View Full Version : In "Jamaica mode" what is an acceptable amount of waiting time for a great meal?
05-22-2011, 09:54 PM
I swear last time at Xtabi it took every bit of two hours waiting time at the restaurant to get my food -- I was in a great mood, so I went with flow. But god, poor me, I almost starved to death.
Three Dives can take a long time. Angelas at BB Barn can take forever, too (never quicker than a full hour no matter how crowded or empty) ... I am OK with an hour, but more than that n I need some entertainment or something!
What are your thoughts? Do we slow things WAY down when waiting for a meal in Negril? (The check can take forever, too). And, through the years, what is the longest you've endured waiting at a table?
05-22-2011, 11:01 PM
Ha Ha , I can relate. I eat about every two hours, so thank goodness the board prepared me for this 'Jamaica time' thing. I carried a snack wherever we went and when we went for dinner, at least they had soup to stave off starvation.
I sympathize .... an hour is okay but I have to question whether it's worth the wait if it takes any longer. Especially when they are not packed.
It seems our typical wait was just about an hour ~ mostly on the cliffs.
I also found it odd that snacks were so hard to order, everything was a full meal or nothing.
05-22-2011, 11:07 PM
A good meal is worth waiting on where ever you are in my opinion. When in J. we just go before we know we are going to be hungry, hang out, have a drink and order some french fries when you first sit down. They will "soon come" and you can whet your appetite for the main course.
05-23-2011, 05:56 AM
Depends on what you are waiting for really something simple with fries I will wait 30 mins max I will wait longer for freshly prepared meat although only if I am told there will be a wait not if I am just left in a seat wondering where my food is from hour to hour.
05-23-2011, 09:07 AM
I've never had a problem with waiting too long for food, but that's probably because most places I eat at I make my order, then hit the wata until I get waved at that my food is ready. ;)
05-23-2011, 11:00 AM
We had lunch at Xtabi, about a month ago, conch burger and escovitch snapper. It felt like the fastest meal we had all week. I think it only took 30-45 minutes. Granted, we were cliff jumping and snorkeling, so maybe it took a bit longer and we just didn't notice. Omar hollered over the cliff at us when it was ready...said it took "31 minutes". lol.
Dinner seems to take much longer................. Pushcart one night, hubby and I ran out of things to talk about! I agree with needing entertainment or something! By the end of the day, slow meals just make me want to go to sleep.
05-23-2011, 11:10 AM
in the 'old' Jamaica, 45 min was acceptable for a early cup of coffee.......now everything rush-rush....
I've waited longer in Chicago now-days than Jamaica for a entire meal...
05-23-2011, 11:15 AM
I never even notice the wait. I am usually gazing at the water, sipping a drink,listening to music and watching the goings on. I have never had to wait longer than an hour though.
05-23-2011, 03:29 PM
Two hours at 3-Dives? I've never waited that long there nor anyplace else that is burning chicken. It could be a matter of timing. When are you going - early afternoon, late afternoon, sunset, late at night? Not that there is a perfect time to be at these places, but most seem to ready up the coals for sunset and just after.
The worst I've ever heard of was a group of 12 that walked in just after a group of 20. The group of 12 ordered fish. Over an hour later, a guy came parading through with a monstrous kingfish and within fifteen minutes the plates started coming out. Hot grilled sushi style.
05-23-2011, 03:30 PM
This topic totally interests me. You can tell they're trying to speed things up.. they must be realizing that it hurts business. What I think is that reasonable should be the norm. An hour for dinner? That's not unreasonable. If it's busy maybe even a little longer. Same thing for lunch, but a half hour. If it's way over for either of those.. it had better be pretty good or it had better be busy. Over an hour for breakfast and it's dead? That's just bad service.. in any country. You're charging money you need to act like it. Internet is totally leveling this playing field in my opinion. Power of public opinion.
05-23-2011, 04:08 PM
LOL Xtabi volunteers to make food for me even when not hungry if I have been there long time and not eaten. I once was hungry and ordered gilled cheese and fries and it came in less then 15 minutes. Cosmo's, Aqua,LTU, and Oceanview are all even, i would say definetely under 30 minutes each even when busy. Longest I ever waited was at 3 dives and I actually chased down the waitress after waiting 15 minutes or so for her to stop by me to order then she came to me probably 20-25 later and then over 35-40 for my chicken and rice. When dining alone that gets VERY long and boring.
05-23-2011, 07:18 PM
I've placed my order on Monday for some curried goat on Thursday . . . some things take time . . ;)
05-23-2011, 07:24 PM
I don't even care. I make sure to bring plenty snack so I never go anywhere super hungry knowing there is usually a wait..now waiting on drink for a long time is a whole other story man...no can do!
05-23-2011, 07:50 PM
I don't think we've had a problem in recent years waiting for food.
But, I'll relate a story about my first trip to Negril in Feb. 1998 when we had lunch at a restaurant on the "land" side near Samsara one day.
Our friend wanted an egg and toast.
That sent the entire restaurant into a tizzy.
A little boy was dispatched to the store to buy an egg and he ran from the property down One Love Drive and was back about 15minutes later.
Then the egg had to be prepared, and when the rest of us finished our lunch, the egg was finally delivered to our friend.
We laugh to this day because the toast and coffee was like 3 U.S. dollars and the single egg was 4 dollars more.
We always joke about 4 dollar eggs.
05-23-2011, 07:55 PM
I have not really ever had long wait times any of the places I have been, and I am not very patient. 3 Dives used to take longer but the last few times I have been it was fairly quick.
we waited almost 3 hours at Kuyaba in Feb. There was 8 of us at our table and it was pretty busy when we got there and by the time we got our meals there was no one left in the restutant at all. We believe that our order got misplaced but it was a disappointing situation since we were with people who had never been and we had raved about the food and service since we had gotten there(I had dreamed about the crab cakes more than once and could not wait to have them again) and this was our last group meal with some of our wedding guests
Unfortnately by the time the food got there everyone was so hungry and annoyed that no one really enjoyed their meals, they just scarfed them down and wanted to leave. They did give us each a free drink for the wait, its just too bad they did not live up to all the hype we had given them!
05-23-2011, 08:32 PM
3 hr's is a very long time...even with a free drink!
05-23-2011, 09:37 PM
OMG, this was a big issue during our recent trip, partly because of our large group size.
We waited several times, always between 1-3 hours. Yes, a bit ridiculous. The fastest was Ivans. Even when we were out in smaller groups it was over an hour. We didnt go to 3 dives this time but its always been a long wait there. It is one thin to get relaxed and on Jamaica time, but this trip was extreme for waiting times. It wasnt even just getting the food, it was getting menus, drinks, ordering, food, and yes forever to get the bills.
Did the two hour wait at three dives. I do love the place, with it's Old Negril vibe though so it wasn't so bad. In fact, we met a wonderful group of folks from Minnesota (I think) who were waiting as well and we did make for a merry time during the wait so it was fun. Saw one woman go down hard, projectile vomiting, stiff as a board,then fall right out just as her lobster arrived, we tried to buy her dinner but her husband gallantly boxed it up to go. Later the mushroom man came by, but after that poor woman went down we were not interested in his bounty, but did get a good laugh as the guy kept so low that only his eyes and mushrooms were above the table top. When I eventually asked about our chicken, they apologized for forgetting our order and hooked us up in about fifteen minutes. All in all it was a good evening.
05-24-2011, 11:26 PM
Wow. What a story ... so the lady was on mushrooms and passed out?
head in the trees
05-25-2011, 10:14 AM
We've done the long wait at 3 dives too. Our Jamaican friend that was joining us for dinner said they had to go catch the lobster! :) Another instance we went to a restaurant I won't mention and had grilled chicken sandwiches. They were really great so we went back the next day to get them again. After waiting 1.5 hours we were served a bun with a chicken nugget looking thing in the middle of the bun. Dissapointing!
05-25-2011, 10:49 AM
An hour at breakfast time for two cups of coffee and some toast! Only us in there, never went back. However, since read it's closed so no point in worrying!
05-25-2011, 10:51 AM
I think any wait over one hour is excessive and would certainly affect my enjoyment of the meal. And, would definitely affect my decision to return to the restaurant, irregardless of how good the food was.
05-25-2011, 01:19 PM
2 beer is maximum wait time
05-25-2011, 01:29 PM
Like other responders, I try to enjoy the view or go swimming, etc. I try to prepare for the fact that it will be a wait.
If you are starving or in a hurry, let them know right away! Say..."I am diabetic and I need something to eat while I wait for my meal to come, what do you have that could be ready right away?" or "I hate to be a pain, but we need to eat right away, what would you suggest?" The problem is when you are not prepared and you are hungry and wait and wait. I just keep on trying to remember, they are making the food from scratch...this is not a fast food place, that is why I am there!! Generally speaking, on vacation, people actually aren't in a hurry anyways. We have just gotten used to getting food slapped down in front of us in 10-15 minutes. I live in Canada but I have gone to quite alot of u.s. restaurants and diners and I don't know how they get all that food out there so quickly....it's uncanny. Food takes time.
05-25-2011, 03:12 PM
N. American restaurants tend to have everything prepped & refrigerated ahead of time (like all seasonings & veggies chopped up, or pasta pre cooked aldente & then just dunked in hot water or veal, chicken or eggplant parm already breaded & fried & just needs to be layered with sauce & cheese & stuck in the oven)....also, saute dishes are quite quick to do. Many "stewed" Jamaican dishes are made from scratch from chopping the seasonings to actually "stewing" the meat....it WILL take awhile. Many Jamaicans don't use a chopping board either which cuts the "chopping" time way down. I don't think they're used to moving efficiently in the kitchen much, evidenced in the "wait" time.
Hi Gerryg....I believe it was the special cake that did her in that night, I'm not sure, but that lobster plate of hers did get a lot of attention from some hungry folks.
05-27-2011, 05:32 PM
that's odd.........special cake usually has the opposite effect......it has the same effect on the human body as smoking it, it is a nausea reducer..............mushrooms I can attest to, most will get things "coming up" if too much is ingested at once...................but hey
sounds like a lot of things were going in "der".:)
I also found it odd that snacks were so hard to order, everything was a full meal or nothing.
I've never had a problem just getting a bowl of soup at Xtabi.
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