So I want to start by saying the opinions shared in this blog posts are my opinions alone and were impacted by my personal experience along with the experiences of people I know personally!
I much like everyone else wanted to see what all the hype was about with True Kitchen after the whole twerking incident took place. Despite all the mixed reviews I had heard from my fellow blogger friends and others that I dined here; I decided to make a reservation and give it shot. After looking for a few days I was able to get a dinner reservation on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
My reservation was for 2 guests and at 5PM. Now upon making the reservation, you get this notice about their dress code, which I will drop so you can see. So I forwarded it to my friend that was dining with me to ensure we were dressed ‘accordingly’.
Now the first thing we noticed when we arrived was walk in guests waiting outside of the restaurant waiting to be seating. Now 90% of these people (both men and women) were wearing athletic sweatsuits and tennis shoes. I am guessing this dress code only applies to reservations and walk in guests can do as they please.
Personally I didn’t think this was creating that ‘upscale vibe’ the owner has spoke about many times and the reservation notice suggests; but I digress.
We arrived roughly 25 mins before our reservation time and went to check in with the hostess. They offered to seat us early if we were willing to sit at the bar, and since there was only two of us we thanked her and sat down. Due to COVID they are using QR code digital menus, so we pulled up the menus and decided on drinks.
The first drink my friend tried to order was the watermelon frose; however the server said they no longer sell it. It is personally one of my pet peeves when places have digital menus that are not up to date. It legit cost nothing to update an online menu, when you are not printing physical menus. We ended up ordering the Strawberry Hennessy Hustler and a Peach D’usse Frose. Both drinks were good however I do not feel like the Strawberry drink was worth the value. It was served in a 1/2 filled white wine glass for $14.
Now let’s get into the food and the service. Their menu is rather limited as there are only about 7 meat options and various different sides. We placed our orders before 5:00PM and order the lamb chops (well done) with greens and the fried chicken with butter pecan waffles. Now after waiting 30ish minutes and seeing people around us who ordered the same things getting their food before us though they sat after us; the server finally approached to give an update on our order. He said, and I’ll quote ‘Your food will be another 10 minutes, but if you want to order an appetizer it will probably come out faster.’ Now immediately I thought why would I order and pay for more food when I haven’t gotten the food I already ordered so we declined.
To add insult to injury, the female manager was doing table visits and talked to every person around us but purposely did not make eye contact or speak to us. We were noticeably the only people at the bar without food so it was upsetting that she didn’t converse with us.
Roughly 15 minutes later the food arrived, and needless to say it was disappointing.
The fact that we waited all that time and was served burnt lamb chops was beyond me. For a restaurant that wants to be on the same level with upscale steak houses, I need them to work on their consistency. The chefs should be cooking the food by temperature and not by sight because charred does not equal well done. The worst part is that the seasoning could have been good minus all the burned parts.
Now I would be remiss to say everything was all bad. The chicken and waffles were delightful. The butter pecan sauce was thick and banging! The chicken was well seasoned and very crunchy. They sell the waffles all day so you can order them outside of brunch time.
The musical selection was on point. When we first arrived the DJ was playing old school r&b but did eventually transition into playing Too Short and Meg thee Stallion. The music volume was rather loud and honestly were giving off day party vibes to me. To be honest, True Kitchen reminds me of Level night club in Uptown just with more seating.
All in all I would rate True Kitchen + Kocktails a 5 out of 10. I really think they have potential but they aren’t there yet. I wish the owner/management seemed more open to constructive criticism and makes some changes. I want to see more black owned restaurants succeed however I refuse to give them a pass because of that. Next month I will be featuring black owned restaurants and businesses that I know you guys will all enjoy.