Del Frisco’s Food, Del Taco Service.
Christmas season is the best time of year for cigar smokers to retreat out of the cold winter weather and into the warm, comfortable embrace of a local cigar lounge. At Cigar Dojo, this holly jolly time of year inspires us to up the ante even further. Tonight we skipped the standard, fabulously dank, local cigar bar and donned our most fancy Christmas apparel to puff in style at a local hot spot that is held in very high regard: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House.
Not everyone knows it, but nestled into the back of Del Frisco’s, in the Denver Tech Center, is a posh cigar lounge for the Denver elite. Think leather chairs, wainscoting, dim lighting and spread collars. Walking into the lounge, we faced our first setback of the evening. Nearly half of the room had been reserved for a small business gathering. No bother, we pulled up a chair near the entrance to the room and were promptly greeted by an attractive young lady, eager to slake our thirst with a few finely crafted beverages.
The lounge menu had a nice selection of bourbon, single malt scotches, cognac, beers and other drinks. And although Frisco’s has a decent selection of snacks, we were glad to learn that they offer their full dinner menu in the lounge (simply ask for it). Next we peeked at their selection of cigars. Their humidor is home to all the main players you’d expect (all ludicrously overpriced I might add). You’ll find a shorty Padron 1964 Anniversaro Exclusivo for $24 (retail about $11), a few different Davidoffs, Fuentes and even a Gurkha Ninja for, get this, $20. Luckily, we’d brought a few sticks of our own, courtesy of the generous folks at Crowned Heads and Tatuaje. I also enjoyed an Ezra Zion and my buddy Brian had a Recluse by Iconic Cigars.
Aside from the party taking up some real estate near the fire place, the room wasn’t overly crowded, but the layout of the seating left something to be desired. As we sat pressed against the wall near the entrance to the room, I had to be mindful of the staff walking past me, so as not to burn them with my stogie. Eventually, we had enough of the spot and moved to a different table in the back corner of the room.
It wasn’t until we moved that we started to notice that the lounge was a bit understaffed. Two waitresses and a single bartender worked the room, rushing from table to table with nary a moment to stop and offer some personality. Unfortunately, their fast pace caught up to them when they asked if I wanted my Knob Creek neat or on the rocks. I requested it neat, as I always take it and it arrived not 15 seconds later… on the rocks. They quickly apologized and rectified the problem as soon as I brought it to their attention. After our meal we requested a dessert menu and they plopped a few dinner menus back on our table (which doesn’t list desserts). When they brought the bill we asked for a certain amount to be charged to our cigar dojo credit card and to pay the rest in cash and they botched that as well. A mistake here and there is usually not a big problem for us, but each time they made an error they hurriedly sped away to another table. Thus, we had to keep our eye out for our server in an attempt to hail them which ultimately took away from the inviting atmosphere and distracted from the good conversation among friends.
It wasn’t all bad though, I ordered a Knob Creek ($9), a Frisco’s Manhattan ($13) and a Burger ($13), all of which were fairly priced and well above average in terms of taste and visual appeal. We also had the sliders (I know, I know, we’re burger addicts) which were presented very nicely and also tasted amazing.
All in all, we had a great time, not because of the fantastic service at Frisco’s, but because we had a fun group of guys that go with the flow. I bet they’ll do better next time (we all have bad nights). We recommend the servers take a little bit more time to listen to customers’ requests and try to be a bit more personable (and also, save the bickering with coworkers for after your shift is over, you’re all supposed to be part of a team).
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