Raleigh >Irregardless Cafe & Catering
Had a birthday dinner here after a really crappy week. Food was great: able to meet my dietary needs without me feeling left out and everyone at the table was happy with their food and drinks. The waitress was nice and did not let our drinks run dry. The alcoholic drinks were great, there was actually alcohol in it and they had potato vodka. The servings were large enough that I was able to bring half of my dinner and half of my dessert home for another meal (everyone else finished their salads/crab dip in one sitting and were full). The music was nice and we were far enough away that we could still hold a conversation without shouting at each other but still have the ambiance of live music. One group parked on the street, the other parked in a lot around back. I've already told everyone that I can't wait to come here again and I was so glad they picked there to eat for my birthday!
I've been to the Irregardless three times, always hoping for the best. They have such a great reputation with long-time locals. Well, apparently unless you ARE a long-time local, they really DON'T want your business. The staff is horribly rude, the food was only so-so. My Mother's Day dinner was served without the mango sauce that was supposed to be on it and when I asked my server for it, he said NO and that they were not doing that anymore....despite the fact that it is still on the menu. Hostess, rude. Manager/owner: also rude. Don't bother.
This is a fantastic restaurant. Don't be put off by these few snarky reviews complaining that this person was curt or that time there was a wait or there wasn't enough parking or they didn't like the music that night.
I even see one in which the person says the food was 'very, very good and a good value' but they didn't enjoy the music. That's too bad in two respects -- one that he/she didn't enjoy the music (always a dice roll, I suspect; but if you're worried, go earlier.) and two that the person gave the restaurant a 2 even though he/she said the food was fantastic.
Fact is, this is a one-of-a-kind restaurant with superb cooking, great value and wonderful atmosphere. I've been coming for years and have watched it change and know that Arthur Gordon puts his heart and soul into this.
There must be a pretty good reason for a restaurant to thrive with one owner since 1975.
Yes, sometimes it is crowded and there's a wait -- that's because it's good. That's because so many people come. And yes, wouldn't a lot of places NOT in a mall love to have parking.
But this is a superb restaurant -- the food is consistently excellent; wait staff professional and presentation excellent.
Good food but NOT good experience. Dined August 23, 2011 during Downtown Raleigh Restaurant week for the 3 course prix fixe menu. Hostess was just awful both coming in and leaving. All she had to do was smile and take us to our table! She was curt & sullen-- could not squeeze out a smile for our coming OR going! Naturally it was crowded- had to wait over 10 minutes to get water. The Bruchetta was the best I've ever had, the mixed grill was great. Dessert was just ok. Wine was good. Overall food was very, very good and a good value BUT the musical entertainment was not good and was WAY, WAY too loud. The main girl (who was the least talented) had her family there cheering her but volume was out of control and did not allow discussion between me and my guest. Soft canned music would have been far better than lousy live act at too high volume.
Dining Experience. Dined at Irregardless Cafe on May 28, 2011. The ambience was very nice, the wait staff was very efficient and the food was good. The negatives: the restaurant needs some additional parking made available for customers and the wait staff, while efficient, were not warm - actually they came across as being quite indifferent, as if they were just trying to do their job and get through the evening. The food, while nice, is overpriced for what you get and the atmosphere in general has lost that "down-to-earth, granola" feel and seems somewhat stuffy.
Great Mother's Day brunch. The restaurant had such a great vibe on Mother's Day morning. Happy moms, happy families! Yummy food, attentive service without interruption to the discussions at our table. Thanks for a great start to the day!
Wednesdays..... I've been a huge fan of Irregardless Cafe for years now and I really enjoy the live music they have. I eat there many times a week for lunch and dinner and must say the food is FABULOUS!!! The only complaint I have is that, on certain Wednesday nights, there has been a band called the Kudzu Ramblers and they play as if they are in concert at a stadium!! I always request to sit in the farthest booth from the music but somehow it seems like they are playing right in front of me!! This past time, as I was heading to the restroom, I notice them being extremely rude and condescending to their waiter and the manager who, from my tables conversation with him, has been with Irregardless for 13 years! VERY DISRESPECTFUL! I hope this band does not frequent the restaurant anymore or I will have to choose another night to attend!
Aweful Manager. My father played there tonight with his band and the manager there was very rude. He's new and he is very rude. Just giving a heads up to people that go there. He was rude and argumentative, he said that the band was "his employees" and was all rude about it. Great food, but the manager sucks.
Lots of changes. My husband and I have been eating here for years. We had our wedding reception here and everyone raved about the food and the space. I even recommended it for another one of my couple and they also had their reception here. I loved, loved, loved everything that I got here. I liked that the menu was ever changing and that I could count on some of the old favorites would always be there. I cannot describe how obsessed I was with the house made balsamic dressing. I had people come here from out of town and want to eat at Irregardless first thing. Now it seems that none of the food is the same. The salad dressings have completely changed. They do not even resemble what it used to be. I am highly disappointed that a landmark restaurant in Raleigh feels that it must do a complete 180. I understand that places must grow and change to keep up with the time but, sometimes you just have to roll with the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' mind set.
Avoid Contatct. To answer you websites reference about being available to each customer’s needs and wants, you should know that you do not meet this expectation and the owner and leader is responsible for the overall achievement of the restaurant. The food was very good. The service was excellent. The owner was aggressive and spoke like a Pit Bull. I forgot my food that was boxed for to go. When I went to see if it was still there the owner Arthur Gordon verbally and aggressively attacked me. He told me “this is how things are done here." Then after I explained that I came from a family who owned several restaurants he again attacked me responding “Go and run your families restaurant but this is how I run it here!" When I think about my dining experience on Valentine’s Day I think of extra tables added to the point where I could introduce myself to the people eating inches away. Then I think of the owner/ Pit Bull accommodating me when I asked if they found any boxed food. I will not return to a restaurant where I would feel physically sick if I saw the owner, Arthur Gordon. I like to have dinner with the person I come with, not the four people next to me as well. I like to see a pleasant owner not an aggressive mean owner who will assault you when receiving feedback. A respectful and dignified restaurant owner will graciously accept any feedback and provide a pleasant dining experience. As a person who deserves respect I will not go to Irregardless to because I do not want the miserable encounter I had with the owner to ruin my dinner. I do not think it is miracle to have complements and receive no complaints but a good restaurant and Irregardless does not have all of those qualities. I also agree with the other poor reviews and can imagine that this would take place at such a restaurant.
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