The name Carnegie Deli conjours up all sorts of idyllic scenes of Times Square, a place where you can get lost in the lights and pretend to be famous. Hell, Woody Allen himself has a sandwhich there, aptly described as “lotsa pastrami with lotsa corned beef.” It’s a shame the dreamy New York atmosphere doesn’t translate over to decent service at the Sands Casino’s Carnegie deli, as that was the complete opposite of what I experienced.
The Carnegie Deli recently opened with the expansion of the casino to add more slot machines and two restaurants to the main gaming area. As I approached the deli I noticed it was decently busy, but not as jammed packed as it was on the opening night. I got a seat right away and as I looked at the menu before arriving, I was already aware of exactly what I wanted. A few minutes after I sat down a waitress noted that she’d be with me in just a minute. After a few minutes a completely different waitress came by and said she’d be with me soon. Eventually, after about a ~10 minute wait, waitress number 2 came back and I ordered everything right away. Then began the waiting game. About this time the first waitress came back and said, “Oh, someone was supposed to come help you! I’m so sorry, I’ll be right back.” to which I responded, “Uh…they did help me already.”
After about 15 minutes I got my glass of water from the waitress, who set it on my table and promptly ran the other way without asking if I needed anything or explaining the out of control time it took to get a simple glass of water. About a minute later I got my grilled ham and cheese sandwhich (sorry, not a pastrami guy) which was piping hot and overflowing with delicious american cheese and big, thick slices of actual ham, not deli meat with my side of fries. Again, the waitress left quickly and this time took post at the take out window. She was standing at the take out window for almost the entirety of my meal. Instead of standing there waiting for whatever she was waiting for, she should’ve spent that time checking on guests. I ate about half of my sandwhich and a couple of my fries, which were worse than mediocre and had an aftertaste of old grease. There was no pepper on my table, either.
I decided I was done and just wanted to get out of there, however the waitress was holding me prisoner by never coming back. It took quite a while for her to return, and by then I was long finished with my meal and fairly frustrated with such asinine service. She asked if she could get my check, which was her first words to me since taking my order. Hell, my sandwhich could’ve been half-eaten because there was something wrong with it, but she never would’ve known because she never asked if my meal was alright. I indicated I wanted a box for my uneaten (but tasty) sandwhich and after what seemed like another eternity, she returned with my box and my check. I handed her the check with my credit card, to which she asked me, “Do you want me to put this on your credit card?” I stared at her, incredulous. I almost wanted to respond with “No, hold on, give me that back and let me pay with cash” or, “Yes, that’s why there’s plastic and not paper in your hand.” I wanted to try their cheesecake, but I wasn’t going to wait another hour for it. As this was going on I noticed the hostess sat another couple, and decided to time their sitdown-to-drink-order time. Verdict: 10 minutes.
I witnessed a hostess tell a couple that the service was going slow because it’s a new restaurant. It doesn’t matter how fresh the place is, service like that is unexcuseable. Also, don’t make excuses for your poor service. A waitress then made the comment that it was shift change, that’s why the service was taking so long. Listen, shift change at a restaurant shouldn’t be rocket science, and I certainly shouldn’t have two waitresses coming back and forth to me duplicating work.
Ugh. This was easily some of the worst service I’ve ever had anywhere, and that’s saying something. It seems that none of their employees had ever served customers before and they were never trained on flow of customers or the basics of waiting. If you decide to eat here, do yourself a favor and get take out. You’ll be much more satisfied and much less frustrated if you do. Protip: Take a few steps down and go to Burgers and More instead.
77 Sands Boulevard, Bethlehem
No Blast Furnaces