimp cocktail or a salad, a Filet, salmon, or chicken breast, and a slice of cheesecake, Creme Brule, or bread pudding. It was a meal that would normally cost over $60 and was running for only $30 during the event. So I decided to take advantage of the deal and made some reservations.

Now, St. Elmo’s, for those of you that do not know, St. Elmo’s is one of the nicest, highest prices, best steak houses in the country. And I must say, the first few times I had been to St. Elmo’s I was unable to agree. But this place has a sort of ambiance about it and makes you just want to try it to see what it is like. Their shrimp cocktail is an instant tear jerker though. Amazing shrimp and the hottest cocktail sauce I have ever had.

So we make our way to dinner a little early. They managed to seat us in an over crowded corner of the restaurant. The first thing that I saw on my way to my table, by the way, was a stack of dishes sitting on a food tray. All the dishes were dirty and just sitting there starring at the room. A bad first impression for my evening.

I make my way to the table and am quickly greeted by an anxious server that was not at near the age that you expect for such an establishment. He comes over and begins to speak like he was a friend rather than a server. It was just simply way below the quality that I expect from such a place. And every time during the evening when I tried to ask him a question he was more eager to leave and not have anything to do with creating a feeling of comfort. For instance when I asked him about the $8,507 bottle of wine it nearly killed him to tell me about it. Guess I will not be buying this bottle of wine tonight, huh?

Then comes the food. This is a place that you expect choice meats, incredible tenderness from the chicken, and impeccable deserts. Long story short my chicken was insanely dry, the green beans on both plates were undercooked and cold, and the steak was ordered medium and came out medium well to well. The steak has a taste of how old smells and was hard to cut without a lot of effort. But the dessert will save us, right? Wrong. They were out of two of the three desserts that were on the menu and we were forced to eat cheesecake. This was only a half order as well. (Half price apparently means half portions.)

By the time dinner was over we were so upset with the entire experience I did not know what to do. First off I will never be going back to St. Elmo’s again. I will never again tell anyone, friend or foe, that it is a place to go if you want a good steak. For a meal that should have cost more than $100 it was worth nothing more than a steak dinner at Chili’s.

The moral of this story is one, do not eat at St. Elmo’s unless someone else is paying. (Shut your mouth, it was your idea to go Dutch.) Secondly, don’t ever feel bad being upset about your dinner somewhere if you have a bad experience. I have since sent an email complaining about my trip, my service, and overall lack of enjoyment. I feel that at a place of this stature that is OK. Will I hear back from anyone? We shall see. But will I ever go back to the restaurant? Absolutely not.