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Old 12-24-2011   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather View Post
I have removed Snappysammy's possibly incorrect assertions of what Sylvie, the owner of Byblos, said in response to Dpreefer's complaint, as well as subsequent comments referencing Snappy's post. Based on what he said about Sylvie asking him to pass on her comments, I and the other moderators allowed the remarks to stand; I believe this was an oversight and I apologize for my lack of prudence. Snappysammy is NOT Sylvie and should not be allowed to speak for her.
hmmmm, this is an odd action since nobody checked the facts

i don't make shit up
i am known to be a very honest and forthright person

there has been a lot of speculation and jumping to wrong conclusions when it would have been very simple to check the facts
i have a lot of respect for both russell and heather, so i am more than bit disappointed they showed such a lack of respect for me

i think emotion got in the way of good judgment in this case, perhaps on the part of all three of you: sylvie, russell, and heather

peace out
merry xmas to all and to all a good night
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Old 12-24-2011   #32 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by absoluteAL View Post
Just curious, did that include wine and/or alcoholic beverages?

I used to eat lunch at Byblos 5-6 days/day but have not been there but once in the last 8-10 months. When Sylie/Christian started their pet shelter project, THE ARK, they stopped spending as much time at Byblos and things started to "fall apart". Byblos would not have lasted as long as it has at their "off of AV. 5" location if the food had not been as good as IT WAS. Future could be doubtful IMO at this point in time.
Al was a BIG fan months back, he eats out like five times a day and knows the PDC restaurant scene better than most IMO. I trust his observations.

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Originally Posted by Heather View Post
One more thing...I would have liked, however, if Dpreefer could elaborate more on what he thinks made the dishes unpalatable. Were the ingredients 'off' or stale? Were the dishes served cold when they should have been hot or hot when they should have been cold? Was there hair in the food? It's helpful to be specific when specifically advising people against a particular restaurant.
I am sure DP will answer this in time.

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Originally Posted by Uno View Post
First rule in a restaurant. The customer is always right. (Even when they're not.)

Comp one of the 4 meals, comp a dessert, or a round of drinks. This normally makes a bad experience better.

"Well I wasn't happy with my meal but they were very accommodating. I would recommend the service to others." Or something like that.
1. Not ALWAYS, but 99% of the time, after 25 years in fine dining there have been times when I have asked a repeat customer not to return as they did nothing but complain or abuse staff members. As business owner, there comes a point when one needs to stand up for the staff. Obviously this is not the case here.

While comping can can act as a band aid, it should not the the norm. Restaurants that do this eventually go out of business. One because they lose their client base, two, because they lose money by comping.

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Originally Posted by snappysammy View Post
i saw a french chef come out of the kitchen when a customer complained

he threw the lady out of his restaurant

personally, i don't think the french public, including the local chefs would support sylvie if her food was not up to par
preefer's meal was unsatisfactory, ok
mine and a lot of others have been more than satisfactory

i don't see any great controversy here, every restaurant has had an unsatisfied customer

i know sylvie and she is a great person and very passionate about her restaurant
there are very few eateries in playa with the longevity that byblo's enjoys
there is no way she could have lasted these many years without satisfying her clientele
Gotta love the French, sounds like the chefs I trained under for 5 years

MEAL (S) plural......

Steve, there are others who have spoken about dissatisfaction. I will throw our hats into the ring and we are 50/50 with the last three times in 3 months.

She is great, but even great persons get burn't out, lose interest (passion) after many years. The business is brutal, between long and odd hours, staff issues, theft, trying to move a perishable product before it perishes, shortages on products needed, fluctuating product prices, teaching a foreign cusine to local workers (who yes have never eaten that cusine (important) AND have their own ideas on how things should taste), fluctuating clientele (seasonal), repairs, breakage/spillage and more, it takes its toll. Been there, done it, burnt out!!! Although chefing at home for family and friends is more fun than ever.

We have not seen her there in the last three visits. The biggest problems I always had was when I was not at my restaurants during service or away for a period of time. Think of a restaurant as child and it will make sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolabella View Post
I have dined at Byblos a few times and have always enjoyed my meal. Even the best restaurants have their off nights. I've worked as a server in some fine dinning restaurants for 20+ years and have experienced the off nights. Most recently, I worked at a steakhouse that was voted one of the top new restaurants of 2011 by our city's newspaper critic. An off night happened in the mid summer when the fans stopped working in the kitchen. The chef passed out, the owner stepped in and she passed out as well. Dinners were taking a long time as you can expect. ANd perhaps some dishes were off. Still, that didn't stop anyone from coming in again. (and I have alot more stories like this with the various places I work).

Could this particular complaint been handled different? Surely. But to discredit Sylvie and say she has lost her passion and doesn't know French Food is harmful to her business. If you want to log a complaint, stick to the facts.

Edited to add that I re-read the OP's comments and he does wish to harm her business by telling people to stay away. I just hope that people who wanted to try it will give her a chance.
This was not just an off night, DP IMO has always been pretty straight forward about his dining experiences.

IMHO, the best thing any restaurant can do is listen to feed back and make the changes needed to improve their business. For her to just say "I'm sorry" is not acceptable, period.

Let me say one other thing, if PDC had a professional restaurant reviewer, there would be a lot of both negative and positive things written aboutb the restaurants reviewed. If you open a restaurant, you BETTER be prepared for negativity, even when things are running on all eight cylinders. If you can't take the heat, get outta the kitchen. Restaurants live for good reviews, it can make or break them. PDC is a tourist town and while there are many locals and repeat visitors, there are plenty of unsuspecting tourists that establishments can count on to charge high prices (high overhead comes in to play) for a not great meal or service.

In closing, we all love our dear Playa, but sometimes negative things need to be stated as fact in order to make things better. We will continue to support Byblos in the future to see if they can improve what is lacking.
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Old 12-24-2011   #33 (permalink)
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andrew, thanks for your comments, very illuminating
i have not been there for a while, so i don't rally know
but i have heard some very positive feedback from others i have sent to eat there

if sylvie is spending a lot less time there, then i imagine there would be a drop-off

OTOH, preefer accused her of not knowing how to cook??
that is silly IMHO

try the duck
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Old 12-24-2011   #34 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by snappysammy View Post
andrew, thanks for your comments, very illuminating
i have not been there for a while, so i don't rally know
but i have heard some very positive feedback from others i have sent to eat there

if sylvie is spending a lot less time there, then i imagine there would be a drop-off

OTOH, preefer accused her of not knowing how to cook??
that is silly IMHO

try the duck
We are having Pate de Pato Gras appetizer, confit of Duck, baked French lentils and roasted Asparagus for two at home tonight. 2003 Stump Jumper, 200 pesos at LE in CUN! The only thing not French is the Wine, but the Aussies do a good job.

Long ass week for us, glad it is over.

Merry Christmas to all!!!
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Old 12-24-2011   #35 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Paw'boy View Post
We are having Pate de Pato Gras appetizer, confit of Duck, baked French lentils and roasted Asparagus for two at home tonight. 2003 Stump Jumper, 200 pesos at LE in CUN! The only thing not French is the Wine, but the Aussies do a good job.

Long ass week for us, glad it is over.

Merry Christmas to all!!!
Yummy...I love duck confit....we are serving buffet tonight for 200 and another 650 tomorrow...but I love ala carte dining the best....my favorite current app...

Duck Confit Cassoulet
Tender Duck Confit served with Stewed White Beans and Smoked Sausage
in a rich brown sauce with toasted Bread Crumbs and drizzled with Truffle Oil

Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-24-2011   #36 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jacko View Post
Yummy...I love duck confit....we are serving buffet tonight for 200 and another 650 tomorrow...but I love ala carte dining the best....my favorite current app...

Duck Confit Cassoulet
Tender Duck Confit served with Stewed White Beans and Smoked Sausage
in a rich brown sauce with toasted Bread Crumbs and drizzled with Truffle Oil

Merry Christmas!
Yummy back at ja!

Not missing the Holiday restaurant biz at all....well, except for all the great wine that would come our way as distributor gifts!

But somehow we keep getting back into biz that keeps us busy at holidays, like property management and vacation rentals, what was I thinking?

Don't work tom hard and remember to stop for a wee dram of your favorite elixer along the way.
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Old 12-24-2011   #37 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by snappysammy View Post

try the duck
I think maybe you should duck .........and I don't mean MR. DUCK a.k.a GARY .
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Old 12-24-2011   #38 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by snappysammy View Post
hmmmm, this is an odd action since nobody checked the facts

i don't make shit up
i am known to be a very honest and forthright person

there has been a lot of speculation and jumping to wrong conclusions when it would have been very simple to check the facts
i have a lot of respect for both russell and heather, so i am more than bit disappointed they showed such a lack of respect for me

i think emotion got in the way of good judgment in this case, perhaps on the part of all three of you: sylvie, russell, and heather

peace out
merry xmas to all and to all a good night
No disrespect was meant, Snappy. In fact, out of respect for Sylvie I tried to give her an opportunity to speak in her own words, not through someone else. She still has that option.

I know you were trying to be a friend--hopefully as a friend you can advise Sylvie to come here and speak for herself.

I think you, Russell, and I are actually on the same team here--we don't want to see Sylvie or her business harmed unfairly without her having the opportunity to defend herself.
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Old 12-24-2011   #39 (permalink)
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another reason to return, eat at Byblos..........................
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Old 12-31-2011   #40 (permalink)
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I guess I need to follow up on this

I made my earlier posting based on my one dinner at Byblos, because such a bad dining experience should not be ignored. I certainly did not imply that the restaurant had no redeeming factors, or that it could possibly have been a one night issue. But even if this happens just one night, it should have been addressed at the time.

I have had restaurants myself, and I know how difficult it is to start, manage and run one. My best hope is that restaurants will continually self-monitor and correct the flaws that will inevitably happen. If Byblos wants to maintain the popularity that it seems to have enjoyed, they should simply make sure that meals like I had never happen again.

But to point.

In response to the assertion that chefs come out of the kitchen and throw out complaining customers, I have seen that as well. In this case, I did not complain, but I did respond politely when asked if somethiong was wrong with the food, when it was clear that no one had finished more than half their meal. When I had my restaurants, if there was a kitchen disaster, I always picked up the bill for the table, or at least sent a round of drinks or desserts on the house...............What is important is doing SOMETHING to acknowledge that something was not right.

Regarding specifics, I did not want to bore people with a lengthy list of problems with each dish, and as of today, I cannot remember all of the dishes and the problems. But I do remember that the rissoto milanese was not really milanese style, but that was not the problem. The problem was that while it looked fine, it was very undercooked (rice was hard in the center) and it was gummy as well. In this state it is not easily digestable, and certainly not pleasant on the palate.

The sweetbreads were cooked nicely, but the meat was not from a young cow as it is supposed to be. It was from an old animal, and it had the foul taste that accompanies this. If proper meat is not available, something close is not good enough. Just take it off the menu until a proper dish can be made.

And the boulliabaise had nice fish, but was very salty in a weak broth.

The other dishes did not please my other guests as well, but I did not sample them all or have forgotten the others that I did sample. What I can report is that for these 3 dishes, I could not eat them. And I have never had such a problem in any restaurant in Playa. This has nothing to do with being able to find non-Mexican cuisine of note in Playa. I just prefer my French food in France. But I thought I would try something new. In this case.........and on this night...........the product was not acceptable.

Please accept my assertion that I am not trying to make a fight of this with those that like the restaurant and the owners. I wish the place well, and maybe this review will alert them to a problem, which hopefully was an anomaly.
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Old 12-31-2011   #41 (permalink)
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I think maybe you should duck .........and I don't mean MR. DUCK a.k.a GARY .
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Old 12-31-2011   #42 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dpreefer View Post
The sweetbreads were cooked nicely, but the meat was not from a young cow as it is supposed to be. It was from an old animal, and it had the foul taste that accompanies this. If proper meat is not available, something close is not good enough. Just take it off the menu until a proper dish can be made.
Old cows do not have sweetbreads, they shrink and vanish and by the time the cow is mature there's only some fat left where they once were.

They do, however, spoil very rapidly and are best eaten on the day of the slaughter unless they're flash frozen.
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Old 01-03-2012   #43 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dpreefer View Post
I made my earlier posting based on my one dinner at Byblos, because such a bad dining experience should not be ignored. I certainly did not imply that the restaurant had no redeeming factors, or that it could possibly have been a one night issue. But even if this happens just one night, it should have been addressed at the time.

I have had restaurants myself, and I know how difficult it is to start, manage and run one. My best hope is that restaurants will continually self-monitor and correct the flaws that will inevitably happen. If Byblos wants to maintain the popularity that it seems to have enjoyed, they should simply make sure that meals like I had never happen again.

But to point.

In response to the assertion that chefs come out of the kitchen and throw out complaining customers, I have seen that as well. In this case, I did not complain, but I did respond politely when asked if somethiong was wrong with the food, when it was clear that no one had finished more than half their meal. When I had my restaurants, if there was a kitchen disaster, I always picked up the bill for the table, or at least sent a round of drinks or desserts on the house...............What is important is doing SOMETHING to acknowledge that something was not right.

Regarding specifics, I did not want to bore people with a lengthy list of problems with each dish, and as of today, I cannot remember all of the dishes and the problems. But I do remember that the rissoto milanese was not really milanese style, but that was not the problem. The problem was that while it looked fine, it was very undercooked (rice was hard in the center) and it was gummy as well. In this state it is not easily digestable, and certainly not pleasant on the palate.

The sweetbreads were cooked nicely, but the meat was not from a young cow as it is supposed to be. It was from an old animal, and it had the foul taste that accompanies this. If proper meat is not available, something close is not good enough. Just take it off the menu until a proper dish can be made.

And the boulliabaise had nice fish, but was very salty in a weak broth.

The other dishes did not please my other guests as well, but I did not sample them all or have forgotten the others that I did sample. What I can report is that for these 3 dishes, I could not eat them. And I have never had such a problem in any restaurant in Playa. This has nothing to do with being able to find non-Mexican cuisine of note in Playa. I just prefer my French food in France. But I thought I would try something new. In this case.........and on this night...........the product was not acceptable.

Please accept my assertion that I am not trying to make a fight of this with those that like the restaurant and the owners. I wish the place well, and maybe this review will alert them to a problem, which hopefully was an anomaly.
I have used Dpreefer's restaurant guide on all our trips to PDC. It has been a great tool in separating out good restaurants to try. I appreciate the research. I'll wait to see more favorable comments before trying Byblos. I had it on our radar to try this year. Now, we wait. It isn't so much the food, but the reaction to the issue by the owner that troubles me.

I also rely on comments from those living in PDC. Sammy is now on the hook for when we try Don Sirloin this year based on his posts on another thread. Sammy also mentioned J. Pepin in his comment. I had previously read the Food and Wine article about PDC featuring Pepin's restaurant recommendations. We loved Dr Taco and I wanted to try Pepin's recommendation of La Bamba Jurocha for fish, but a friend went there and was less than impressed with their ceviche and it is never the seafood restaurant of choice from participants on this forum.

Bottom line is that I want to be 99% sure that the restaurants I go to on vacation will be good both in the food and the experience. That's why we continually check this forum for the most recent comments on restaurants. PDC is such a wonderful place for food, but things change. One of my favorites used to be Chicago Don Jose. We went one year and it was great. We took people with us the next year only to be greatly disappointed, mostly because of the service. I wasn't surprised when it closed later in 2009.

Hoefully, Byblos will rebound and get back to where it was when getting all the rave reviews. We won't be there this year, maybe next trip. Please keep all the comments coming!!! We rely them.
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Old 01-03-2012   #44 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Golden Gopher View Post
Hoefully, Byblos will rebound
It's a great restaurant, it does not need to rebound.

....and I thought the owner passed along a comment that was absolutely hilarious. This thread is messed up on so many levels.
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Old 01-03-2012   #45 (permalink)
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It's a great restaurant, it does not need to rebound.

....and I thought the owner passed along a comment that was absolutely hilarious. This thread is messed up on so many levels.
Yep.
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