We — the Burger Maven and ELV — arrived at Poppy Den at 12:33pm on Friday, hungry for a Poppy Burger.
We left at 1:25, with a bad taste in our mouth and one tiny crab cake each in our gut, after being told “one of your burgers is ready.”
And therein lies the tale.
When we arrived, place was empty.
Even after we ordered — which we did immediately — there were no other diners in sight.
“Two Poppy Burgers, one crab cake appetizer, a Dr. Pepper and a Lake Mead with lemon,” was out of our beaks within a minute of the menu being handed to us.
As our waitron left, we were still the only diners in the place.
Shortly before our crab cakes arrived (about ten minutes into our visit) two other pairs of diners appeared and were seated.
The aforementioned crab was polished off with alacrity.
“Very good,” we exclaimed to the waitron.
Then the death march began.
10, 15, 20, 30 minutes elapsed without further food.
Suddenly, empty-handed, the waitron approached. “Have your burgers come out yet?” she asked, as if she would be the last person to know such things.
A manager then showed up and apologized. “We have a party of twenty upstairs,” she said. Along with this contrite, meaningless statement ( 20 entire people? that explains everything!) came a plate of watermelon topped with a few, feckless pieces of feta.
Another ten minutes went by. No burgers.
Then we noticed both two tops — both of which had been seated 5-10 minutes after we had placed our order — were getting their food.
That, you might say, was the last straw.
At 1:25pm the hapless waitron, seeing our frustration, meekly blurted out: “One of your burgers is ready,” but by then, we had had enough of this amateur hour.
As we stormed past the incompetent staff, we heard one of them say something like ” we have taken care of your bill, sir,” as if we ever had any intention of paying.
The point of this anecdote is: each of these new places loves to trot out their dog and pony shows of precision (both in food and service) when they first open. Six months in, you get a much better idea of what’s really going on.
What’s really going on at Poppy Den is the place is being run by a bunch of unsupervised, incompetent teenagers.
On the plus side, the crab cake was darn tasty, but in the future, we’ll be getting our burger fixes at Hops & Harvest.
Inside Tivoli Village
440 South Rampart Blvd. Suite 180
Las Vegas, NV 89145