So, my parents are up in town to take advantage of the birthday present I gave my mom last November for her birthday: tickets to the Kennedy Center’s production of Copeland’s Rodeo.

With them in town, we decided to have dinner at Local 16 (a current contender for the rehearsal dinner) which was kind of my pick for the one they would like the best. It has a great atmosphere, is a little more old-world and traditional, and it’s been open in some form or the other for nigh on a decade.

Boy, what do I know?

We arrived a couple of minutes before our (early) reservation to find the front doors locked. Peaked inside and people are sitting at the bar drinking, but no one at the host stand and no one seemed to be interested at me peering through the window.

After about 15 minutes of waiting in the Starbucks next door for the restaurant to unlock its doors, we sat down and ordered some drinks and an appetizer. The drinks (mercifully) were strong and helped everyone get through the rest of the meal.

I don’t even remember what was ordered, but whatever my mom wanted was out of stock. The waiter came back, explained the problem, and she picked something he recommended. About five minutes later, the waiter popped back out to say THAT was out of stock too.

When the food finally DID arrive, the fish was small and flat, and the pork looked like it had been pumped with something. To make matters worse, dessert didn’t come within 35 minutes of us placing the order, and we had to flag down the waiter to cancel it.

Now, truth be told, I love Local 16 … love the service, love the food, love the locally-grown mission. And, truth be told, they comped the ENTIRE meal. That being said, if the experience had (pardon my french) sucked even a LITTLE less, it might still be in the running for the rehersal dinner.

I will happily take my chances with the new kid on the block (Beacon Bar & Grill), because after three meals with three different groups of people, we have absolutely zero complaints. Amen.