Atlanta >Food & Dining > Ria's Blue Bird
421 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA | Directions 3031233.746578 -84.373644
Mon. - Sun. 8am - 3pm
Neighborhoods: Grants Park, Eastside, Eastside
This is a great place to eat. The restaurant offered excellent service and delectable food.
Woolworth's Diner 1960's (Beware) – Hi Ria - you need to pull your staff (lily white) off to the side and have a conversation on etiquette and treating all customers with respect. During my first visit (prompted by a feature on Good Day Atlanta), I actually sat next to you on a Mother's Day and commented on how delicious your pancakes were and that I was glad that I had chosen your restaurant. However, during my recent visit with my mother and wife - the visit was just shy of being at the Woolworth's diner back in the 60's. Your waitresses were so rude and blatantly racist. They were slow as hell to take our orders, they ignored my table while attending to the two neighboring tables (filled with white patrons) even when things like water, napkins or bringing the food were not needed. To top it off, when I presented my $100 bill along with the receipt for payment - it sat on my table for nearly 15 minutes before the waitress would return. I'm appalled and wish I didn't have to write this review however, you are situated in the most diverse part of Atlanta and your staff should be reflective of this and their attentiveness should not be based on the color of your skin. I can't promise that I will return but I will promise you that until you do something about this I will not recommend this spot anymore as I was quite humiliated and my mother vowed never to come back. If you value customer service Ria, you will pull that lovely lily white bluebird staff to the side and school them on treating ALL customers with RESPECT and COURTESY. All the Best - African American art Curator of Old Fourth Ward
Great food. But custom service is something to be desired. – I've lived just around the corner from this restaurant for over a year now, so I've been quite a few times just due to it being one of the closest breakfast type places that I can visit.
On the Pros: the food is really very good. They have specials that they switch up quite frequently ( I only go on the weekends and it's different every time I go). And though their staple menu isn't large, I have never been disappointed with anything I've tried.
1:My biggest complaint about this place is the staffs attitude. I've been a manager in the customer service field for over a decade and I'd probably fire every one that works at Ria's based on customer service skills alone. Everyone there seems overly grouchy and acts like they'd rather be anywhere else in the world than having to interact with their customers. I feel like I'm burdening them to ask for a refill on my coffee or when I inquire as to what their specials are if they forgot to tell me when I was seated.
2: Ria's is a very small restaurant, and often times ( especially on the weekends) there is an extremely long wait. To make matters worse, they don't use any sort of buzzer or text/ call system to inform you when your table is ready. So you are forced to crowd around the small area Outside the front of the restaurant ( don't even think about trying to wait inside or you will feel the sting of the aforementioned customer service) and all you get when it's your turn is a hasty shout out the door, and about 10 seconds to respond or they will move to the next name on the list.
As weather in Atlanta goes this can be quite a miserable wait. 30-45 minute waits, out doors, in the freezing Atlanta winters or scorching summers is enough to make you leave and go some where else.
Bland, all fillers no substance. – Had heard great things about Ria's. We were disappointed by how bland and boring the menu was. Seems it is geared toward the vegan/vegetarian crowd and that might be our downfall. The biscuits and gravy were boring and was just pepper gravy, no meat. The Breakfast Burritto was all beans, very little egg. The pancakes however, were a delight. Wasn't worth the trip or the money.
We had a great time spending lunch at Ria's. The food we ordered was so delicious and mouth-watering. The place was great and service was excellent too. Overall, it was a satisfying experience.
Ria's Bluebird Cafe – Came here with my daughter for the first time on Sat., 7/10/2010. Heard a lot about Ria's and thought we'd try it out....after all, it was written up in the NY Times, right? So, my first experience there and I was not impressed. Unfriendly man behind the counter. Way, way too pricey and too many rules -- gee! I was charged $2.25 for a cup of coffee that is not that great. Oh yes, you have to pay with cash and so that means you use their ATM machine. Waited too long after being seated and was not impressed with the stiffness of the crew. Come on! Who rated this place? Are you kidding? I've lived here 30 years and I can get the cold shoulder at any local cheap, divey restaurant. The pancakes were good though! Will not be coming back.
Worth the Drive – I was skeptical since Atlanta is not the food capital of the world but it was pretty tasty stuff and the staff seemed nice enough to us. Its a small place so I might avoid it on the weekends.. Awesome Grits.
Great for Brunch, – What can I say , this is a great spot. , we got there a lot for brunch.. I have their fish & grits.. it is very good.. My partner has the bluebird breakfast plate.. I can say the food is priced very reasonable.. the service is excellent... which carries much weight for a me.. I don't care how good the food is, if your service sucks then it does not matter. This place does get pretty crowded.. even during the week , but its worth it.. The menu is kind of small but original..
Too big for their britches – I want to like Ria's as much as everyone else, but the only positives I can come up with are that it's located on the still up-and-coming area Memorial drag, the furniture is cute and the closed-in patio is nice even in the winter.
Regarding the food and service, however, I can't be so nice. The staff is not very interested in their jobs or their customers, and there are quirky hand-written signs everywhere that seem to be charged with belittling their readers.
Although I understand creating the "no substitutions" rule as a precaution for busy days and overly-picky eaters, the 'flat-out no's' received when asking to get something on the side or in addition to something else are also 'flat-out rude.' To me, there is a pretty thick line between quirky cuteness and rude pretension.
After eating there 4 or 5 times, I still haven't had a meal that was earth-shattering or even delicious. Maybe if I could "have it my way" just a little, I would have enjoyed the food and service more. There's something to be said for tailoring a dish to your tastes when it makes the difference between a rating of "meh" and "badath."
Pancakes Live Up to the National Hype – Cozy little Ria's Blue Bird has become an Atlanta breakfast institution serving up breakfast standards as well as imaginative, original dishes. The "Bionic Breakfast" which includes tons of potatoes, mushrooms, corn and more, or great combos like brisket and poached eggs, and fish and grits are served to patrons nestled in diner-style booths or tables. Oh, and a little ol' paper called the New York Times deemed their pancakes the best in the nation. On the weekend, those in the know will put their name down on the clipboard, grab a coffee at the bar, then patiently wait outside to be called. If dining solo on the weekdays, enjoy the friendly banter at the retro bar.
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