I'm finished with this Keys until and unless I learn that they've gutted and refreshed the whole filthy place. I've always liked the funkiness of the Raymond Street Keys, and I usually get good service and good food at the Robert Street cafe. But this one, nearest my house, has become a consistent disappointment and inevitably leaves me feeling sorry I came in.
The service is haphazard and delivered by a hodgepodge of bored, randomly attentive servers and bussers. Some of them are clean, most are not. On our last visit, the guy who was filling waters and wandering around apparently watching flies in the distance (his attention never strayed to actual people at tables) had dirty dreads and was wearing baggy long nylon shorts, with his hairy legs hanging out.
All the staff busses tables, and they all seem to stick their hands into used water glasses to port them to a bus tub. Then they use those same hands to draw new glasses of water for the next customers.
The floors are sticky and dark and look as though they haven't seen any cleaning products stronger than cold water in years. The booths are dirty and stained and the menus are sticky and tattered. The condiments on the table are similarly unclean. And while I'm tempted to continue my rant about the dirtiness of the bathrooms and the shelves behind the counters, I'll just let you imagine.
And the food? Well, there's lots of it, but I'd rather get half the portion for half the price.
There always seem to be staff who have time for a break at the counter, but there never seem to be staff who have time to sweep spilled food off the floors or clean the fingerprints off the display case and front-door glass.
I hate cooking during the work week and we'd probably eat several meals a week here if it were what Keys claims to be: a friendly, family neighborhood place with a homey menu. But it's not; it's a place that needs a floor to ceiling, front of house to back, major overhaul. What a shame.
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