5820 Coldwater Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
Back in April, the 3 Elles dinned at the Chapell's on Broadway http://3elles.blogspot.com/2010/04/chappells.html and had a dismal time. The Broadway location has since closed and relocated to Jefferson Ave. We were pleasantly surprised that for the most part our experience at the Coldwater store was a vast improvement over our last Chappell's outing.
The BEST part of Chappell's - the drinks prepared by Fort Wayne's MOST TALENTED bartender, Sarah! She's a talented alcohol chemist and artist. Look at her masterpieces!
Key Lime Pie Martini complete with graham cracker crust rim - De-lish! No question, you MUST try this. I'm not even particularly fond of Key Lime Pie, but this . . . this is so perfect!
Blue Falls - very good, very strong! I would skip this one in the future and go straight for the Key Lime Martini and the White Chocolate Martini which were TREMENDOUS!
Almond Chocolate something - Perfection! Yum!
Grasshopper - Good, but strong.
It's as if Chappell's had read my April blog where I mentioned they should consider some marketing to get people in the door. By sitting at the bar, we were able to get half-priced appetizers. What a bargain! The bar is a grandiose intricately carved wood structure. Adams L enjoyed looking at the detail. We were told it was relocated from the Broadway location and was originally in Hollywood as it was featured in at least 2 John Wayne movies - cool!
Allen L chose the Goat Cheese Bruschetta. I really liked it, but the other L's were not as pleased. We all agree it was a grand improvement over the other location.
I selected Stuffed Jalapenos (recommeded by Super Bar Star, Sarah!) These were very delicious! They were quite similar, though a little smaller, to those found at Bandidos which I also love. The peppers were mild since the seeds were removed and were stuffed with oozing mozzarella cheese and a little bacon. YUM! I would recommend these to future dinners.
Adams L chose the crab cakes. They were very similar to those found at the other location. There was ONE small piece of lump meat - disappointing.
It was the same bread as the other location. It was okay. I personally don't have much to say about it. The other L's liked it. It's not the best nor the worst bread we've had on our 3 Elles Journey.
The menu is nearly the same as the Broadway location. We all decided to try something different.
I chose fried Blue Gill that came with Fries and crab slaw, but for $1.95 I upgraded to a delicious house salad. I probably would not get the Blue Gill again - the breading was way too thick, the fish was fishy and not very fresh tasting. It didn't taste anything like other Blue Gill dinners I have had. My hubz ate 2 bites and couldn't stand it due to extreme breading and poor taste. The fries are very delicious! The meal was a generous portion and was a good value for $13.95.
Adams L and Allen L took advantage of another successful Chappell's marketing promotion - buy any entree and get any other entree at half price. Adams L chose the Walleye Fingers that came with french fries. It was the same breading that we had on our Canadian Walleye at the Broadway location. Adams L said the dish was good and not greasy. She said the breading was crispy and crunchy with a flaky and tender piece of flavorful walleye inside. She paired her entree with the Soup Du Jour which was Curry Sweet Potato. She described the soup as creamy and smooth without grit or clumps.
Allen L chose the Fish & Chips. It was inferior to what is offered at Paula's On Main. Our advice - skip it at Chappell's - go straight to Paula's. She found the breading to be WAY too thick and the fish was not flavorful. She did say it was not greasy - that's a plus! As with the other L's, she too liked the fries. She paired her entree with the crab slaw which is tremendous!
We were told that the desserts were made by the owner's wife's sister. They were primarily the same options and tasted the same as the Broadway location - we chose the white cake with white frosting and the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. They were okay, but they are a far cry from the impeccable desserts offered at other eateries in the area-or by DeBrands just 2 buildings away. For photos, see the April post.
I'm not sure I've mentioned it thus far, but Super Bar Star Sarah ROCKED! Allen L and I agree that if we had not stopped at the bar first for 'tinis and apps the entire night would have been very disheartening.
After our apps we were seated in a booth, in the bar area, where Keenan introduced himself. It started off very positively and we were excited about having a fun server who was going to provide excellent service. Keenan was very nice and started things off very attentively. Keenan said that he, like Sarah, had only been working at Chappell's for a month. Within 30 minutes of us being seated at the table, the volume of patrons grew exponentially and Keenan found himself with too many tables to whom he could provide exceptional service. Why is this a repetitive theme at Chappell's (don't just take my word - google Chappell's and read the plethora of reviews - mostly negative and mostly all stating crappy service)? Might Chappell's consider adopting a more appropriate table to server ratio? I, for one, am tired of paying my hard earned money and not getting the time or attention I feel is required when paying $50 for an evening out. Keenan would disappear for large chunks of time. My water glass would sit empty for 15 minutes or more even when the volume of patrons dwindled and it was I who got up to seek out someone to fill it. Maybe the management should go to Eddie Merlot's and watch how they fill water glasses. Hey Chappell's management - exceptional customer service costs you nothing, but crappy customer service can cost you dearly in lost business. Now, don't get me wrong - Keenan was by far NOT the worst server we have ever had . . . that honor might befall the ditz from Catablu Grille.
A comment about the last transaction - sealing the deal, if you will. Upon swiping Allen L's debit card and being presented with the receipt, she noticed that instead of being charged for $35 as was her bill, Keenan had charged her debit card for $156. WHAT!!!!!! Thank goodness she looked carefully before signing. I got a manager, Joan, over to our table because God knows when Keenan might have returned (seriously, where was he . . . the folks had cleared out of the restaurant and it was back to being fairly quiet). The manager apologized and returned with a corrected charge slip, but no void receipt. Joan said her machine didn't print out such void slips. Well - in hindsight, let's talk customer service. Let's whip out a business card and write a note on the back as proof. Let's apologize profusely and figure something out to make it right for the customer. But it was just dismissed as an error and she was sorry. Skip ahead 12 hours - Allen L's debit card was charged both the $156 AND the $35. Her bank takes a few days to process the void and until then (over the weekend) she is without access to that $156. Seriously! Come on Chappell's - you have kept Allen L from being able to access her OWN MONEY because of your stupidity!!!!!! Oh, it's a good thing it didn't happen to me or EVERYONE I know (I work for the largest company of its kind in the world- I know LOTS of people) would be boycotting Chappell's for life!!!!!!!!!! Unbelievable. $156 might not be a big deal to you Joan or Keenan, but you're screwing with other people's money and that's a really big deal. News flash - there's a lot of competition for people's business in Fort Wayne and guess where people want to go?????? Where they don't get SCREWED!!!!!
It was not-so-tacky nautical. There was a fish tank much like the Broadway street location. It had all the typical nautical paraphernalia hanging on the walls. It was cute enough, I guess.
The North location restrooms were FAR superior to the hole-in-the-wall potty at the Broadway location. The fake white plastic tile were clean. They tried to be high end with the folded paper towels on the counter, but unlike EM's or JD's or other similar locations, Chappell's tried to make pre-folded cheap recycled material paper towels look swanky - kind of a joke, really. Actually, it's almost laughably embarrassing. You'll do better to get a nice paper towel dispenser rather than try to make cheap stuff look expensive - we're not dumb - we see the truth.
We're not going back unless it's for 'tinis with Sarah driving the shaker!
Until the next bite -
5820 Coldwater Rd