As a Yankee (New Jersey) in search of good food in the Mobile area, I came to the Wash House in Fairhope, across the bay from Mobile. It was an interesting experience. The place is obviously popular. While name restaurants in downtown Mobile have been almost empty this week, this place was bursting at the seams. The food was mostly quite good, though not prepared as ordered. My waiter was cheerful, but a tad clueless.
Not recognizing any of the wines available by the glass, I ordered a Casa Lapostalle cabernet sauvignon based on it being a Napa Valley wine. I didn't realize until the check arrived that the waiter had broght me the house cab instead. It was rather good as house wines go and saved me $3.00 a glass, but I would have liked what I ordered.
The alligator gumbo was fabulous. For the main event I ordered a filet mignon very, VERY RARE. It came medium rare, but it was a good piece of meat. The place was so busy I didn't send it back but I kept thinking that it might have been awesome if it had really been rare..
I ordered tea with the least-uninteresting dessert. What I got was MINT tea. Seems that's the only kind of tea they have. Considering that mint tea is not to everyone's taste, one would expect that they'd have a generic tea (like Lipton maybe) available. Nope. For $4.00 a cup I would have expected a good Earl Grey or Darjeeling at the very least. The cheerfully clueless waiter brought me some coffee. Not as good as a good tea, but at least not mint.
Since I'll probably never visit Fairhope again, I won't be coming back to this place. My wish for future guests is that they get what they order prepared the way they order it. The Wash House could be a really excellent restaurant in an under-served market if they paid a bit more attention to details.
Word of caution – this restaurant might be known for their cuisine however the customer service is deplorable. I tried for over a month to get a gift certificate delivered that I had ordered for business partner for his birthday and he never received it. And he only lives 10 minutes from the restaurant! Here’s the problem…..
I originally called the Wash House on March 24 and ordered a gift certificate. Knowing that he had not received it, I called the restaurant and spoke with the manager, Karen Moore, on April 8. I told her about my situation and she said she would check into it and call me back. She never did, so I called back on April 11 and again, explained my issue. The receptionist said she would call the owner and call me back and she did. She told me the owner was deeply sorry for all the hassle and that he would throw in an extra $50 for my troubles. He also told the receptionist to hand deliver it to my business partners home. I was elated and very appreciative of the owner’s response and concern. I provided the home address and phone numbers to them because I was told that they would call my business partner first to make sure someone was home to receive the ‘gift’. Once again, it was not delivered so I called again, left a message and no one called me back. I called again on 4/14, spoke with another gal and was told that the certificate was put in the mail on 4/12. That they had tried to hand deliver it but no one was home; that they tried the phone numbers I had given them and no one answered. So once again, they tried sending it and told me that it went into the mail on 4/16. And once again, he never received it. On 4/19, I called and spoke with the manager and told her to credit my account. My account was credited – just like they said it would be - at least they got that part right!
My husband and I have dined here several times. We ate there on Thursday night Feb 17, the food was good and our server was outstanding. We made reservations for Saturday night and requested to be seated in the main dining room, I watched as this was written down. We arrived on Saturday night and were taken to a small table on the small area outside the main dining room. I stated we had requested to be in the main dining room and were told they were no tables. We also learned it was the fault of the manager. Our meal was good and we had the same outstanding server. The food is good but the manager needs to get her act together because it leads to customers being disappointed.
Fabulous location, wonderful food, knowledgeable and friendly staff. The Bartender was a font of information. So good we are having our daughter's rehearsal dinner there and we get the whole place to ourselves.
My wife and I have lived in fairhope for over 20 years. We used to go to the Wash House all the time.. a few years ago we noticed the customer service starting to slip.. we went in for dinner last weekend and to our delight we found out there was a new General Manager.. her name is Mary Ann and she has turned the front of the house 180 degrees.. the food is always awesome.. the menu had recently changed.. i got my filet as always and my wife went with the blackened amberjack.. we wound up swapping half way through.. it was incredible!! If you've never been or haven't been in a while we highly recommend this charming destination.