We were in Wareham at Tri Town Cycle getting some warm bicycle clothes for the last second ride planned for Sunday morning. While there, I asked the guy at the shop where people who live in the area eat out. He said most people go to the strip (Rte 28, Cranberry Highway), or to Plymouth. He said that there was a local restaurant in Marion known as The Wave and that it did a brisk take-out business. When we were done shopping, we took a short drive down to The Wave for some dinner.
The parking lot was well populated when we arrived, and we had hopes for good things. The Wave has three entrances, one for the bar, one for the dinning room, and one for takeout orders. We went into the dinning room entrance.
There was a small family of three at the hostess podium that had walked in the door ahead of us. The hostess said she could seat them in a booth once one was cleared off. Instead of taking their name or something, she kept them at the podium so no one else could get to her for seating.
While we were standing there, another grandma family came in and barged ahead of us to the podium. They too asked for a booth, were asked to wait, and didn’t allow us near the podium.
I just wanted to get a table, damnit. PBJ looked into the bar to see if there was any seating in that area and he said there weren’t any seats together. Finally we get to the podium, and I expect a wait because all the booth people are still standing around. Nope, we are brought right into the dinning room and seated at a table.
Let me describe the dinning room for you: 1980 called and it want’s the over varnished pine panelling set at a 45 degree angle back. Sadly, all the tables and chairs looked to be of a similar vintage. There were booths on three sides of the room, the fourth side had a half wall with bench seating and a row of tables that were paired up for seating two to four person parties. In the middle of the dinning room was a row of off-set tables just hanging out. Of course this is where we were seated, floating out in the middle of the room, at the end of the row, with all the waitstaff rushing around us to get to the kitchen.
It was a mess.
Once seated, no one spoke to us for a while. Finally a women who I think was suppose to be dressed up as some kind of witch (they were doing a halloween party that night in the bar area) came over and said the waitress was busy and that she’d take our drink order. We asked for our Sprites and she left to get them.
When she returned with our drinks, she took our food order. I ordered a cup of clam chowder and the Bourbon steak tips medium. PBJ ordered the bowl of clam chowder and fish ‘n chips. At some point, a young boy (16-ish) brought silverware to the table. He didn’t say a word, just put it on the table.
We waited for our food. The dinning room wasn’t packed, most of the floating tables and half of the bench seats were empty, but the noise from the poorly designed acoustics were deafening. The ceiling was the vaulted kind, which look ok if well designed, but magnify any noise made. A whisper turns into a yell. And this is the problem in The Wave dinning room.
Our chowder arrived and we finally meet our waitress. She didn’t exactly introduce herself, but she did apologize for being too busy. I stir my chowder a few times, to see what has sunk to the bottom. Nothing good. The chowder base is thin (watery?). There are oversized chunks of potato, large pieces of onion, and a few bits of celery. I didn’t find one piece of clam in my clam chowder, there was little to no clam flavor, and for the first time ever, I added pepper to the clam chowder.
While we waited for the dinner portion, I noticed a lot of half eaten plates being taken away from other tables. A few were being packed up in styrofoam doggie bags, but many were going back to never return. I wondered if this was a sign.
At one table behind PBJ I saw a burger sent back to the kitchen because it was the wrong order. I’m not sure if it wasn’t cooked right, or just the wrong burger in general. At another table behind PBJ were three women and four young children. They had been waiting so long that the children had absolutely trashed ever paper place mat on the table. By the time their food arrived, I don’t think any of the utensils were still around as they too appeared to be on the floor under the table. And the two youngest children were crying and screaming in short bursts. I swear that the table was in the absolute best position to take advantage of those optimized acoustics.
Dinner arrives and I have steak tips, fries, and green beans. The steak tips were cooked correctly (no moo on the inside) and had a nice sweet flavor. They weren’t particularly hot, only ever so slightly above room temp. The fries were standard restaurant fries with no seasoning or breading. They could have used a little more time in the fry-o-lator or under the heat lamps because they were barely cooked. The green beans, while fresh, were bland and dry. They could have used some butter. Actually, a lot of butter.
PBJ’s order of fish ‘n chips looked interesting. Upon closer inspection, the fish had not been fried at the correct oil temp. When that happens, the fish and breading absorb way more oil then is good. PBJ said the fish was actually heavy, and not in a good way. Also, no lemon came with the fish ‘n chips (a real pet peeve of mine).
While eating, the wait staff was scurrying all around us. The hostess didn’t help either. Instead of going around our floating table to the side with the booths, she tried to squeeze between my elbow and the big guy sitting at on of the bench tables. After hitting me in the elbow twice without apology, I learned to watch out for her.
PBJ made the observation that the wait staff seamed insufficient for the amount of tables in the dinning room. We were only able to count three actual wait staff, one bus boy, and two management types helping out.
According to their website, new management took over in February 2007. Even though that was almost two years ago, there were table ads touting it. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. If you haven’t worked the bugs out, and improved the retro early ’80′s decor, you may want to hold off on proclaiming your management as a good thing.
If I had a star rating system (which I don’t), I would give it 1 1/2 out of 4 stars.
- Dinning room loud, ugly, and uncomfortable
- Large outdoor seating area for warmer months
- Fry cook need to RTFM for the fry-o-lator
- Reasonable menu prices (if the food was better)
I should warn you that if you visit The Wave’s website, only two pictures I found was actually taken at the restaurant. The one of the exterior is especial out of date as it was taken before the outside seating was added. The website has smiling, happy people toasting and eating. I don’t know where they were, because I didn’t see them.
PBJ liked the fish tank that was perched on the half wall of bench seating. The small bar behind the bench seating was obviously not for sitting at. The three women that were standing there, chatting together, were still there when we left. The staff was using the end of the bar nearest the kitchen as a place to store extra paper place mats and napkins.
Usually the locals have good tips on where to eat. This time, not so much.