Europa South | Corner of 35 South, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
I cannot understand why this restaurant has 4 stars, when clearly it’s very underwhelming. I have to say after many meals at Newark restaurants the sangria at Europa South was watery lacking in taste. I have had many dinners at Iberia in Newark and the Barge in Perth Amboy and the paella at Europa South pales in comparison. Plus at the Newark restaurants you are greeted with a salad as part of the meal. Europa South is a solid choice on the shore for this type of interpretive Spanish/Portuguese food but by no means the real deal. Shadowy with all the original dark wood accents, chairs, tables and lamps, Europa South is that traditional, restaurant with a menu walking the fine line between Spanish/Portuguese dishes but at times not so successfully.
During my Labor Day Weekend, I and several friends arrived at Europa South around 9:30ish on a Saturday. We met up with another friend and her date; they were having the garlic shrimp appetizers. The shrimps were very small and slightly overcooked, but had good flavor, not great.
As we waited at the bar I noticed there were about four empty tables and not a waitress, hostess nor management was insight to greet us or suggest any seating accommodations to us.
However, I did noticed the available two empty bar stools next to where my friends were sitting. I was told by the bartender, “the customer sitting there was outside smoking”, I waiting for 15 minutes than decided to sit down until his return. I was entertaining myself with the live performance; my friends placed their drink orders. The bartender “RFB” (Rude Frustrated Bartender) was not attentive at the main bar and every time when one of my friends ordered a drink and walk away to dance the “RFB” would approach me with her slow, spacey voice, yelling why the tab wasn’t paid before their departure onto the dance floor. Really!
Completely unprofessional and not to mention just plain rude; as I was trying to explain to her, everyone was dancing she turned her back on me and walked off. At one point the “RFB” went off the charts and basically ignored anything that was said to her. I motioned with my hands as to say “so what are you doing?” and much to my surprise, she made the same motion back to me! Unbelivable! My friend put the “RFB” on check, “did you forget that you have my credit card and running a tab”. Awkward!!
Closing time: Half hour prior our departure my girlfriend’s boyfriend orders a round of coffee and Flan for the group. Talk about being nasty, the “RFB” began hammering me and forgetting her place in bartending, heard my comment, “…well the Flan is good…service sucks”, mangling the drink glasses, the “RFB” stated, “I was never given any indication that anyone was in any way displeased with my performance.”
“After those scathing comments, and speaking with the night manager regarding how we were being treated by his “RFB”, he clearly stated he was standing by her, when I asked about the incident, his responds was he could not comment. At that point I figured it was time to exit.
For her part, the “RFB” feels that both her comments and conduct were justified in her actions. “Despite the fact that I said, “You should get a real job” was sort of ‘friendly and attentive,’ of me to say such was ‘well executed,’
My Final thoughts: Now, naming names is obviously not all that uncommon for a restaurant review, good or bad. What makes this situation odd is the rarity of not naming names, I could have placed both their names onto my website, but that will possibly preclude further work in the service industry. “With her slow, spacey voice, she seemed to forget her primary objective was to serve customers quickly and with respect.”
The staff is obviously immature and apparently hasn’t had any “customer service” training. This place has the most unfriendly bartenders and management of any kind. They never smile never carry on a conversation at all.
They will come around and take the chair from you and tell you that you can’t sit here because, “the person sitting there is outside taking a cigarette break for 20 minutes and I need to wait”. They would rather have the underage college kids walking up and buying beers and not leaving a tip than to have adults who tip sit at the bar.
New staff needed badly!!!!! You have a nice place with a decent menu but you need to hire some mature, conscientious, customer oriented staff or at the very least, tell the current staff that they are being paid to “serve” the customer which includes timeliness and respect. The service was absolutely disappointing. The waiters had extremely good mood…so good that they were dancing, they were yelling each other and they generally made fuss annoying the customers. In addition they could hardly notice us when we wanted something (water, more drinks, the bill etc.).
My friends spend several hundreds of dollars within 2.5 hours but the price is not comparable to the food and service – too much money for poor service. In conclusion the whole experience was not good, a first for me “Nightmare” I would never go again to this place for any reason and I don’t recommend this restaurant, not even to my worst enemy. OK, so it’s not Newark, head to the Ironbound for the real thing… It’s a haul but well worth it.
Chef Edie M