O’Toole’s of Novi

14 12 2008
OTooles of Novi on Novi Road down the road from Twelve Oaks Mall

O'Toole's of Novi on Novi Road down the road from Twelve Oaks Mall

Our tour of Michigan continued today as we made our way East to Novi.  When we woke up, the choices were Ann Arbor or Novi.  I chose Novi.  I shouldn’t be allowed to pick things. 

Let me back up and explain a little.  The goal today was to find a new shirt for J.  She had something from H & M that she really liked and wanted to go there again.  The closest H & M stores are Novi and Ann Arbor.  She talked about Zingerman’s many times this week.  I should have just took the hint.  Instead, I wanted to go someplace new.  Things were fine until we got five miles from our exit.  MDOT decided to START construction on a Saturday two weeks before Christmas.  We sat in traffic for 40 minutes….20 of those were at a complete stop.  Crews were painting lines.  It was ridiculous.  That just set the day off on a bad note.

After finally making it to our exit, we took a right on to Novi Road and headed away from the mall and big commercial area.  About a mile down the road, we came up a little bar set back quite a ways.  It’s not what you would expect in such a highly commercialized area. 

When walked in around two o’clock on a Saturday afternoon.  There were a few people at the bar watching basketball, but the dining room was mostly empty.  Around the bar, there are some pub tables.  On the other side of the room, there are some booths and regular four tops.  I chose the pub table hoping we’d be close enough to the bar that the waitress would be on top of things.  Again, I was mistaken.

OTooles of Novi

O'Toole's of Novi

The waitress came over right away with menus and took our drink orders.  She came back with the Cokes and gave us a few more minutes to decide.  I was debating between three or four things and so was J so the extra time was nice.  She came back a few minutes later and we both narrowed our choices down and made the decision.

The special was a cheeseburger and fries for $4.50.  A hamburger was one of my choices, so that’s what I went with.  Can’t beat a $4 cheeseburger.  The burger came with fries, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles.  I picked the garnishes off and dug into the burger.  For being a frozen patty, it was actually really good.  They took a few extra minutes and seasoned the burger as it was cooking and it really gave the meat a bite.  The fries were out of the bag, thin, and crispy, but again, they took time to season.  Ordinary fries were turned into a pretty good side with a little salt and pepper.  As far as frozen pub burgers go, this one was one of the best.

J settled on the Buffalo Chicken Wrap with all the usual fixins.  She added waffle fries to her order for two extra bucks.  The waffle fries were the star of the meal.  The wrap was really good and the chicken was nice and hot.  She offered the second half of her wrap to me, but I decline and she ended up unwrapping it and just eating the good stuff…which I did offer a little help for.  The waffle fries came piled on her plate and they were delicious.  They were good and crispy, but they also came with a Cajun seasoning that made them really tasty.

While the food at O’Toole’s was above average and pretty good, the service was terrible.  The waitress did keep our drinks full, but at the end of meal, she completely abandoned us for some guy at the bar.  It’s not like the place was full.  She only had to take care of us and one other table who came in right after us.  She brought the check over then went to sit at the bar next to another patron whom she talked to the entire rest of the time we were there.  We put our credit card on the check and waited patiently for ten minutes for her to make a five step walk from where she was to where we were, but she never got up.  Both J and I made eye contact multiple times.   Still, nothing.  Finally, I picked up the credit card and threw a $20 on top of the bill and we walked out.  The $20 covered our meal, but she ended up only getting about a buck tip.  If I had had the exact change, she wouldn’t even of gotten that.

We were already having a bad day.  We should have took the traffic as a sign.  The waitress put us in a worse mood which made shopping at a busy mall two weeks before Christmas a really unpleasant experience. 

O’Toole’s of Novi really did have good food.  Unfortunately, all we’re going to remember is the waitress who decided socializing was more important than us.

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