Rise & Dine? We Wish We'd Slept In

March 29, 2009

We're always excited when a new restaurant opens out in the Woodlands, and were even more excited when a new breakfast spot appears. We gave them a couple of weeks to get the opening kinks out, and stopped by on a Sunday just before noon to try Rise & Dine.

We were greeted quickly, and put on the list. We were surprised to find out that the wait was only ten minutes; Sunday around noon it's typical to wait 30-45 minutes at a popular breakfast spot. We enjoyed our good fortune and were seated in about five minutes.

Our server stopped by and said she'd be with us in a minute. We waited, and she never returned. Another server picked up the slack, and came by with menus a few minutes later. We perused the menu, and found to be a bit odd -- there weren't many full breakfast offerings; just one with pancakes, eggs, breakfast meat, and hash browns or grits. A member of our party wanted something similar with French toast; we asked the server, and she said they could add these sides to make the platter any way we wanted.

I'm sure they could. French Toast is $5.50, a side of bacon is $2.90, hashbrowns are $2. A pair of eggs isn't on the menu, but it's no doubt at least $2, making this "deal" cost over $12.

We asked the waitress how much this would cost, and she flippantly replied, "I'm not sure -- the system adds it up for us, so I don't know what it costs." I then asked if we could get the "Hearty Breakfast", with French Toast substituted for the pancakes, and she said we could. Why didn't she suggest this to us, unless she was just trying to pad the check? The difference in cost was about $5.

After this ordering snafu had been resolved, we were looking forward to our meal. After about 15 minutes, some of it came out (one order was missing, but the server said she saw them "working on it" in the kitchen, and it would be right out). She left immediately, before we could point out to her that we hadn't received any silverware or napkins.

We flagged down another server who resolved this latest issue, and the two who had their food dug in (about 5 minutes had passed, and the waffle that was being worked on was no where in site.

Cut to the chase: The food was terrible.

The French toast was a gloppy mess; it had been soaked in egg for too long, then undercooked; the middle of the Texas toast was wet and raw. The bacon was very thinly sliced, greasy, and limp. Only the hash browns were serviceable, although they were no better than what we'd expect from IHOP or Denny's.

Finally the missing waffle appeared. It was cold and undercooked; a doughy mess in the middle, and nowhere near crisp.

As if on cue, our server dropped by to ask how things were; we told her about the most glaring problems with the french toast and the waffle. She scurried off to get the manager.

The manager arrived in short order. She was a perky woman, clearly surprised that we were unhappy. She asked if there was anything else we would like, but by this point our schedule was tight and we couldn't wait for another go-round in the kitchen. She removed the waffle from the bill, then curiously removed the upcharge for the French toast from the other item.

So we were left paying full price for the "Hearty Breakfast", but a major part of it, the pancakes, were never served.

At this point, we'd had enough, so we decided to just pay and leave. But even that wasn't easy; the way the manager had comped the bad food was with some sort of coupon in the system, and the checkout folks couldn't get it to be accepted. They tried to get the manager's attention, but she was busy being perky somewhere else in the restaurant, and the checkout clerk simply removed the item she couldn't ring up.

Other than the poorly prepared food and utterly inept service, we can't see much wrong with Rise & Dine. It's a nice enough room in a generic strip mall. But if our experience was typical, it is among the worst choices you could make for breakfast in the Woodlands area.

Rise & Dine: 3707 College Park Drive, The Woodlands, 77384, 936-273-5575

Copyright 2023 Nurick + Associates