Update: Brent’s has gone through a makeover. The restaurant has been re-organized, there are real menus and the service has improved.
Lunch should not be stressful, especially on Fridays.
However, that’s precisely how I felt after returning to my office from eating at Brent’s Drugs in Fondren.
It started out innocent enough. My regular lunch group wanted to eat out, I suggested Brent’s, it’s in walking distance and we didn’t eat any food the first visit. After a short walk we arrived at Brent’s exactly at noon.
The procedure at Brent’s is somewhat unorthodox for eating at a restaurant. Upon arrival, a man at the registered handed us a paper menu/ticket. You seat yourself, fill out the ticket on the paper menu as your order, and then get up to hand it to a person behind the counter. And that’s where the organizational system ends.
My friends and I followed procedure as described above. After looking over the the menu I ordered a Brent’s burger, french fries, and a regular cherry limeade. We turned in our tickets.
In the meantime, two additional friends called to say they were on their way and asked if I could place their order. Sure, I say, easy enough.
As I tried to turn in their ticket, a woman behind the counter told me to wait until they arrived. I explained that they called me so their food would be ready beforehand. She said they need a table number. I said it could be delivered to the table we were currently sitting at. She didn’t like that. I kindly said I could tell them not to come if it was going to be too much trouble. She relented.
By this time, our food had been served, sans drinks. We waited for a bit. We ate half our sandwiches. Still no drinks. One friend took charge, got up, flagged down a counter person, explained the drink situation and retrieve cups of water for us. More time passes.
A manager checked on our table and my friend explained the drink situation again. He went to see what was going on behind the counter, came back to say he figured it out and asked if we would still like our beverages (yes we did!). A few minutes later a different server brings two drinks. The manager guy comes back with the remaining three.
We finished our food ten minutes ago.
Our friends show up and sit down at a table next to ours. The manager guy says they discarded their order ticket because it didn’t make sense to them. Our friends get flustered and stand up to leave. The manager goes back behind the counter to double check. He returns and says they were confused, but didn’t discard the ticket after all.
Time passes… their food is delivered to our table, and we direct it one table over. Despite the specifics clearly written on the ticket, a BLT arrived slightly incorrect and was sent back. Eating commences.
While trying to check out, one of these friends asked for a receipt. The guy at the cash register can’t print out another (?), hands him a stack of receipts and says he will have to find it himself.
To be fair, the manager did mention they were down a server who’s friend got shot (?), and compensated the drink fiasco by buying our beverages. (Note: we eat at Brent’s fairly regularly because we attend church around the corner and the pace of service varies.)
The food is great, the drinks are even better and it’s the only old school soda fountain around. They serve burgers, melts, grilled chicken, tuna salad, and a variety of sandwiches with chips or you can upgrade to french fries. The menu also includes favorites such as phosphates, limeades, malts, shakes, sundaes and cones. The cherry limeades are refreshing, wonderfully sweet and tart. The chocolate malt is divine.
I’ve been here a number of occasions and after some discussion with friends a variation of this situation has played out quite often. If you have an unrestricted time span and can overlook the spotty service, it’s a fun spot for lunch or an ice cream break.
655 Duling Avenue
Jackson, MS 39216