To start, service is dispassionate and tepid. Nary an item was brought to our table that we didn’t have to request, and this includes water with dinner and silverware after ours was inexplicably cleared halfway through the meal. Processing payment on our check took an inordinate amount of time, excusable in a bustling restaurant but extremely frustrating as we were the only guests in the spacious bi-level dining room. Even simple questions about the menu (i.e. “What’s this on top of my burger?”) required a trip to the kitchen to find out. These are the basics, folks. If you can’t tell me what I’m eating—and bring me a fork and knife with which to eat it and a glass of water with which to wash it down—perhaps you shouldn’t be the one serving it.
Rebel’s biggest claim to fame are its “tap tables,” three booths with two beer taps each, activated from behind the bar and tracked by computer to the .001 pint. Although it was cool to be able to pour our own beers (at the time of our visits, Blue Moon and Dogfish Head’s excellent 60 Minute IPA were on draught), it was hard to shake the feeling that letting guests pour their own beers was only intended to make one less chore for the apathetic service staff.
The restaurant also boasts a generous happy hour, but on one visit our server seemed not to realize it until we asked about any daily specials. He made a tremendous show of applying the “discount” to our check (a “discount” afforded to anyone dining between 5 and 8 p.m.) and also made sure to point out the original total as we paid, presumably to ensure a higher tip percentage. If we hadn’t had to chase him to the bar in order to close our check, we might have been more inclined to be generous.