Several hundred members of the Terrace Club at Jacobs Field had a very bad time during the June 24 doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. Fans with tickets for the second game and reservations for the restaurant's 5 p.m. seating arrived at the facility only to find that an hour-and-39-minute rain delay had pushed the day game well into the evening hours and, due to Major League Baseball rules, they wouldn't be seated until that game was done. It was around 6 p.m. when the first game finally ended and 6:30 before members -- many of whom had stood in line, in on-and-off rain, for 90 minutes -- made it into the dining room. Once admitted, they were told they would have only 45 minutes to hit the buffet, fuel up, and scram. Why the bum's rush? The evening game was to begin at 7:30 p.m., and guests holding 7 p.m. dinner reservations had to be seated ASAP. For most early diners, this meant no time for second trips to the buffet or even an after-dinner cup of coffee, plus only half the normal opportunity (5 p.m. diners can usually stay for an hour and a half) to soak up the atmosphere. With the average party of four shelling out around $160 for this type of shabby treatment, you can bet there was more than a little grumbling. "We were going to withhold the tip in protest," confided one dyspeptic diner, "but then we saw it was included -- at 18 percent! -- in the bill already." The manager on duty apologized to disgruntled guests and made peace offers ranging from free desserts after the seventh inning to modest bill adjustments. But for many diners, the bad taste lingered. GM Paul Regal says the Terrace Club staff was caught between the MLB rules and the vagaries of Cleveland weather when deciding to shortchange the 5 p.m. folks in order to give the 7 p.m. diners the full meal deal. "We really didn't have much choice, once the officials decided to start the second game at 7:30," he said. Karma being what it is, the Indians lost by a tedious 14 to 8.
Good thymes . . . Banker, traveler, and caterer Dan Bronish can now add "restaurant owner" to his résumé. The energetic chef and businessman bought Berea's bright little Tabor's Thyme Café (34 Park Street, 440-243-1011) in April and has been putting his mark on it ever since with the addition of dinner hours (5:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, so far), an expanded menu (with weekly ethnic specialties), and the inclusion of a few meat dishes (like hormone-free beef burgers) among the mainly organic vegetarian/vegan offerings. Other than the restaurant's bread, everything -- cookies, pies, soups, casseroles, and pizza dough -- is made in-house by Bronish and his team. You can sneak a peek at the weekly menus on the restaurant's website, www.ttcafe.com.
Mea culpa . . . We referred to superchef Charlie Saccardi, late of the Hyde Park Group, as the organization's former corporate chef. In fact, his correct title was regional chef for the seafood concept. The corporate chef has been and continues to be Terry Hargis.