Dinner’s Ready

Did your mother ever tell you not to be late for dinner? Have you ever been told that by a restaurant?

I’d like to share an experience that happened to me last night. Penny and I decided to take a friend to dinner for her birthday, and the birthday girl requested that we visit Burt’s Place, located in a nearby suburb.

When calling to find out their business hours, we discovered that to make a reservation, the caller must place an order. That is a solid way to turn over the tables, but it was an unusual requirement to us.

We were told that the only available time was 5:30. Pretty early, but we took the reservation. Then we were told to be there on time because the pizza would be set on the table at precisely 5:30. Wow. Pay for dinner and if you arrive late, you get to eat it cold. This is a business that appears to be so successful that they can, and do, get away with treating their customers harshly.

A genuine Burt's Place pan pizza

Well, not enjoying room temperature pizza, we arrived on time. True to their word, dinner was served at 5:30. The next surprise came when the pizza was set on a nearby table, with a bunch of other pizzas. The waitress gave us each a slice and we were notified that we were not permitted to get up and take another slice. Instead, the waitress had to be summoned to cut and serve.

Most amazing!

Bottom line, decent pizza, but not nearly as good as advertised. It was, however, a unique place to have a meal. I do not think I will exercise my option to return.


12 Responses to Dinner’s Ready

  1. davmp 06/23/2011 at 7:30 AM #

    Wow! That’s an amusing story, but only from the perspective of some one who didn’t have to go through it. I can’t believe they have customers!

    • Mark D Wolfinger 06/23/2011 at 7:38 AM #


      Some people believe it’s the best pizza in the area. They do have their loyal customers in their smallish restaurant,. And the menu is pizza ONLY, with a couple of appetizer choices. And if you want a soda, the choice is between A&W or DietRite. They do offer a reasonable beer selection – not one is a brand that I ever heard of.

      This is not for me.

      Very strange business.

  2. Toby 06/23/2011 at 12:06 PM #

    I checked out Yelp and the place gets 4/5 stars – almost everyone loves the place and pizza. But, yeah, if you’re going for a special occasion, doesn’t seem like a good place. Like one reviewer said “it is what it is”.. 🙂

    • Mark D Wolfinger 06/23/2011 at 12:29 PM #

      Thanks Toby,

      It is an interesting experience. I have never been told to arrive on time (which we did) or your dinner will sit and wait for you!

  3. Amu 06/23/2011 at 11:33 PM #

    Its actually amusing and surprising to know abt such a place exists & does booming business in the west… we have a lot such strict rule places in India. where food is served at specific times….. not bags for takeaways(get ur own)… etc,,,,, quirky!!

    • Mark D Wolfinger 06/24/2011 at 7:53 AM #


      It is amusing. But I had no idea it was common in India. Those rules do make it efficient for the owner.

  4. Seth Roberts 06/24/2011 at 6:29 AM #

    Why do they prevent you from taking another slice yourself?

    You’ve paid or will pay for the whole pizza. Forcing you to come when your pizza is ready means your meal will take less time, which obviously helps them. But the no-helping-yourself rule means your meal will take more time.

    • Mark D Wolfinger 06/24/2011 at 7:55 AM #


      It’s a very small place and I assume (I did not ask) if more than one person tries to get a slice at the same time, it would get crowded around the table holding the pizza pies.

      • Michael 06/24/2011 at 9:40 AM #

        …unless the pizza is, you know, placed on _your_ table?

        • Mark D Wolfinger 06/24/2011 at 10:41 AM #


          Too obvious. The tables are too small. However, they could use an elevated pizza stand.

          Truth is that the owners have been in the pizza business for more than 45 years, and are not going to make any changes.


  5. trevindor 06/24/2011 at 6:32 AM #

    Pffft. Total soup nazi ripoff.

    • Mark D Wolfinger 06/24/2011 at 7:56 AM #


      I hope everyone remembers ‘Seinfeld’ and is not offended by your cute comment. Burt as the ‘pizza nazi.’ Interesting thought. Thanks