Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Restaurant Review, Chatterbox Cafe, Windham, New Hampshire: Changes are not enough

Editor's Note: {There have been a number of rumors lately about the status of the Chatterbox Café and if it has closed. When I called the restaurant last week the line was busy. We were in the area on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 and decided to stop by to check on the status. When I looked inside it was completely empty with no tables. So yes it appears that the rumors are true and the restaurant is closed.}

After reading that the Chatterbox Café is appearing on Restaurant Impossible, I decided to give it another try following a couple of miserable experiences. In my opinion their biggest problem has always been poor service. I was excited to see what changes had been made and the improvements. Let’s just say that my most recent visit left me unimpressed.

As you walk in the restaurant, the paint color had been upgraded to blue and black tones that make the restaurant feel colder. In hindsight, I preferred the previous shades that were a yellow which seemed warmer and more welcoming.

The day we went it was not very busy and we were seated promptly. We reviewed the new menu and my first reaction was that the number of available breakfast items had been reduced significantly. I ordered two eggs over medium, sausages, and grilled Italian bread. All in all it was fine except my food wasn’t too hot. My companion had the stuffed potato skins. After sampling the dish, I had to admit that it was good.

The service was much improved over our previous visits. Our waitress did what was needed - taking our order quickly, cleaning dirty plates and having a pleasant friendly manner.

During this visit as well as previous times, I noticed that the owner isn’t appreciative of her customers. Unless she knows you, she won’t stop by tables to see if everyone is enjoying their meals. She spends a lot of time talking to people who are already her customers. She should try to talk with those who are not. No doubt the publicity of being on the Food Network will draw many new customers to the restaurant. She should at least be more welcoming and inclusive of all her customers.

In the final analysis, I can’t recommend the Chatterbox Café. The changes that were made were not enough to make me think “wow” I have to go back to this place. Yes, the service was better but the food was not and it all starts with the owner. She needs to do more to ensure that everyone that leaves the restaurant has a fantastic experience.