In our ongoing series of restaurant reviews about the lack of good places to eat in Downtown Montgomery, today we’ll take a look at Flames.
The first positive thing about this place is that they serve veggie burgers. Also, they have great, although incredibly unhealthy, fries.
That’s about the end of what I can say about Flames. Oh wait, there’s also the fact that they have a huge bowl of candy up by the cash register. That’s nice. You can dig for a flavored Tootsie Roll while you pay your (probably under $10) bill.
Now the minuses: First of all, you’d think that it’d be a breeze to zip and and zip out. It’s walking distance from my office. And yet, for some reason, multiple meals there have ended up clocking in over the one hour mark. Simply put, they are VERY slow. I’m usually very much on the relaxed side of things when it comes to overtaxed servers, but when you are dealing with a lunch crowd, there has to be at least SOME attention to the fact that people are on deadlines. Besides, it’s not like they are slammed every day. Sometimes, the place is half full and it still takes 30 minutes between placing an order and getting food.
At first, I thought this was because they don’t sell a lot of veggie burgers and it just takes longer to prepare that order. But I have had lunches with people ordering simple meat patties and others ordering chicken strips. Same result.
Generally, the menu is simplistic and unimaginative. It’s that grease-based burger place where the food comes in a plastic basket on some paper that is quickly turning transparent. The fries are best when they sprinkle that weird orange powder on them, maybe even that toxic hyper-yellow melted cheese. Caution: Eating at Flames creates high risks of post-lunch grease comas that could substantially impair workplace productivity.
All in all, the place is decent. Again, if you call ahead and let them know you’re going to be coming in for a veggie burger, they’ll tell you it’ll be ready in 20 or so minutes. Then, you can arrive, wait additional 15 minutes or so and have a decent enough lunch. The people who work there are super nice (if not particularly concerned about your hunger).
One last minus: They have a HUGE (possibly one of the largest I have ever seen) television that is constantly blaring some kind of television news. Fortunately, it’s not FOX News, but still, it makes lunch a little less happy to be checking your watch while wolfing down greasy food while talking heads blab at high volumes about our collapsing economy.
All in all, I give Flames Grill in downtown Montgomery 4 greasy cheese fries out of 5. Unless you’re in a hurry, in which case I’d recommend skipping it altogether.