I grew up in the restaurant business, ate every meal of my life in one until college, and after a half dozen successful start-ups, we learned two things;
The stupidest thing an owner can do is not heed such warnings before their business fails.
I love it when I walk into a new restaurant and the staff acts like they just received Michelin 3-Stars.
The Ember on Route 28 in Harwich Port is such a place, or as they say in Texas, "All hat and no cattle." That unearned swagger will turn off the hungriest diner. Their website and ads promote their "coal fired pizzas and wings."
That explains the taste of coal in my mouth for hours after leaving.
They received a glowing review by some press panderer recently, and they must believe their press clippings, because they weren't interested in hearing anything from the people in our party this week. They obviously already know everything.
In fact, the manager made us feel stupid by telling him, and when we mentioned the tasteless, canned olives to our waitress, she rolled her eyes and fled.
The chef was no better, taking umbrage and telling us that the customers asked for canned olives instead of fresh Kalamatas.
Yeah, all in the few weeks they've been open.
The Ember is the third or fourth restaurant at this same spot in recent years.
The others failed, and we assume the Embers is trying to carry on that tradition.
Here are three examples of what we mean: the Puttanesca Pizza uses canned, water-packed olives instead of the proper and more expensive Kalamata olives, the thin crust was soggy, not cooked in the middle and the Hot Wings were enough for a nursing home.
If you're in the 'hood and looking for good pizza, drive another block west to George's Pizza where the food is good, the prices lower, and the ambiance nonexistent.
Well, it's actually old-time Cape Cod Pizza decor, and George's has won every culinary prize a pizza parlor can win.
Here are just a few of the online reviews by Ember customers: