I happened upon The Quorum Hotel in
When I first drove up to the front reception area, I was a bit concerned the hotel was booked for me and associate for three days in advance. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a positive experience. Now that may have something to do with the fact the hostelry is only three football fields or so away from Thee Doll House. I have never been fond of strip clubs using the old English version of “The” in their flashing neon sign, but I was pleasantly surprised – by the hotel, not the strip club.
And, at the Westshore Boulevard Mall, PF Chang, Mitchell’s Fish House, and Maggiano’s
All face the evening culinary game attempting to score the largest amount of customers from those mall walkers looking for coolness in the melted butter thick humidity.
And, those chains do a pretty good job of holding their own. Our waiter at PF Chang’s on the night of our arrival, pleasantly told me the place had down about 18,000.00 on the previous Friday night.
A few nights later, the bartender at Mitchell’s told me that the chain is suffering abet since Ruth Chris bought it, but the owner, who took it public after building a bunch of them had passed away as a very wealthy man.
The food, by the way at both places was very Mitchell and Chang-ish. No variations. They have perfected consistent mediocrity. Cookie cutter performances by the waiters and the chefs. Filling a weary travelers need for flavors that do not chock, surprise, entice, or tantalize.
Yet, The Quorum Hotel, that little place, recently renovated with a “spa Room set up in the lobby, a bit of art deco cheesiness thrown on top for good measure, had a staff that was not only attentive, but veteran at customer service , tenure, and pride for the product they represent.
A breakfast buffet in most hotels consists of that facsimile of food that appears from behind the swinging doors in a nano second once the head of housekeeping finishes the chore of the cereal box buffet set up. I often wonder why they even bother to unwrap the muffins. I guess that’s what makes the continental, continental.
I often wonder why bother with those buffets.
Yet, the Quorum was completely different. In most hotels, the foodservice is usually looked upon as a guest’s necessity. At the Quorum, it was a priority. Fresh fruit, smoked salmon, breads for toast and sandwiches, muffins croissants, were attractively presented on a 35 foot buffet table.
The freshly scrambled eggs in a step above the norm chafing dishes were not only light, and fluffy, but hot and flavorful. The sausage, bacon, potatoes and other accompaniments were also delightful. The waffle iron, with the individual cups of waffle batter, proportioned perfectly for one, one in thick waffle allowed every guest to be a breakfast chef. Nice touch.
During my last morning in
When I used the Lakers and Celtic example – that the Lakers never gave up, even when they were 40 points down in the final minutes of the game- I don’t think the ten execs at the media company got the comparison. For Pete’s sakes, how could they not see it.They had given up.
Yet, I couldn’t help but think, in the middle of that explanation, how true that was for the Quorum Hotel. In the middle o an economic downturn, when food is taken a beating in every region of the country, the kitchen and crew of The Quorum acted as though they were a brand new entity. They had pride, enthusiasm,. Spirit and performed perfectly o the dining room floor, in the lobby and even in the small concession store.
\Their food stood out, their staff stood out, and I later found out that many of the employees- in a restaurant and hotel- had been with the hotel for 10 or 15 years. One sous chef who was setting up the luncheon buffet had worked their, proudly, for 18 years.
It was a refreshing stay. It was good to see that with Thee Doll House on one side and the chains of mediocrity on the other The Quorum stood out as a gem because the people had pride in the product.