Monday, July 13, 2009

marvin is an overrated sh*thole

There are so many things to hate about DC that, really, it's hard to narrow down one point to write about. But sometimes -- once in a douche moon -- something comes along that is so horrendous, so unnecessarily retarded, that a mere double flip of the bird just doesn't suffice. Sometimes, just sometimes, it's necessary to make a complaint known to the whole world...wide web.

This is one of those times.

Marvin is a pretentious, overrated sh*thole with wack food and even wacker waitstaff.

Actually, the food is pretty decent (unless you're a vegetarian [sidebar: sucker!], in which case the French toast is the only item on the brunch menu you can eat).

The waitstaff, though? I'll see them in hell. OK, well, not all the waitstaff. But one. I will see one of them in hell, the one that is apparently known throughout the land as "the WORST waitress ever." And by "throughout the land," I mean by another friend of mine who happened to dine at Marvin last week. If only I'd've known...

Now this is the time where I debate whether to out this particular waitress, but after thinking about it for a second literally just one second ago, I decided not to. And it's not because I don't remember her name. Trust me, I do. It was noted on the receipt. No, the reason I'm refraining from outing "the WORST waitress ever" is because, really, it would probably be a reward for her to get fired, after which she'd discover what she really wanted to do with her life and then do it. Instead, I'd like to know that she's continuing to toil miserably at a low-paying job she clearly hates. I am a cruel and heartless human being.

Anyway, the event in question happened yesterday around 1 p.m., prime brunch time. Luckily, Marvin wasn't that crowded so I and my two friends (equally cruel and heartless) were seated right away. And after passing several four-person tables, which I would quickly learn are called "four-tops" in restaurant lingo, we were seated at a "five-top." And in case you didn't pay much attention to that last sentence and your deductive reasoning skills equal that of a brain-damaged platypus, that means a table for five.

The waitress came, took our orders then disappeared. All was good. But then about two minutes later she came back. To yell at us. Well, to yell at me in particular, the one who ordered a $4 fruit bowl and a glass of water in place of something more expensive.

"Just so you know, there's a minimum tab of $10 per person," she sneered.

"Oh. I had no idea. That's not written anywhere," I said.

"Well, FYI," she noted with a ridiculous dollop of sarcasm rivaling my own patented variety, "That's the policy. Especially when you're at a five-top."

"A what?"

"A five-top. This table is for a larger party. It's a five-top and you're only three."

After that, she went into a tirade during which she inexplicably said "five-top" about 18 more times.

After she was done, my friend noted, "You know, we didn't seat ourselves..."

Looking around, "the WORST waitress ever" must've noticed the numerous empty, smaller tables the hostess passed by when she chose to seat us at the mythical "five-top" because she looked at us and said, "Well, I'll let you keep your original order this time, but you can't do this again."

After she walked away, all three of us collectively noted that we definitely won't be doing that again because not one of us ever plans to return, unless of course, we ever get a craving to be treated like second-class citizens...

Now, don't get me wrong, I understand why the waitress might be upset about my small order and having a trio sit at a table for five. Less tip. But 1) this $10 minimum "policy" was never conveyed to me; 2) like I said, we didn't seat ourselves at that ginormous table and, in actuality, would've preferred a smaller table, which would've made talking to one another easier; and 3) in order to get a tip, you have to actually do your job well, which doesn't involve unnecessarily bitching out paying customers.

Moreover, it's not like there was a crowd of people storming the place to eat there, which means my business, as measly as it was, should've been at least a little appreciated. I mean, maybe it's because I'm not a communist and/or terrorist, but isn't a paying customer who's willing to order $4 worth of items better than a quintet of could-be people with could-be money? Then again, although the answer to that question seems obvious, this is DC, a city that appreciates common sense about as much as a normal human being would appreciate contracting herpes.

But seriously, Marvin. You've made one angry hobo out of me. Albeit, a hobo now with an extra $4 to spend. All I need is one more dollar and it's off to DC's most reliable establishment for a $5 footlong. Now that's a brunch I can get behind.


LiLu said...


Incompetence? Laziness? Complete and total lack of brain cells?

These are things I can A) understand and B) tolerate in a server. But when someone is outright RUDE? I will go out of my way to make their life a living hell. After a decade in the service, I know EXACTLY how to do it, too... Get ready to make 9 trips back to the kitchen, sweetheart and split a check 7 ways, sweetheart...

Ben (The Tiger) said...

When people are like that, I'll avoid tipping. Or tip pennies.

N said...

Agreed. My one brunch experience at Marvin was horrible. Our party was too large so they would only seat us upstairs, where it was self-serve brunch. No one brought us cups so we could go pour our own coffee at the bar. One of my friends made sure to request her order without bacon several times and it came with bacon anyway. I can't remember what else happened, but it was all bad.

Marissa said...


Agreed. I've never worked as a waitress, but I've held plenty of service industry jobs. Being a bitch never helps.


I didn't tip on my $4 order. My two friends tipped $1 apiece.


Ugh. Just add that to the list of disappointed patrons who will never go back. Ever.

Righteous (re)Style said...

You need to have a "DC Douchiness Award"! I think Marvin would be in the top 5. Lame service, lame staff, lame patrons (esp. Thurs - Sat night).

As for the $10 minimum - that is just plain ridiculous - are you getting world class jazz for that $10 minimum? Or a pair of over-glittered bare tits in your face? Not last time I checked. I guess they think people would pay for the, cough, ambiance . . .

No Faith In Humanity said...

Marvin sent us away on Saturday night for lack of adherence to the dress code--my boyfriend was wearing sandals and it was "dance night." They're lucky we weren't shivved to death on the walk there, it being part of the DC deathtrap and all. When we finally got back in, no one was dancing. You can't dance when you are ass to ass with tightshirted douches. I think I am officially too old for the bar scene.

nate said...

God I miss the restaurant business. Being able to mock, belittle and abuse paying customers was second only to being able to kick them out on the list of bartender's perks. Of course, I'm a prick, so I'm a little biased. :) If you really want to experience the worst waitress ever though, hit up the Post Pub for lunch some day. You'll know her when you see her.

Oh, and brunch is the worst shift ever. Anywhere. Regardless of dollar value. It's just plain soul crushing.

Marissa said...


All good points. And yes, Marvin is definitely on that list...

no faith--

Yeah, I went to Marvin after dark for a minute once. The same tight-shirted douches scared me away. That, and I couldn't move. The fact that that place is so crowded at night though makes me sad. Is that what people are seriously into? Moreover, is that the level of service we've come to expect and accept in this city?? Wack.


Worst shift or not, don't condescend your customers unless they do something that deserves it. Like I said, we didn't seat ourselves and I just wasn't that damn hungry. Nowhere was this $10 rule written down or told to me before I order, or even while I ordered. Only after I ordered, which means had I known, we wouldn't have gone there in the first place. Marvin is a business even too backward to fit in somewhere in the former Soviet Union.

Anonymous said...

First I thought I was going to say that this was the best line of the post:
(unless you're a vegetarian [sidebar: sucker!]

But then I read this line:
it would probably be a reward for her to get fired, after which she'd discover what she really wanted to do with her life and then do it.

As a staunch carnivore, it's hard for me to vote for the second one, but the second one made me chuckle. Good work!


Boomhauer said...

Marvin sucks, except for the chicken and waffles, a meal which is better than a handjob from a Filipino hooker. And at least the hooker will take less time to bring me a Stella.

Marissa said...


Yeah, re: the second line: I speak from experience.


May I call you Boom? It's easier for Sven to type (I'm just dictating). Since I really don't care for fried chicken, that meal doesn't do anything for me. Honestly, I'd rather bring a toaster to KFC and warm up some Eggos.

Anonymous said...

You went to Marvin to order $4 worth of food?! Why didn't you just go to Subway, more value for your money!

Marissa said...

If I had a choice, I would've gone to Subway, but I was meeting friends who wanted legitimate brunch food. Clearly, I need to make friends with Jared.

Anonymous said...

I have never appreciated someone who complains on a blog... you obviously are somebody who has NEVER worked in the service industry... God bless your self righteous-ness. $4 at a five top??? Sandals at a BAR??? there are a lot of things to complain about but those things are just plain masterbatory. Waa Waa. your description of events is banal and sophmoric at best... I hate Marvin because of Douchebags like you that go there and treat it as their own personal Bitch... STAY HOME AND ORDER DOMINO"S AND DON"T TIP THE DELIVERY GUY BECAUSE HE CHARGED YOU EXACTLY THE RIGHT AMOUNT!!! open your own place BAMA...

Marissa said...


Jesus Christ, did I turn you down when you asked me out or something?

Chip. On. Shoulder...

See, I said that to antagonize you. I thought I'd explain what should be implicit because it seems like you just don't get it. But it's OK. Let me try to help you.

You're wrong about me not having worked in the service industry, which makes your assumption that I am a "Douchebag" (with a capital D, no less) a little premature. Clearly, you've never read this blog before. Had you, you'd know that I recently quit my job as a sales clerk at a sex shop. Now if that isn't a job in the service industry (pun intended), I don't know what is.

And even though I was making $2.37 per hour there, I still treated people respectfully, unless of course, they flashed there gens at me. In that case, the customer was out of line and I could ask them to leave citing indecent exposure, a clear break in the law.

In this case at Marvin, though, I'd like for you to tell me how I was in the wrong. Which law did I break? Or what did my two friends I was with do wrong? Was it my $4 order? Excuse me, but nowhere in the establishment or on the menu did it list a minimum per person. It's not a crime to simply not be that hungry. How was I supposed to know? Magic?

Moreover, my friends were ordering full meals and imbibing alcohol, which made up for my paltry order (if they also ordered $4 worth of stuff then I could possibly understand the waitress's frustration, but they didn't). Now, had the waitress not been such a bitch, I could've guaranteed that they would've ordered more, bringing the tally to well over $30, possibly over $50 (the unstated goal for the five-top, right?) for the three of us. But you know what happens when paying customers get treated us like sh*t for reasons beyond their control? They just want to get the f*ck out of there. And, yes, some want to blog about it to warn others. (Sorry if my complaint topics aren't as prolific as you'd like...)

But to clarify, we didn't ASK to be seated at the "five-top." The hostess seated us there. So, really, any problem the waitress had with us, she should've had with the hostess. Like I said, all she did by misplacing the blame on reasonable customers was cut her tip, which I don't believe you're entitled to unless you give a minimum amount of courtesy and service to your patrons, i.e. DO YOUR DAMN JOB.

Now, the customer isn't always right, but in this case, we did nothing wrong.

As far as you thinking my description of events is both "banal" and "sophmoric" (by the way, it's sophomoric, with an extra "o" and also, it's a little repetitive to use both as descriptors in the same sentence), well, I'm sorry you think that. Not everyone appreciates my humor. You probably really wouldn't like the abortion joke I made yesterday either...

And re: the Domino's quip. I really don't understand that. Assuming I would ever order Domino's (which I'm not sure I would because 1) it's nasty and 2) I don't eat a lot of carbs or take-out), why would I stiff the delivery guy for charging me the "exact right" amount (you do love to repeat yourself)? That's called doing his job correctly. If he rang my doorbell and then yelled at me for ordering a pizza with pepperoni on it for no reason, then, yes, maybe I wouldn't tip him. BECAUSE THEN HE WOULDN'T HAVE DONE HIS JOB.

You may call me a "bama," but goddamn, at least I can read and write. You, on the other hand, well I'm afraid you may need to work on that as your ideas are all over the place. Need a tutor? I might be able to help.

In any case, good luck to you. Enjoy DC.