Friday, July 29, 2016

it's not worth the meal (or wait) at MEL's @ 22 in Coooperstown, NY (7-29-16)

Last year when we came to the Glimmerglass Festival we grabbed lunch at Mel's @ 22 in the center of town as it was heaving with people and the menu looked great. The food was good, but the wait and service were unbearable then. This time, the place was virtually empty (it was a Friday at noon, and not a Saturday or Sunday like last time and we figured we would give it another go.
We noticed that the five folks who came in behind us were seated before the 5 of us were, and then it took ages before our server Carmen came over and seemed like we were not a priority (sadly, she also seemed to be assigned to the host desk which was two rooms away!). We ordered and I asked for water, which I drank up promptly, but had to ask for more from another server. Our friend Mel, asked for sweetener with his tea, but after waiting over 20 minutes, he got the little container from another table.
Sam had the Chicken Caprese Panini that he liked the year before with grilled chicken, basil, spinach, mozzarella, roasted red pepper and balsamic reduction. Everything comes with a side salad, fries, pesto garlic fries or tater tots (many of the mains are also fried). The simpler sandwiches seem to be the hits as are the salads such as Will's huge Cobb with blue cheese and chicken (shrimp are extra).
Mel & Juan split the special wrap and I went for a whole one: Asian Fried Shrimp Wrap with Sweet Thai Chili sauce, kale and cabbage. It was a good size and came out piping hot on a super hot plate that Carmen handed to me (and I almost dropped it) as I was across the table! The wrap was very sweet at first and spicier at the bottom making me think the Thai sweet chili sauce had two alter-egos.
Oddly, all the pesto garlic fries came out lukewarm and soggy. Did I mention, it took almost 45 minutes for our dishes to arrive in a place where the place was full by 1230pm and everyone else seemed to be seated, served and left before we were. They were out of lemonade(?), but the wines were nice and I enjoyed a crisp light Finger Lakes Gewurztraminer from Lamereaux Landing whose wine we like a lot.
It was fun to eat with our friend Mel at Mel's@22 and get a photo, but I doubt we shall ever return again, save maybe for the big yummy salads.