Jake’s American Bar
Inside Loews Royal Pacific Resort
at the Universal Orlando Resort
When I first walked into Loews Royal Pacific Resort, I knew it was someplace special. You see, the only Resorts in Orlando that I’ve ever been to have all been at Walt Disney World, so this was completely different from anything I’d seen before. There were so many absolutely gorgeous, live orchids everywhere I looked and it felt as though I was in paradise!
I was set to meet up with my group at Jake’s American Bar for dinner that evening and I’d arrived a bit on the early side. I sat down on one of the benches outside of the restaurant and was making some notes on my phone when a gentleman from the restaurant walked over to ask if he could bring me a drink or anything while I was waiting. I could tell by his attire that he was a manager as all of the other staff were wearing different uniform-type shirts. I explained that I was meeting up with some others and that I was early, but I did take him up on his offer and asked for soda. When the gentleman brought my soda, he sat down and struck up a conversation with me asking how many people would be joining me and if I was enjoying my vacation so far. We had a great conversation and he said to just let one of them know when we were ready to be seated and they would get us right in.
About 10-minutes or so went by when I received a text message from one of the members of my party that explained they weren’t going to be able to join me for dinner. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do at first as it had been many years since I’d dined alone in a restaurant, but I thought about how nice that man was in making sure I didn’t need anything at all that I decided to go ahead and stay there for dinner. I went up to the podium and let them know that it was just going to be me that evening; they were very gracious and took me right in.
As I was looking over their menu, that same gentleman stopped by my table to check in when he’d noticed I was there by myself. I explained what had happened and he said to be sure and let them know if I needed anything and they’d take good care of me. Now, mind you, I already felt like I’d been very well taken care of and I had barely met my server at this point.
One of my VERY favorite appetizers in the world is calamari, so when I saw it on the menu, I was all over it. Theirs was served with a chili-lime glaze that was out of this world and not spicy at all – just tangy and awesome. It was cooked perfectly and had just the right amount of glaze on it, not too little, not too much. This was quite possibly the best calamari I’ve ever had, actually.
The menu had all sorts of delicious choices from flat breads to Rib-Eye steak with lots in-between. I wasn’t really in the mood for anything too heavy for my entree as that calamari was pretty filling; so I decided to order their Chopped Caesar Salad with Chicken. I sure was glad I did because the presentation of this salad was beautiful and it tasted awesome too. The chicken was cooked perfectly – not dry and seasoned just right. I was really glad to have added it to the Caesar – they had an option to add shrimp also for all of you shrimp fans.
I’m one of those people who hates it when I’m still eating my appetizer and my entree is brought out. I don’t often order an appetizer, but sometimes dinner comes with a soup or salad and I don’t know why, but this is just something that has always bugged me. Jake’s was spot-on with clearing my appetizer plate first and then bringing my entree out which was nice. I love it when restaurant staff really pay attention to little details such as this.
Just a minute or so after my salad came out, the gentleman from the beginning of my story stopped by my table and asked if I’d mind if he joined me, which I didn’t mind at all. He asked how my calamari was and if my salad was good as well. Just at that same moment, my server came back to check and see how everything tasted as well. Remember that soda I told you about at the beginning of my story? Well, I still had that same soda and it was about half-full and very watered down. The gentleman actually picked it up and handed it to my server and asked him [politely] to freshen up my drink which was really nice; I hadn’t even paid attention to it at that point.
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So, we sat there and visited a bit. He asked me if I’d driven or if I’d flown down to Orlando. I let him know that I was fairly local, had parked my vehicle with the valet and that I was staying with a friend over at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort. He asked me how I liked it and let me know that he was involved with the opening of that Resort – pretty fabulous! I told him that I thought it was really cool that the valet fee is reduced down to only $5 when you dine at one of their restaurants. He asked if I had my valet ticket with me and when I pulled it out of my purse, he stopped one of his staff and asked them to go get him something that would waive the entire valet fee – including the $5! When the staff member returned with my ticket and a couple of other cards to waive the fee, I was ever so thankful. Along with the card to waive the valet fee was this kind gentleman’s business card – Phil Klinkenberg, Director of Food & Beverage for Loews Royal Pacific Resort.
To say that I was very impressed by my entire experience at this dining establishment would really be an understatement. From the moment Phil noticed me sitting by myself outside of the restaurant until I got up to leave, he made certain that impeccable care was taken of me by going way beyond anything I would have ever expected. I couldn’t believe the exemplary way he conducted himself along with how impressed I was with the example he was setting for his staff – so much so that I told him just that right there at the table. If what I experienced is the way Phil runs the food & beverage show here at this Resort, well, I can’t wait to try out their other dining locations!
Phil, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU for the fantastic experience at your restaurant!