After my manicure in the 17th with a few French girls, Josh and I met for dinner at Vicky. We thought the menu looked pretty pricey, but it sounded good and we were both too hungry to shop around for other restaurants. The entire time that we were there, (from 8:30pm-10pm) the restaurant was packed to capacity. The ambience was the opposite of serene. It was noisy, crowded, and almost claustrophobically tight. There were many families there and the restaurant was also filled with young couples.
Josh and I were seated at a table right by the entrance, so hustling waiters and incoming and exiting customers were constantly bumping into us. We were sitting so close to the couple at the table next to us (literally at the same table) that we may as well have been on a double date. Had it not been for the language barrier, it would have been vey difficult not to eavesdrop on their entire conversation. While we waited for our food to come, we were beginning to regret our decision to eat at what seemed like a madhouse.
When the food came, we quickly changed our minds! The unbelievable quality of the food at this restaurant made the tumultuous atmosphere well worth it! Josh ordered a steak and French fries (26 euro), and I ordered a Chinese grilled chicken salad (17 euro). They mistakenly brought me the fried chicken Chinese salad instead. I was going to send it back, but decided to just eat it since it actually looked really good and it would be too much of a hassle to send it back. The fried chicken was out of this world and the portions were enormous! The chicken strips were drenched in a thick sweet and sour Asian dressing and lay on a bed of bean sprouts. This is probably the only time I can say that I was truly glad that a restaurant messed up my order. Josh’s steak was also huge. He commented that the only Kosher place in NYC that you could probably get such a large steak is at Prime Grill, and at double the price. His only complaint was that his portion of fries was meager. They could definitely have been more generous with his side dish. If we end up living in the 17th arrondissement, I can guarantee that we will be coming here for dinner pretty often, and since I am a creature of nature when it comes to food, I will probably order the fried chicken Chinese salad every time.
Two Months Later…We brought my family here when they came to visit us. It was late, and the restaurant was packed as usual. It was even extremely crowded when I walked passed it a few days ago around lunch time. For appetizers, we ordered a fried puff pastry with potato filling and the other with egg filling. The menu neglected to indicate that there was also dark meat tuna in both of the fillings, and the eggs were raw! It seems as though Parisians love eggs and dark meat tuna in almost everything!
Everyone ordered the Chinese salad as their main dish and adored it! They agreed that this was the tastiest food they had eaten during their six day trip here.
I took my good friend Lisa to Vicky when she came to visit me because she LOVES chicken Caesar Salads and Vicky is renowned for their amazing Caesar Salads. I was so excited to go, but unfortunately was let down with the negative service that we experienced.
Since my French is improving and since Parisians generally dislike when people speak English to them, I ordered my dish and Lisa’s in French. Our waitress’s English was also very poor, so I thought I might get on her good side by showing her that I was not just an obnoxious American who doesn’t speak any French. For myself, I ordered the Salad Chinoise with half fried chicken and half grilled chicken and for Lisa, I ordered the Caesar Salad with half fried and have grilled chicken as well. The way I ordered the grilled chicken was with the words “poulet blanc” which means white meat chicken breast. Last time I ordered the dish this way, it came with the grilled chicken as desired. This time, they brought Lisa half fried and half grilled to perfection and brought me half fried and half plain white meat strips of chicken that almost looked potted. The strips actually looked more like dry turkey than chicken.
I asked my waitress why my chicken wasn’t grilled and she impatiently insisted that this was what I ordered. When I asked her if she could send it back and give me the same kind of grilled chicken that was in Lisa’s salad, she refused and insisted that since this was what I had ordered, she would not change it. Afterwards, the manager came over and I was sure that he would apologize for bringing me the wrong kind of chicken and offer to fix it for me. Instead, he agreed with the obnoxious waitress and told me that there was no possibility of changing it since this is what I ordered.
I was in disbelief at the lack of even an attempt to provide a hint of customer service. Finally, my relentless insistence won the battle and they fixed my dish for me (ungraciously and begrudgingly). I am positive that they brought me back significantly less chicken than was there the first time around. In the end, my efforts to speak French out of respect for the Parisians backfired and bit me in the butt! I would still recommend the chicken salad at Vicky, but don’t expect to get any customer service and don’t order in French unless you are confident of what you are saying!