Jackson Hole, Wyoming: Bad Service with Dinner at Blue Lion

salad with sesame dressing

salad with sesame dressing

Jackson Hole can be a pretty small town at times. When you ask the locals where’s a good place to eat, Blue Lion comes up quite a bit. After about the third recommendation for the place, my roadtrip buddy and I decided we should check it out.

The patio was packed but there wasn’t a wait inside the house-like restaurant. We decided to sit indoors figuring it’d be cooler. The homey atmosphere was complete with stained glass windows.

Everyone had told us to get the lamb chops. I’m not a huge lamb fan, preferring goat over lamb. Also, I thought this would be the place I would finally get my “local” food on. I opted for the unusual surf and turf of rainbow trout and elk. The meal came with a salad.

Recently there’s been much said about the role of a traditional food critic who writes for a print publication. Some are not happy that there’s an immediacy to blogs and online aggregate review sites. They simply can’t match it since most stick to the standard of writing after several visits (at least 3). Though lately I’ve noticed full reviews perhaps a month after a new opening and a bumper crop of “first look” pieces which gets the publication out there. Still, some look at blogs as the first wave on the scene. Blue Lion is not a new restaurant. People have been going there for  years and presumably enjoying it. And sometimes that means your game falls off. And I think this is where blogs and online reviews come in.

I did not enjoy my experience at Blue Lion.

I usually don’t comment on service unless it’s truly awful– or really great. It’s part of the dining experience though and once ruined, it’s hard to get past it. Our server never came to check on us — not even once during the entire meal. It was pretty annoying when you’re spending quite a bit to eat a “nice restaurant” and to be treated so rudely for apparently no reason. I did see this server constantly check on the table right next to us.

I could tell you the odd things that happened including how our server just didn’t seem to like me and looked at me coldly. On the other hand, I knew he was capable of smiling since he did so often with my friend and even told her he’d dig down deep in the bleu cheese dressing to get chunks out for her.

Our menus requested no cell phones at the table. It was a certain fine dining vibe I got so I am used to certain expected protocols at such places. To stop grinding pepper before I ask you to stop is a big no no. To make those weird comments about dressing was embarrassing.


trout & elk

trout & elk

Our server also wasn’t too happy that both of us got the same meal. He really tried to talk me into the lamb chops. The lamb is from New Zealand. That’s not in keeping with my local theme so I declined. He silently dropped off our plates without telling us they were burning hot. Hello, hazard!

So after hastily eating the rest of our meal, we did not consider dessert or after dinner drinks. The server acted fake-surprised when we asked for the check and said it was a shame he weren’t taking our leftovers. Well, he didn’t exactly come by to check to see if we needed boxes!

The meals I had at Lotus, Local and Bin 22 were all great. Modern, warm, inviting. I cannot say the same of Blue Lion. Sure, the food was fine and the rest of the staff was great but I spent the rest of the night being miserable because I felt our server was racist and that ruined my night.

Bad service. Boo.

The Blue Lion

160 N Millward St., Jackson, WY 83001  —  (307) 733-3912
© The Minty  2013