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Tornado: changes not for the better?

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?

Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby mvalfierno » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:30 pm

My wife and I have been going to Tornado for close to ten years now. The service has always been very good or better. The french onion soup is typically good or better and the steaks have been either decent or fantastic.

I just had dinner this evening w what I was hoping for as the dinner trifecta: service / french onion soup & steaks.

Short story: service was sub-par, french onion soup was really pretty bad, and the steaks were awful. I plan on giving it one more dinner before calling it quits, but damn folks, please get your act together.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby narcoleptish » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:31 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your sub-par dinner but I'm gonna threadjack this a little. I'm not trying to be a dick but I'll ask the poster here if, in the previous 10 years, they have ever written anything, online, good about the Tornado? And was it so good that you went home that night and immediately posted about it? It's just a curious human nature thing to me, how anger and disappointment are so much more motivating in certain situations. I do it too.

I'm also curious how other forons feel about the 1st-post negative review person. When someone uses a 1st post to sing the praises of a restaurant we all assume it's the owner and discount it. Do we believe the negative post or do we assume it's a disgruntled employee? I tend to believe them.

Yep, this is my friday night.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby mvalfierno » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:09 pm

narcoleptish wrote:I'm sorry to hear about your sub-par dinner

Thanks.
narcoleptish wrote:but I'm gonna threadjack this a little

OK.
narcoleptish wrote:I'm not trying to be a dick but I'll ask the poster here if, in the previous 10 years, they have ever written anything, online, good about the Tornado?


I appreciate you not trying to be a dick, but...just kidding :-) Heh.

Anyway, to answer your question: Nope, never. However, I have talked them up to pretty much anyone who appeared to share a love of supper clubs and filets for all those years.

narcoleptish wrote:It's just a curious human nature thing to me, how anger and disappointment are so much more motivating in certain situations.


Yah. But I think businesses and the food service business has always recognized that they can ruin a decade of good service in a night.

narcoleptish wrote:Do we believe the negative post or do we assume it's a disgruntled employee? I tend to believe them.

Overall I tend to believe them too, but everything gets balanced out. Its kind of like balancing reviews on NewEgg, or Amazon.

BTW, while I have worked in the restaurant biz, it was a loooong time ago. And, I was a crappy poster b/c my content didnt really cover my subject line (i.e., 'changes'). I noted when I walked in that I didnt see a lot of the wait staff I had become used to seeing there. Also, I noted that there was a new host now, instead of a hostess. And a busboy instead of a busgirl. Here's a likely controversial statement: in previous establishments where I have worked when there has been a marked change in the gender of a staff from previously it is usually contrived by new management and usually is a pretty big failure (mostly not b/c of gender but b/c of the large influx of new employees who are coming in under the aegis of new management with the mistaken opinion that they have a mandate to do things their way and that their way is right and whatever came before is wrong). ...do I know that is what is going on at Tornado? Nope. Just blathering about what I saw and what my past experience has been.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby narcoleptish » Sat May 01, 2010 8:24 am

Great to see a 2nd post, always helps the cred.

mvalfierno wrote:
Yah. But I think businesses and the food service business has always recognized that they can ruin a decade of good service in a night.


Unfortunately true. Like the old saying...if you have a good experience you tell 2 people, if you have a bad one you tell 10.

I've always been a fan of the Tornado, especially the venison, but just haven't been there in close to a year. In that time I have heard a few people make the same comments as you and hoped it wasn't the case. I'll still give them another try as soon as possible.

Welcome to the forum mvalfierno. That's a tough screen name to say. I will probably start to mentally see it as Val's fiero. (RIP Pontiac)

That okay with you?
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Ducatista » Sat May 01, 2010 8:30 am

mvalfierno wrote:Yah. But I think businesses and the food service business has always recognized that they can ruin a decade of good service in a night.

True. Did you tell Tornado about your bad experience? A decade of good service is probably worth that consideration.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby mvalfierno » Tue May 04, 2010 9:47 am

narcoleptish wrote:Great to see a 2nd post, always helps the cred.

...I'll still give them another try as soon as possible.

Welcome to the forum mvalfierno. That's a tough screen name to say. I will probably start to mentally see it as Val's fiero. (RIP Pontiac)

That okay with you?


Thanks :-) I'm also planning on trying them again as soon as possible. I have had their venison also, a long time ago, and it was very good.

Thanks for the welcome. Heh. Yeah, its a favorite of mine.

Yup. I'm all good with that.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby mvalfierno » Tue May 04, 2010 9:53 am

Ducatista wrote:True. Did you tell Tornado about your bad experience? A decade of good service is probably worth that consideration.


Nope. I should have. I have in the past. No excuse. I was lazy and indolent.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Crockett » Tue May 04, 2010 12:09 pm

I've been three times within the past two years and have never understood the appeal beyond the bar. Service is terrible, steaks should be half the price they charge and the appetizers are tired.

The only other worse steak house is Smokey's. THAT place is a straight-up ripoff.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby jjoyce » Tue May 04, 2010 12:42 pm

If you think Smokey's and Tornado can be fairly called "ripoffs," then:

- You don't "get" steak joints.

- You haven't dined much outside Madison.

- You're doing it wrong.

Seriously, both of these places have been around for years (Smokey's in particular) because people love to eat there. This is also why the chains come and go, but these locally-owned joints stick.

Just talked to a guy who was in town for 24 hours. His parting thought was that the food in this town is fantastic. He said he'd expect to pay $50+ for what he got at the Tornado for $30. His other visit was to the Old Fashioned, which might also be considered a ripoff, until you realize that almost everything on the menu is local and of top-shelf quality.

If you hate Smokey's and the Tornado, I have to wonder what you consider to be a good place to eat.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Crockett » Tue May 04, 2010 1:10 pm

jjoyce wrote:If you think Smokey's and Tornado can be fairly called "ripoffs," then:

- You don't "get" steak joints.

- You haven't dined much outside Madison.

- You're doing it wrong.

Seriously, both of these places have been around for years (Smokey's in particular) because people love to eat there. This is also why the chains come and go, but these locally-owned joints stick.

Just talked to a guy who was in town for 24 hours. His parting thought was that the food in this town is fantastic. He said he'd expect to pay $50+ for what he got at the Tornado for $30. His other visit was to the Old Fashioned, which might also be considered a ripoff, until you realize that almost everything on the menu is local and of top-shelf quality.

If you hate Smokey's and the Tornado, I have to wonder what you consider to be a good place to eat.


Son, I've been around the restaurant scene in numerous major cities a lot longer than you've been pumping mediocre restaurants in the midwest.

Old Fashioned is good. Lombardinos is good. Marigold is good. Sardine is good.

Listen, sure you get some celery and a salad included at Tornado and Smokeys but let's be honest, the quality of their meat isnt great, the servers know nothing about wine and they're MARGINALLY less expensive than real steak houses; of which there are none in Madison.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Crockett » Tue May 04, 2010 1:30 pm

Try Joe's Stone Crab in Chicago and then tell me Tornado and Smokeys are good. Prices aren't different.

If you're telling me they're good for Madison then maybe I'd agree. But they're expensive for what they are.

I think Madison's food scene is great. In fact, for a city this size, incredible. But for the money you can do better than Tornado or Smokeys.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby fisticuffs » Tue May 04, 2010 1:41 pm

But for the money you can do better than Tornado or Smokeys.

In Madison? Can we compare two more different things? For instance a one bedroom in Chicago is a "rip-off" at any price if you're comparing it to one in Madison. Sorry you aren't able to find something comparable to what they have in the nations third largest city.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Crockett » Tue May 04, 2010 1:53 pm

fisticuffs wrote:
But for the money you can do better than Tornado or Smokeys.

In Madison? Can we compare two more different things? For instance a one bedroom in Chicago is a "rip-off" at any price if you're comparing it to one in Madison. Sorry you aren't able to find something comparable to what they have in the nations third largest city.


I'm with you. But the fact is neither is a great steakhouse for the money. If you're saying they're good for Madison, ok; but I'd argue you can spend your money elsewhere in Madison and get much better food.

If a Taco Bell is the only Mexican joint in town does that make it good?

Truthfully the best steak I've had in Madison was from the Capital Chophouse.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby fisticuffs » Tue May 04, 2010 2:00 pm

If a Taco Bell is the only Mexican joint in town does that make it good?


If Taco Bell is the only Mexican joint in town is it fair to slam it for not being as good as your favorite place in San Diego?
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Crockett » Tue May 04, 2010 2:01 pm

fisticuffs wrote:
If a Taco Bell is the only Mexican joint in town does that make it good?


If Taco Bell is the only Mexican joint in town is it fair to slam it for not being as good as your favorite place in San Diego?


JJoyce argued that his out-of-town buddy claimed Tornado and Smokeys were good. I didn't start that line of argument, I just tried to end it.
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