Gregory's Steak And Seafood - Cocoa Beach - 1 Star
A close personal friend of mine, with whom I eat dinner with on Fridays, asked me to go to Gregory's Steakhouse in Cocoa Beach. Since Mada was so adamant about going, I decided to take it out of the normal order. (Yes, there is a system folks.)
If I graded solely on service and ambiance, this restaurant would be 4.5 Stars all day long. Sadly, I only review food, which I can tell you without reservation that the food here is horrible. I don't say this lightly. Gregory's is one of those restaurants like Melo's, Amici's, and Cafe Coconut Cove who are using substandard products and purveyors in an attempt to fool the customer into believing they still produce the same quality that they were turning out 10 years ago, resting on their laurels while trying to save a dime in the process.
My server was a fine gentleman named Mike, who is the type of server you wish worked at all of your favorite restaurants. While he is not that old, he is a throwback to a different era of professionalism that no longer exists in most modern fine dining atmospheres.
I started with the ubiquitous Glen Livet with two cubes. It was a generous pour, which always brings a smile to my face. A great start that I wish had only lasted longer than the first minute. Next, they brought me a pathetic lump of bread freshly microwaved to softness, which I chose not to consume. I asked Mike what grade of beef they serve, and he stated he was unsure and would go ask the cook. What troubled me about this is that this is a STEAKHOUSE, and as such, Mike should be aware of what kind of meat they serve, though that likely wasn't the problem. I suspect he already knew but wanted to blame someone else for the lie he was about to tell me. After asking the kitchen, he stated, "the chef says it's prime beef." I replied, "I will know the difference if it's not."
Aside from the steak, there was an intriguing menu option of goat cheese mashed potatoes with pancetta. I additionally decided to get creamed spinach a la carte. To complete my order, I decided to go for something more unusual these days. Escargot is a dish you don't see on menus much anymore, so I decided to give it a whirl. The escargot arrived and I looked at it quizzically. I have consumed escargot all over the United States. I even worked in a restaurant kitchen when I was a young lad and I have never seen an abomination the likes of which were presented to me. There were snails literally swimming in Italian dressing. It is supposed to be served in a garlic butter style. Look at the photographs. Instead of being enraged, I burst out laughing. I stuck my finger in the sauce and sure enough it was Italian dressing. I told Mike no way was I eating that, and he took it off the bill.
Then the main course arrived. The creamed spinach was such a bizarre presentation at this point I am looking for hidden cameras and someone with a microphone to jump out and tell me I have been pranked. Again, look at the photo, I was served RAW spinach drizzled with GARLIC BUTTER. The same garlic butter that should have been on the escargot. Maybe the Chef Garde Manger was doing double duty and put the salad dressing on the escargot and the garlic butter on the raw spinach. Before I get to the steak I want to mention the goat cheese potatoes. They were exquisite and the sole reason I have not placed a Swill Alert on this dive and gave them any star at all.
I took one look at the steak and thought "hmmmm, that's weird...There are grill marks on half of the steak." Could this be a Sysco pre-grill marked steak, I wondered? Impossible - THIS IS A STEAKHOUSE!!! As I cut into the steak I knew immediately, just like Mike the waiter did, that this skim joint is not serving prime steak. This would struggle to be a choice cut at all, at best a hair over Select. It really didn't matter what kind of cut it was because the incompetent boob who cooked the steak cooked the bottom half and then threw it in the salamander so it had an uneven half medium well/half rare on a medium rare request. Again, look at the picture. They don't lie.
So, to my good friend Mada - and everyone else - skip over this horrendous place, so sayeth the Big Boy. There is no fine dining to be found here. #bigboydiningout #iamthebigboy