It's All Good?

Don't place bets on this place; they only have a pair of deuces

Story and photo by Adam Patterson

It’s All Good Restaurant and Bar clearly puts its dining facilities at a distant second to the hot gambling action that goes on next door.

Conveniently attached to an Off Track Betting dive in the Skyway Plaza on Route 9, It’s All Good Restaurant and Bar was my choice for lunch. Going in, I wasn’t expecting to be knocked over backwards by the fine dining that a strip mall has to offer, but I was excited nonetheless.

As I sat down at the “bar,” a loose term for a counter with stools, I had plenty of time to take in the atmosphere of this place. I didn’t see menus, prices, or anything of the dining sort.  There was a small sign that said something about draught beer prices, but I wasn’t even sure if the place actually sold food. The moniker “It’s All Good” was written on things everywhere, and the facilities looked like a kitchenette from a college dorm.

It wasn't too crowded when I got there.

Their version of a bar was just a small cabinet behind the counter where liquor bottles were stacked. They had Michelob Ultra, Bud Light, and two other beers on draught.  Behind the bar were several TVs, all tuned to sporting events, and one to a local news channel.

In the front of the “restaurant,” there was a section of tables that I walked past to sit at the “bar,” but the furniture looked like it was ripped from a hospital dining hall. There were no utensils or menus. The only people to be found were an elderly couple sitting at the far end of the counter nearest to the door that joins the place with the OTB. I was the youngest soul in there by about 30 years.

I finally asked the woman behind the counter, (who had been completely ignoring me), if they sold burgers there. She said, “Sure,” and I felt better immediately; a burger is hard to mess up.

She went about her business, refilling the beer the elderly couple on my right kept drinking. About 20 minutes later, she returned with a little notepad and took my exact order: A medium rare cheeseburger with fries and a Coke. It was an all-American meal.

Again, about twenty minutes later, I got my well-done cheeseburger with things that resembled French fries, and a Coke. I couldn’t believe that a simple order like mine could not have been done properly.

The cheese on my cheeseburger was clearly one of those pre-packaged slices of yellow American that was ripped in half and stacked on itself; it hadn’t even melted enough to disfigure the rectangular shape. The sweaty mass of cheese hardly covered the gray burger it was placed on. The woman saw the insides of my burger after I bit into it and laughed. She said something about not being able to ever really cook an egg over-easy, and how burgers either come out too rare or too well-done. I didn’t appreciate the joke.

Warning: it doesn't come with Mylanta.

The pickle was a pickle, a little on the small side, and the French fries were, I’m almost sorry to say, terrible. I drowned everything in ketchup and ate what I could appreciatively, thanked the woman, and waited again.

Half an hour later, I actually had to get the woman’s attention to pay for my meal. My tiny half eaten basket of food sat in front of me with a crumpled napkin on top of it for way too long, and I sat there with my debit card in the air for even longer. I honestly thought I didn’t have to pay. I shouldn’t have.

I decided then and there I was not going to order again. Partially because my stomach began to be upset, I had no way to know what else it was they were serving, and lastly, because the people at the Off Track Betting next door were beginning to stare at me. I think they heard my stomach screaming.

The sign that is outside of the plaza that calls this place a restaurant and a bar should be torn down immediately. It should read something like this:

“If you’re here to gamble your paychecks away next door and can suffer through terrible food and our gigantic, four-beer selection, stop on by.”

What's the worst place you've eaten at in the North Country?

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