Monday, October 19, 2015

T Stands For Sweet Basil

Earlier this year, right after it reopened in May, my eating buddy Sally and I visited Sweet Basil, a restaurant we both loved.  Unfortunately, a fire had taken most of it and the entire inside had to be remodeled. 

You can tell this is an old photo because this is Sally's old car sitting in front of the "new" Sweet Basil.
The sign was new,

the entry was new,

and the entire atmosphere was new.  The staff seemed rather disinterested, even though we had to wait to be seated and there was only one other couple in the restaurant when we arrived.  Although I failed to get a photo of the bar area (behind the disinterested wait staff), you might be able to see a large TV that was surrounded by neon.  This was NOT a sports bar, so why did they need the TV? Was it so you wouldn't see how different things were under new management?

The "line" leading to the much smaller buffet was convoluted and hard to maneuver.  No way would you get seconds once the line filled.

I mostly got fruit and a bit of salad to compliment my water with lemon, my drink of choice when I go to lunch.  Sally went right for the spaghetti, lasagna, and chicken parm, which all had meat in it.  The prices, although not "cheap" in the past, were reasonable for the service and wonderful food that was always on the buffet.  Now the price of the lunch buffet had skyrocketed and the buffet was about half the size it had been before.  Sally and I both agreed the food was "good," but nothing outstanding or spectacular, like it had been under the previous ownership.  And the service was downright deplorable, even though we both left a 20% tip.

As the restaurant began to fill, which it did as it had in the past, the wait staff was anxious for us to leave.  However, I am not one to be rushed when I eat.  After we ate to the tune of nearly $20.00 (USD) each, less tax and tip, we both decided this would be the last time we visited one of our favorite restaurants in Wichita.   These prices may sound reasonable where you live, but most places we eat, the meal is around $8.00 to $10.00 (USD) for lunch.

Although I realized the pictures on the wall were for sale,

I still took a few photos before we left.

This wall appeared to have more permanent art.  The one on the right had a twin further along the wall.

I admit, I really like this piece, which may be the best thing I can say about the "new" Sweet Basil.

I'm not sure who made these mixed media pieces,

but I really, really liked them.  Far more so than the food and the service, that's for sure.  I might even try making something similar, albeit smaller, this winter.

Now I've shared my T post, it's your turn to share a drink related post with us.  It can be anything from a photo of a glass, cup, or mug, to an actual drink, or even a sketch or a digital, hybrid, or traditional page in your scrapbook, art journal, or altered book.  Maybe you'd prefer to share a tag, or photography.  Or perhaps you will review a place you visited, or a movie or book.  It makes no difference as long as it's drink related.  Please tie it back here, and please share the link to your post, not your entire blog.  When you link, Bleubeard, the T gang, and I will be by to visit.


Bleubeard would also like to remind you that your photos can be taken any time, even months ago, if you choose.  On the other hand, Squiggles is still hiding in my office.

27 thoughtful remarks:

By Neymes said...

Olá Beth,esse domingo meu almoço foi como no sweet basil,sim macarronada com salada de frutas, eu amo.Boa semana amiga.Beijo.Valéria.

Lisca Meijer said...

Disinterested staff are enough reason for me not to come back. But in your case the food was expensive too. Why did you give them a tip if the service was below par? How awful!
But you did have a good time with Sally by the looks of it.
Have a good week,
Lisca

TwinkleToes2day said...

You are very tolerant to have left a tip although the service wasn't up to par. It's a shame the staff let down what looked to be a comfortable place. Higher prices can be forgiven, in my opinion, if the staff make an effort.
I'm delighted to be joining in this week and look forward to visiting everyone who joins in. Enjoy the rest of your evening, and Happy T Day to you Elizabeth :o))

Linda Kunsman said...

Oh I must say I do LOVE the art displayed in this restaurant! Sorry about the new experience otherwise. We have been thru the same a few times.You were VERY generous with the tip. Sorry, but I would not have given a 20% tip for that lack of service. Hope you and Sally can find another place to have perfect experiences in! Happy T day!

Carol said...

I hate it when a favorite restaurant changes management and does down hill in the process :( It's so disappointing. They do have some great art though ♥

Halle said...

That's a bummer about the restaurant under new ownership. How disappointing.
The artwork was definitely cool though. Glad you snapped some photos!

~*~Patty S said...

I guess the silver lining of another disappointing lunch stop was the nice array of artwork.
Shame about your visit.
Thanks for sharing your photos E.
Happy T Day oxo

Kelly Deal said...

I hate being rushed to eat, especially if you're paying a pretty penny for food that's not even that good. I wouldn't be going back either.

Kelly Deal said...

Oh, of course you can interview me! Thanks for your sweet comment!

Valerie-Jael said...

It looks such a nice lace, pity the service and prices were not good, but's it's still cheap in comparison to here. Like the idea of the art on the walls, and some of it being for sale. Your fruit salad does look good though! Have a great day, take care of yourself, and hope your shoulder is feeling better, hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

That's not nice .... I am sorry Sally and you have lost one of your favourite restaurants now... but the art is super to look at!
Happy T-Day Elizabeth!
oxo
Susi

sheila 77 said...

That's disappointing, but you got an entertaining blogpost out of it, so let's look on the bright side! I certainly wouldn't have given them any tip if the service was abyssmal, you're very generous. Hope you find a new and better place for next time.
I agree, the collages on the wall look very interesting.
Happy Tuesday!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

At least you were able to enjoy some nice artwork while you were there. It is too bad that the prices went up so high and the service, at least on that day, went down so low.

dawn said...

Hello and Happy T Day! Sorry this time around was much the same and not better. Thank goodness the food was good, that and the awesome art work saved the day. We've had a place with a buffet here and it too changed the items and raised the price, we haven't been back.

Thank you for linking me up this week. I am ready to make the rounds before heading out for lunch with my sister. Will be sure to get some pictures to share on the next T Day :)

Darla said...

Disappointing experience for sure. The price for lunch here can run about $20 per person but that's for a nice place with good service. I think buffets are usually cheaper - don't know, not fond of buffets. The art work was interesting - liked the piece you said was your favorite.

Divers and Sundry said...

Tipping where there's a buffet and you order at the counter? Disinterested staff or not, I had no idea people tipped where counter service was the only service. The prices seem much too high for the type of place it is. I consider those places to be more like McDonald's than like a place where you sit down and are waited on. I don't blame you for not wanting to go back.

Krisha said...

Sorry, I don't tip for buffets, counter service or POOR customer service! A tip is a "thank you for your good service" They do get wages for their jobs, weather they do them well or not.

That being said......the art work is fantastic. The new interior is pretty, but like you.....why the TV?? I hate a TV in a restaurant, and only tolerate them in a sports bar....unless it is football season...*grin*

The prices for a lunch buffet are a bit too high for my pockets. Buffett lunches run about $10 here, plus your drink. For a full service restaurant it might hit $20.00 a piece....but that would be if I have a glass of wine....or two( then it would hit $25.00) with lunch....LOL

Happy T-day

Dianne said...

So sad that the remodeled restaurant was a disappointment. I agree, the prices are a bit much for lunch! The collage pieces on the wall are quite nice though, so it wasn't a total loss...? I really like that irregularly shaped one...I wonder if it is a piece of wood rather than canvas? awesome. happy T day dear friend! ♥

pearshapedcrafting said...

This sounds a familiar tale - one of our favourite places to eat was turned into a "posh" restaurant with prices to match, the staff were rude where we had received a warm welcome with family or on our own. We drove past yesterday - it has closed down - justice!!! Hugs Chrisx

TwinkleToes2day said...

Hi elizabeth, Wee Man here. I did put a red heart into both of my dogs and you have to make a wish first. I got them both with my birthday money that I saved. I should have only got one but they had an offer on to get two. I also got dog leads and a brush for them. I'm glad you like them both as well. :D

pearshapedcrafting said...

Link fixed! What was I thinking! The pavements in Kirby Lonsdale are very narrow - almost nonexistant in parts! Pavements around here are mainly quite wide and the city centre - about four miles away is almost traffic free apart from the trams - going tomorrow so I'll try to take photos! Chrisx

505whimsygirl said...

Hi Elizabeth. The name of the restaurant is very cute as is the sign. Too bad it is under new ownership and have made changes that aren't that spectacular. Where I live I have paid $20 for a lunch but that was a salmon sandwich; dance definitely not the normal price I pay for lunch though. The artwork is great and I can see why that one piece was your favorite. It is very cool.
Hugs
Kay

505whimsygirl said...

Hi Elizabeth. The name of the restaurant is very cute as is the sign. Too bad it is under new ownership and have made changes that aren't that spectacular. Where I live I have paid $20 for a lunch but that was a salmon sandwich; dance definitely not the normal price I pay for lunch though. The artwork is great and I can see why that one piece was your favorite. It is very cool.
Hugs
Kay

505whimsygirl said...

Hi Elizabeth. The name of the restaurant is very cute as is the sign. Too bad it is under new ownership and have made changes that aren't that spectacular. Where I live I have paid $20 for a lunch but that was a salmon sandwich; dance definitely not the normal price I pay for lunch though. The artwork is great and I can see why that one piece was your favorite. It is very cool.
Hugs
Kay

jillholmes.me said...

Oh, man. I hate it when new owners ruin a perfectly good thing and they let a favorite anything waste away. Sorry about that for you. I hate poor service, too--especially when there is NO reason for it. Hopefully you will find a better place that suits you both soon. Happy TSFT! :-)

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

I really like the art you liked as well, especially the cut out piece. $20 for lunch is alot, but not a surprise round here on the east coast. But we too can get a great lunch at a local bakery for under $10 apiece - vegetarian salads too. Or from the pasta shack across they way. There is NO excuse for poor service, that's just bad management. Sorry one of your favorites is off the list. xox

johanna said...

oh, i´m late this week, not sure if it still Counts...
but i had some days of marvellous Food and lots of fun. as soon as i will find time i will make my blog visits...