Sunday, June 5, 2011

Marathon Grill in Philly on 10th and Walnut

At Marathon Grill. 
The Marathon Grill on Walnut in Philly is a favorite Saturday morning spot for my boyfriend and I.

And despite numerous occasions where the food and service were excellent, this week we had a subpar experience with really lousy food. It was diappointing and I'm still sad about it.

We get to the restaurant and we're greeted right away and shown to a nice corner booth with the window that opens to the street.

"Hey, if we can't pay our bill we can just jump out and high-tail it outta here," I said, sticking my arm out the window.

He laughed. "Yeah, how easy would that be?"

Then I remembered that he was like a track star and if we did run, he'd definitely get away. I'd the slow girl flip flopping along who got caught by the restaurant employees. Also I hate doing anything that requires moving quickly.

"Or we can just pay for our food," I tell him, settling the matter.

We order waters, I get a coffee and boyfriend opts for the fresh-squeezed orange juice. The OJ is out of this world, but it rings in at a hefty $4 for about 10 ounces. The coffee is strong, flavorful and piping hot. Love it.

I order 2 eggs over easy with multi-grain toast and breakfast potatoes. I ordered a side of bacon. Boyfriend orders the blueberry stuffed French toast. If that boy sees French toast on the menu, he orders it, no matter what. Check out Marathon's brunch menu. 

Toast that doubles as a ninja star!
We talk for a while enjoying the sunshine and the warm breeze that the window's bringing in. The atmosphere is interesting, with large floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick walls, glossy wooden floors, visible metal venting and these high ceilings that let all the sunlight in. The effect is one that's airy despite the darker wood booths and heavy furniture.

A food runner drops off our meals. He tries to run off quick but I stop him with an "Excuse me, can you bring me some Tabasco?"

I look over at boyfriend's plate and I notice that he was missing the butter or syrup. The food runner comes back with the Tabasco sauce and boyfriend asks him for syrup. He comes back with the syrup and as he's leaving, boyfriend says, "Oh, I wanted butter too."

I was annoyed.

If you're running someone's food,  you need to bring all the items necessary to eat that food. He should have brought us the butter, syrup. It's annoying to have to wait for someone to bring you syrup when your food's in front of you getting cold. Or our server should have stepped over to ask us if our food came out alright.

I picked up a slice of the bacon and it wilted fully into a greasy limp blob. I put it back because I hate gooey bacon and I won't eat it.

I was sad.

I turned my attention to my multi-grain toast. It was unbuttered and hard as a piece of wood. I struggled to break it and it cracked open with an audible snap.

"Oh my god," boyfriend says. "Ask them for new toast, you can't eat that."

"I feel like I'm going to chip a tooth," I say, but I carefully eat it anyway.

"Your meal comes with a side of hair..." 
Just as I was about to cut into my egg, I noticed a short, dark hair on my plate. I picked it up and put it into a napkin, "My plate has a hair on it, look," boyfriend looks over and says, "Oh gross, do you want to send it back?"

"No," I said, even though I really did, I just didn't feel like waiting around for them to remake it.

I had ordered my eggs over-easy but when I cut into them, the yolks were just about cooked through. Ugh. It reminded me of a flat hard boiled egg. I was pushed further into annoyance. Eggs are easy. When you're paying $7 for two eggs, toast and potato, you want your eggs cooked properly. I doused the eggs with Tobasco sauce and poked at it with my toast-rock.

Then boyfriend offers me an over-sized bite of his blueberry stuffed French toast (probably because he feels bad for me because my breakfast sucked).

His food was delicious!
Anyway, his was fantastic. The French toast batter is light and sweet with a strong vanilla flavor. The Mascarpone cheese stuffing was packed with tart, fresh blueberries and it was oozing out from two large and very fluffy pieces of bread.

Our waiter, a guy named Dave (got his name off the check) was attentive and gave us quick service. He wasn't that sociable, which I like, because he didn't bother us with that unnecessary and intrusive banter that servers sometimes dole out. He refilled our coffee and waters without us having to ask and he was prompt with the check.

Our experience this time at Marathon Grill was really disappointing overall because usually the food is so good. We were expecting a delicious breakfast and instead mine was a total mess.

In the end, I'd still have to recommend it, hoping to chalk up this review as one bad experience. Maybe the chef just had an off day and my future trips to Marathon will be better.

At least I hope that's the case.


Where: Marathon Grill on 10th and Walnut in Philadelphia (See it on a map)
When: Around 11:30 a.m. on a Saturday.
Summary: This time, we had a disappointing dining experience from a place that's usually fantastic.
Marathon Grill on Urbanspoon

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