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Grill 23 owners say Phantom Gourmet proves the customer isn't always right

Grub Street Boston reports the owners of Grill 23 are standing behind a hostess who got called a little monkey on air by the Andelman boys because she wouldn't seat them before the dining room was scheduled to open:

Himmel Hospitality is shocked and saddened at the personal attack that has been made on an employee and in such a public manner.

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complained to his brothers that Grill 23 didn't even have the little umbrellas for the wine and he was yelling at his waiter to bring him the melted cheese appetizers he had talked him out of earlier.

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Waited on this crew of dbags a number of times while working at a place in the Boston/Camb/Somerville area. Hands down some of the most entitled condescending @ssholes to walk the planet. Seriously.

Restaurant's not open yet dick. You are -at best- LOCAL famous, not even within driving distance of the "don't you know who I am" kind of sh!t you were trying to pull on the night in question! Has hair gel been linked to rage issues yet?

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I'm surprised that no one has pointed out the irony of Michael Andleman calling anyone a monkey. Anyone with such a short, bowling ball haircut who makes his living doing bad shtick should be careful about the insults he chooses.

It's always interesting to see how second and third generation business owners conduct themselves. Is talent inherited or made? Not much of the charming wit of the father on the old sports huddle radio program, has stuck to the ersatz, young princes.

Growing up with great wealth, if not tempered with some real life experience too often produces over privileged monkeys who take pleasure in beating up on the hired help.

Perhaps if Monkey Michael had had some experience working as a host, waiter or busboy for a few years before schilling for every burger and bbq place which is willing to buy advertising, he would have a little more sense.

It's interesting that when it comes time to grab a dinner before the game, that the Andleman's choose to eat much higher on the hoof than what they champion on there show.

It's high time that these Bozo's find another line of work.

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This is just another affirmation that the Phantom Gourmet is nothing more than market hype by these guys. In the past few years it has become apparently clear these guys repeatedly feature a restaurant on their show after they've gotten into bed with them. (aka a Marketing Agreement). Just compare TV Diner with Billy Costa on NECN (the PG's first host), and you'll see the difference.

I've been to several Phantom Gourmet approved restaurants and usually don't get the hype they put on this restaurant. Many over hyped places, and so so food. And then of course they always miss true hidden gems, or totally miss geographical areas. Verses TV Diner... Billy is all over New England and more and there's no real rhyme or reason to which restaurants he picks. (It just seems more random than the same 30 or so bad Phantom Approved restaurants)

And I won't go into the ripoffs their food fairs are... :) Total Ripoffs.

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And Billy Costa is as likable as annoying local media personalities can get. I mean he's the Dave Maynard of our day. I'd listen to him tell me about restaurants before the Andelbores.

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The difference may be that Bill C. worked his way up. Although he can appear somewhat precious, he is originally from East Cambridge and works his rear off.

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...he's a nice guy. He saved an acquaintance of mine from getting his ass kicked by a bevy of bouncers, even though he would have been totally in the right for letting them stomp the guy.

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Himmel Hospitality is shocked and saddened at the personal attack that has been made on an employee and in such a public manner.

And that is what a good employer does: goes to bat for an employee when they've done nothing wrong.

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Isn't it quite possible that Grill 23's operating license only allows them to serve drinks at the bar starting at 4:30 and the dining room starting at 5:30 pm? Restaurants and bars usually have to get approval for their operating hours as part of their operating license.

It would certainly make it an open-and-shut case if the proprietors risked suspension of their booze license were they to allow drinking in the dining room outside of the approved hours.

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See the ABCC FAQ:

Do local licensing boards set the hours during which restaurants can serve alcoholic beverages on weekdays?

To a limit. Massachusetts State Law says that restaurants can not be barred from serving alcohol between 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Local authorities may grant extended opening hours between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and extended closing hours between 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m

There are some different rules for Sundays, but I doubt they are relevant here.

(I also agree with HenryAlan's comment directly below this one)

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Grill 23 has posted hours, the hostess likely wouldn't have the authority to modify that schedule without management approval. Grill 23 is a private concern, there is no need to justify not giving privileged service to a couple of jerks.

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Mike: The era is over of being able to treat customers like crap. It’s just over. I don’t understand.

clearly, he doesn't understand.

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The Globe talks to them.

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There are no jokes in the blog-o-sphere thingy.

The show ran and no one complained. Until the bloggy kidkies got their panties in a bunch. Guess what - they don't care what you think. They have a TV show and you don't. And they get by just fine without you watching them.

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Nobody actually listens to their radio show and so nobody noticed.

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not TV

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So that explains the episode about deep-fried baby parts at Kowloon.

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The "bloggie kidkie" who called attention to Mike Andelman's boorish and hateful comments is an award-winning local civility advocate who focuses on the restaurant industry.

As for the Satire Defense, does anyone remember Isiah Thomas's comments about Larry Bird? He basically asserted in an interview that Bird only won MVPs because he's white, then backpedaled and said "I was only joking" when he got called on it. It's a believable excuse in print, until you watch the videotape of his comments, where it becomes abundantly clear that Isiah wasn't joking.

It's the same with Mike Andelman's on-air comments. It's easy to believe he was joking in print, since the boys are so hard to take seriously in the first place, But if you heard the show, you'd realize this excuse after the fact is BS. The bitter, petulant tone of his voice has nothing to do with humor: he's speaking from the heart. (To his credit, brother Dan chides and mocks him on the anecdote, sounding like he sides with the hostess.)

Why do you think the Andelmans took down the podcast of the show? Because if you listened to it, you'd know instantly that little Mikey wasn't joking: he's just an insecure lout with an undeserved sense of entitlement and no clue of how the restaurant business works, still carrying resentments toward attractive women from his high school dating days.

If there's a sad, incompetent little monkey here, I think we know which one it is.

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I imagine when you have such purveyors of haute cuisine as Emma's or the Kowloon kissing your ass for air time, you sort of expect all restaurants to treat you like they do.

Not since Boston Magazine first (dis) graced our fair city has there been a media outlet that blurs the line between advertising and content than the brothers doofus. As others have noted, their continued support of the Upper Crust disgusts me and while I was an occasional watcher or listener, I can't stand the sight of those three morons anymore.

Plus I have a thing for Jenny Johnson.

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Haven't yet been there myself, but thought it had a good reputation among the MIT-Kendall geeky crowd? People have recommended it here in the past when going to a movie at the Kendall Square Cinema.

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I speak of the ones down on the South Shore. The one with the guy who rips off the Crazy Eddie's commercials.

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I went to Bridgewater State (then College) and never set foot in that place. Great foresight by me, I must say.

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Over at Server Not Servant: http://www.servernotservant.com/2011/02/25/mike-an...

He sure doesn't sound like he's doing satire. More like a spoiled, whiny beeyotch throwing a tantrum because he didn't get his way.

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That was actually pretty interesting but you know what? I kind of feel like that this their show and they can say whatever they want. There was nothing in that clip that you wouldn't hear on 90% of talk radio shows. The wierd one about this clip though is that Mike calls all hostesses useless. Why would you criticize someone in the profession that you need to have on your side? He shouldn't have to apologize to the specific host if he though she was rude because there is a good chance she was rude and out of line (although I've never had bad service going to places like Grill 23, never). He should apologize to the profession of hosting and those that do it, but not this specific host.

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I agree, Pete: it's their show, they can say what they want. But there remain a couple of issues, the most obvious one being that of basic civility. That's the whole reason for being of the Server Not Servant blog, documenting how people in public settings can be rude, self-centered dicks with an undeserved sense of entitlement, and what that means to people in the service industry. Everyone's got a right to be that person, too. It's just a shame: it takes so little effort to be basically courteous to everyone, and our society is much worse for the fact that a shrinking number of people seem to make that nominal effort.

The other issue is that Mike is a principal (head of sales and on-air commentator) in a self-styled restaurant review show, exhibiting complete ignorance of the way restaurants work, and being one of a horde of jerks who believe their convenience trumps the interests of the business itself, individual service employees, and other patrons of the restaurant. He ought to be red-faced for being such a know-nothing on this account, if not apologetic for his boorish behavior.

It's revealing to read the industry comments on the Server Not Servant's two recent entries on this incident. I can't believe this is good for the Andelmans' business, and it sure reflects poorly on Mike as a human being. I guess the brothers' reputation is such that few people are surprised at his behavior. Still, I find it a bit shocking that he doesn't have more empathy for the industry he is selling to, his very customers, as the show is all about trading critical praise for advertising dollars.

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But I don't really have that much of an issue with them calling out an individual whom they thought gave them bad service and most of that clip was your basic talk radio. I've heard a lot worse from other radio shows in fact.

But even the other brother was basically shitting on them for thinking they were special for wanting to be seated before everyone else. And yea, It looks like Mike's true colors came out when he said what he said.

It will be interesting to see how big this is going to get in terms of restuarants buying ads from the Phantom. Real dumb move by Mike on this one and he should apologize.

On a side note: Being a host isn't the easiest job at a upscale busy place like Grill 23. But these girls probably are over paid compared to the guys in back busting their ass busing tables for the same price. (I have to admit I do not know how much either would get paid.) Meh, then again, maybe I wouldn't mind not having to deal with people all night either.

The coat check girls are the ones that really get me. Ever see how much cash is in those tip jars sometimes at these places? Do they get to keep all of that?

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gee, I'm a coat check girl and don't I just wish I knew what you looked like so I could preemptively steal things out of your pockets in order to make up for the tip you won't be giving me. or wait, maybe i could just walk away and let some bum off the street into the coat room for your nice fur or Burberry whathaveyou.

when you go to a crowded place and a few hundred people have coats they want to shed, it's a good idea to have some sort of oversight on the process. I'm also going to guess that since people aren't quitting their jobs in droves to become coat check girls, their average yearly salary is probably below poverty level. even after they get to keep all that money in the tip jar.

but if the idea of tipping a useless coat check girl bothers you, maybe try thinking of it as an upscale gym locker rental fee.

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And don't worry, I've seen many items stolen from coat rooms before. But I don't see how they deserve a tip more than the guy who pumps my gas or the guy/girl busting their ass busing tables. I just think hundreds of dollars in tips is a lot of money.

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Great - now his words can be written in blood!

Tempest. Teapot.

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Now MIke "Shemp" Andelman claims that his comments were meant as SATIRE? Really. Satire requires irony or pathos. His monkey comments offer neither, only a dense, sheltered sense of what is funny based on hours of family banter in a dark corner of the Kowloon on a Tuesday night.

Those in the restaurant business know the Andelmans as louts. Ok, Dan is a likeable lout. David is - face it - influential through his production and lobbying work. But Mike? The former bit-player in the family business is not funny, not interesting and not particularly smart on the radio show (ironically the brothers' best medium, as their Tanorama looks and Connecticut School Of Broadcasting voices are toned waaaay down).

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