The first thing we noticed upon arrival is that “Guppy’s on the Beach” is not a very appropriate name. The restaurant is next to the main road. To get to the beach, you have to cross the road, walk through a big parking lot and down a path. But, hey. Good marketing!
The first thing the waitress told us when we arrived was that they were out of all tuna items on the menu. We had been trying to decide between two restaurants for dinner this evening, and since my wife is a tuna lover, this was her leaning. Oh, well. No beach view, no tuna. Not starting out well.
We started with a couple of appetizers and a bottle of Taittinger. The best appetizer we had was Lobster Escargot, which, not surprisingly, was morsels of lobster drowned in butter. Mmmmm.
For entrees, we had a seafood trio which consisted of mahi, grouper and shrimp. I had the lobster ravioli.
Finally, an oddity on the tip. The menu had a notice on each page in big red letters stating that ALL tables got a 15% tip. I usually see that for tables of a bigger size, but this was the first time in recent memory I can recall seeing a notation like that. Just to make absolutely sure we understood the tip was added automatically, they had this fairly annoying message on the credit card receipt that we were asked to initial.
Again, another first for me. Overall, an average experience. That is, until we made the mistake of leaving our daughter’s prized blanket at the restaurant. Those of you with kids will understand. Our daughter goes everywhere with this blanket (she calls it Baba). Lose this blanket and it’s armageddon. Well, I called the restaurant when we got back to the hotel and they did, in fact, have the blanket.
I went back into the restaurant and grabbed the blanket, seeking out our server to thank her. She came over to me and said, “It looked like something your daughter really valued, so I gave it to my manager immediately.” When I tried to give her some money as a reward for finding it, she told me we had already been very generous with our tip. Without getting into dollar specifics, let’s say that the additional tip we left was adequate but nowhere near the biggest tip I had ever left. No question this reinforces that most people probably just leave the 15%. I wouldn’t have described anything about dinner or the service as outstanding, but our server struck me as very respectful and genuine in thanking me for our original tip. Needless to say I still pressed some extra money into her hand as thanks.
The moral of the story here is setting correct expectations. I think a good meal can be had at Guppy’s. It’s better than Red Lobster, not as good as Morton’s or McCormick & Shmick. Go in with that expectation and have an enjoyable meal.