Redding’s Restaurant in Atlantic City Has Closed
This was the official website for Redding’s Restaurant in Atlantic City.
Content is from the site's 2010 - 2011 archived pages as well as from other outside sources.
Redding’s Restaurant – has been highly anticipated for opening, now after nearly six months of construction, it has been widely regarded as the best casual dining experience in Atlantic City. Here are some of the reviews Redding’s have received since opening its doors in recent months.
**Atlantic City Weekly Review: (By Frank Gabriel – September 29, 2010)
“It’s been a long time coming but Chef Carl Redding has finally arrived in Atlantic City.” “And you can’t visit this Harlem transplant without trying the waffles” “They are both the initial items your eyes encounters on their bill of fare and a signature specialty. We went with the version named for Redding’s former employer, the Reverend Al Sharpton. We’ve been daydreaming about this classic combo of fried chicken and waffles since reporting on plans to open here early last Spring.”
“My selection was described as Kansas-style spare ribs. This generally means two things: dry rubbed cooking and a sauce whose flavor profile tilts towards the sweet and smoky.” “Redding’s ribs delivered on all those promises, although a couple os them would have benefitted from another hour or so of slow cookery.” “Either way they were huge and deviously delicious”. “The inevitable result was wearing a coating of their sticky sauce on my hands, face and clothing by meal’s end”.
“Given that Redding’s original work was in a bakery, no meal here should end without dessert. We tried two of three options available on this night, Red Velvet cake and Cherry pie”.
**Press Of Atlantic City (By Eric Scott Campbell – September 24, 2010)
“Former Harlem Chef Carl Redding’s new restaurant offers the Home-style cooking that use to be found at several places in the city.”
“Inocencio “Sonny” Amaro leaned on his Redding’s restaurant table after a meal of country ham, eggs and home fries. He smiled the smile of a full man.” This is something we’ve needed here for a long time said “Amaro, Sonny’s wife after she ate sausage, grits and wheat toast.” “Back in the 70′s and 80′s you could any place especially on Kentucky Avenue”. “People that come here generally look for other places (than casino’s) to dine at. “I think we’ll be able to hold our own as an outside restaurant “Redding said.” “Redding is a former chef and aide to the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of 39 people for whom he has named menu items. In fact., “The Rev. Al Sharpton — waffles with a quarter chicken sold better than anything else at Redding’s grand opening”.
“Redding’s is going to do it phenomenally well, that’s the best thing you could ever do here is serve a home cooked meal, nothing fancy”.
**Press of Atlantic City (By James Clark Food Editor @ Press of Atlantic City).
“Redding’s task may be a little tougher than some of the others, but he’s confident he can succeed. He knows the dollars that get placed on the poker tables in the casinos don’t always make their way to the people in the street.”
“The people I spend my days with don’t know who (chef) Emeril Lagasse is, and he’s a friend of mine,” Redding said.
“The people who live in this city don’t know who (chef) Mario Batali is. They’re not watching the Food Network on TV. What I will provide from my kitchen is more in line with their tastes.”
“Toward that end, Redding is hoping some other factors make his restaurant a local destination.”
Chef Carl Redding takes a gamble on soul food in Atlantic City
By PHIL ROURA DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER | JAN 08, 2011 | www.nydailynews.com/
Chef Carl Redding with his Spicy Honey Dipped Fried Chicken. (Monaster/News, Thomas)
The last time celebrity chef Carl Redding came to Atlantic City, he stirred up such a stew that it closed down the A.C. Expressway. Now, he is cooking up interest in a new restaurant.
"Closing the Expressway had never been done before," says the gregarious Redding with a laugh that could be heard from the Boardwalk to Broadway.
Neither has opening a Southern comfort-food eatery in the teeth of the deepest recession ever.
The Expressway imbroglio occurred in the late '90s when Redding was part of the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network. They came to the Shore to protest cuts in youth programs.
This time, Redding is hoping to stop traffic with what is primarily an ethnic restaurant.
Redding's opened in September at the corner of Pacific and Kentucky Aves., about two blocks west of Resorts. Besides the menu, visitors can feast on leather banquettes, a beautiful bar with plasma TVs and a warm, cozy, down-home feeling.
"There is not another restaurant like Redding's in Atlantic City," boasts its proprietor, whose Amy Ruth's has been a favorite eating place on W. 116th St. in Harlem.
"I offer a cuisine that has been overlooked [at the Shore] for a long time — like waffles smothered with chicken, Soul-violi, sweet potato fettuccine, chitterlings stew and oyster po' boys. There is also a five-green stew that's made with collards, turnips, cabbage, kale and mustard greens," he adds.
"This is a very depressed community," says Redding, who in 2000 topped a Daily News list of 21 People to Watch in the 21st Century. "People are very poor. They don't come out to restaurants here like they do in New York. So this the most challenging project I have ever undertaken."
But people know him from TV, newspapers, magazines and visits to Amy Ruth's.
"Despite the fact that the casinos are open year-round, this is a seasonal town," he says. "I am convinced that once it warms up, we are going to become one of the places to go to in Atlantic City."
Born in Harlem Hospital in 1964, Redding started working as a teen at the landmark Wilson's Bakery & Restaurant in Harlem. After high school, he joined the Marines and became a cook. Discharged after eight years, he hooked up with the Sharpton task force, rising to chief of staff. But he yearned to be a chef.
He opened Amy Ruth's on W. 116th St. in 1999. "I never told [Sharpton] what I was going to do because I was afraid he'd talk me out of it — you know how persuasive he can be," Redding says.
However, Amy Ruth's huge success did not rub off on two other restaurants he tried. He puts the blame on himself "because I did not put God in the plan."
Now, he is praying that his new $2 million gamble in Atlantic City will hit the jackpot.
Struggling Redding’s Restaurant abruptly leaves Atlantic City
By BRIAN IANIERI Staff Writer Feb 23, 2012 | www.pressofatlanticcity.com/
Chef Carl Redding, the restaurateur whose self-named soul food eatery was viewed by some as a cornerstone to rejuvenating Kentucky Avenue, has abruptly left Atlantic City.
Redding said he shuttered the 10,000-square-foot Redding’s Restaurant on Tuesday after losing money during 17 months in business.
“I’m done,” the 47-year-old former Marine sergeant said Wednesday afternoon. “I’m not a multimillionaire. I’m a small businessman. I wasn’t able to sustain a business that requires 12 months of business, and not just four months.”
The 250-seat, bright yellow-and-red corner restaurant had 18 employees and a bakery. It served burgers, shrimp po boys, chicken and waffles, and farm-raised catfish, among other items.
Its size and location made it a landmark on the once-famous Kentucky Avenue, where jazz clubs and lounges gave way to urban decay over the past 30 years.
Redding said his year-round business model depended on patronage from Atlantic City clients, but he rarely saw them.
“I got no real local help from the community. I got no real community support. Most of the patronage I got from Atlantic City was from outside people,” he said. “They were from Philadelphia, Delaware, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., northern New Jersey, Connecticut. They were not from the area.”
Redding said he was losing $8,000 to $10,000 per month recently and could not afford the rent. He had been considering closing, and made his final decision Tuesday.
Redding spent Wednesday scouting locations in Philadelphia to open a restaurant. He is looking at New York City as well, he said.
Redding said the problems in Atlantic City went beyond monetary losses. He cited high real estate taxes and “bureaucratic wrangling” with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
Redding said the business never saw $60,000 of an $85,000 facade improvement grant it received in 2010 from the Atlantic City Special Improvement District, which was transitioned from an independent agency to part of the CRDA during the state’s development of the Tourism Disctrict last year.
“My (former) partner forked up the money, $85,000 was promised to us, and we’re not seeing that,” he said.
John Schultz, a former Atlantic City councilman and co-chair of the SID, said the remaining money was held up because architectural plans were not done properly and went back for review.
“It was resolved two weeks ago,” he said.
The remaining funding will be released shortly, he said.
Redding, who once was an aide to the Rev. Al Sharpton and first opened a restaurant in Harlem, opened in Atlantic City in September 2010.
To start the restaurant, Redding teamed with Mitchell Mekles, a real estate entrepreneur whom he had partnered with in Harlem. Their partnership ended in September as the restaurant faltered, although Mekles still is his landlord, Redding said.
“He didn’t see where it was going to make a profit, so he got out (in September). He’s a smart businessman. I’m the one who held out hope for Atlantic City and that kind of restaurant,” Redding said.
Mekles could not be reached for comment in his office at Mitchell Enterprises late Wednesday.
Schultz, who lives a block from the restaurant, said he was sorry to see the business leave, particularly because of the time and energy Redding put into it.
“It’s a combination of everything. You have this economic climate in the nation and Atlantic City having competition with other gaming entities,” Schultz said. “It’s a shame. It’s the timing. I really feel bad because he’s a nice guy and works really hard.”
A Press restaurant review in April gave the eatery 2.5 stars out of four. On user-review website Urban Spoon, six of nine liked the restaurant.
“I learned a lot from being in this area. It has made me even more resilient in my fight to have a successful business,” Redding said. “I’ll try this somewhere else.”
Chef and Proprietor Carl S. Redding, officially opened “Redding’s Restaurant” in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 20, 2010. This “2 million” dollar establishment was no competition for the Harlem native, as he formally owned and operated Amy Ruth’s Restaurant on West 116 street in Harlem, New York. Amy Ruth’s success, launched a chain at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, and it was the first soul food/African American restaurant to operate within a casino. Mr. Redding is also former owner, and proprietor of Ruthie Mae’s Restaurant in Englewood, New Jersey.
With a passion for cooking and a love for the kitchen, at the age of 6, Chef Redding spent his summers in Alabama learning to cook in his grandmother’s kitchen. Carl’s grandmother (Amy Ruth) taught him how to cook with that southern Alabama style and flare. The young Chef Redding, learned how to fry fresh catfish and how to master his grandmother’s recipe for buttermilk biscuits.
Having served 9 years as a Personal Assistant and the Chief of Staff for the Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Mr. Redding still had a determination to cook, therefore he obtained a part-time kitchen position at a restaurant in the same building, which housed his office.
Mr. Redding has earned many awards and honors to his credits.
- In January 2000, he was named the #1 person to watch in the “New Millennium” by the New York Daily News.
- Carl Redding received a “Citation Award” from New York City Councilman, Bill Perkins
- He received a “Certificate of completion” from the FBI’s Citizen’s Academy
- In 2004, Mr. Redding received an award from “Men Who Cook” and was appointed to the Governor’s Board of Development Corporation in Harlem.
- In 2005 Crain’s Business Magazine awarded Carl Redding with a “Small Business of the Year” award.
- In February 2006, Korin Knife Company named him “Chef of the month”
- In January 2007, Chef Redding attended the Grand Opening of “Oprah Winfrey’s School for Girls” in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mr. Redding has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and television programs, as well as a cameo appearance in the 1996 movie Ransom; directed by Ron Howard.
Check this out: It's hard to reconcile all the rah rah press with the reviews of actual people who ate Redding’s Restaurant in Atlantic City. It's as if there were two parallel realities. When I did a search to see what Chef Redding, I thought he had landed on his feet as the Owner/Chef of Harlem-based Amy Ruth’s which opened at 113 West 116th Street in 1998. Oops, my bad. The business filed for bankruptcy protection in March of 2009. Redding’s Restaurant opened in 2010. Of course there will always be some disgruntled folks and you have to enjoy southern style Soul food, which I adore. Topping the list of soul food and Southern foods that I really really enjoy are fried chicken, barbeque ribs, macaroni and cheese, yum yum, chitterlings (hog intestines, also known as chitlins), pickled pigs feet (so so), turnip greens, black-eyed peas, sweet potato pie, hushpuppies and cornbread.
My dog, Charlie, a Boykin spaniel, is the state dog of South Carolina. His breed was discovered and further developed by South Carolina hunters in the 1900s, so I guess you could say he's a real southern dog. Charlie also loves Southern foods. I tend to give him little tasty bits when I order some southern style Soul food. Recently I just bought a new round dog bed that is designed for sleeping dogs. I found it here. Charlie immediately plopped right down on his new dog bed when it arrived, thumping his tail. I tossed him a piece of the barbeque ribs I was eating that evening which is a favorite food of his and mine. I'm still searching to see what's up with Chef Redding but the news is pretty thin about his goings on.
Former business owner found himself without a home, VA was there
Nov 8, 2019
Carl Redding identifies himself as one of the best chefs in America, born and raised in Harlem, New York. He is an entrepreneur, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, and a soon-to-be published author. But earlier this year, he found himself without a place to call home and in need of VA assistance.
Carl has led an eventful life. When he was only six years old, he began cooking with his mother, developing skills that fueled part- and full-time work in young adulthood. After graduating from high school, Carl served in the Marine Corps for four years. Soon thereafter he was honorably discharged from the Marines and began working in public service for a national civil rights organization. Nine years later, Carl decided to return to the food industry, this time starting a restaurant of his own.
It was 1999 when Carl opened his restaurant in the Harlem area, but he didn’t stop with just one. Over 10 years, he opened more restaurants in the neighborhood, seeing success with all of them. So he figured he’d expand his business even further — this time all the way to Atlantic City.
Unfortunately, the Atlantic City location did not see the success that the others did. He was forced to close it down. Carl then decided that returning home to New York was not an option for him, because it had become too expensive, so he moved to Philadelphia to start anew. There, Carl worked as an executive chef for colleges in the area. He was getting along fine until he experienced complications related to diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage in the legs and feet that can occur with diabetes.
He knew that VA could help him — VA specialists had been there for him before.
“When I was living in New York, I thought, ‘Why am I going to all of these other hospitals? I’m a Vet. I should go to the VA,’” Carl said. “So I started getting my treatments, my checkups, anything I needed done at the VA hospital, and I became an advocate for VA.”
The complication that initially brought Carl to the Philadelphia VA Medical Center was a sore on his foot that wasn’t healing. The VAMC treated the sore, and Carl continued on. After a few years in Philadelphia, Carl moved to Atlanta, where he relied on VA care more heavily than he had in the past.
Carl had his leg amputated at the Atlanta VA Medical Center in March. The surgery went well, so at the time he thought his complications were over. But once Carl returned home, with a wheelchair, he realized he couldn’t get around in his home because it was not wheelchair accessible. For five hours, he sat in his apartment, unable to move much, until a friend came over to help him to his bedroom. It was then that Carl understood that he needed to return to the Atlanta VA Medical Center for assistance.
Carl now lives comfortably in an accessible apartment just outside of Atlanta. He got the apartment with a housing voucher from HUD-VASH, a joint program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA. The program combines HUD housing choice vouchers with VA supportive services to help Veterans become and remain stably housed. The wraparound services provided under the HUD-VASH program address Veterans’ unique health, education, vocational, and other needs, and they all contribute significantly to housing stability.
Through everything Carl endured in Atlanta after his surgery and before securing housing, Carl stayed positive — and it’s that strength that pushed him forward.
“When I was in the hospital, I saw people in worse condition than I was,” he said. “If I just lost a leg and these people are dying from cancer … I would just look up into the heavens … people would ask me how I was doing, and I would say, ‘I’m doing great … I’m still alive.’”
These days, Carl is taking classes at The Art Institute of Atlanta, where he is working toward a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts management. He is also set to release a cookbook with a friend in spring 2018.
Carl understands from his experience that homelessness does not discriminate. It can happen at any time, to anyone. But no matter when or if it happens, help is available from VA for Veterans.
The HUD-VASH program in particular served Carl on his journey to permanent housing by offering him a broad range of care that covers multiple disciplines. Each Veteran in HUD-VASH is assigned a care management team that may include social workers, nurses, recreational therapists, peer specialists, employment experts, and housing specialists. Each team member works with the others to make sure the Veteran’s housing, psychosocial, medical, and mental health needs are addressed in a holistic way.
“Had it not been for this program, I’d be out on the streets somewhere homeless,” Carl said.
Now, thankfully, his future is brighter.
Events on September 1, 2011
Thursday Night's featuring Big Al
Starts: 8:00 pm
Ends: 11:59 pm, September 1, 2011
Events on September 2, 2011
Starts: 11:00 pm
Ends: 4:00 am, September 3, 2011
Events on September 3, 2011
Kentucky Avenue Jam Band
Starts: 11:00 pm
Ends: 3:00 am, September 4, 2011
* Fatty D.
Beverly Hills, CA
3/2/2012 Updated review
Sorry that another restaurant bit the dust in Atlantic City. However reading about this owner explains so much. (Atlantic City Press)
Chef Redding came across as totally arrogant and refusing to examine WHY people did not come to his establishment.
Here is a a clue Chef Redding... YOUR FOOD WAS TERRIBLE! The SERVICE was TERRIBLE.
In your news articles you had the audacity to BLAME the demise of Reddings on the "locals" who never came out to support your establishment.
See above for the reasons. Look at how YOU did not manage the restaurant correctly and maybe just maybe a light bulb will go off so that IF there is a next place you'll not be such an arrogant self righteous ex-owner.
TO BLAME your customers is just absurd
*** Mabel W.
Forest Hills, NY
Before leaving to AC, a group of friends and I decided to grab some grub before heading back to NYC.
Upon arrival, we were hesitant on staying because the decor looks kind of run-down. We were hungry so we stayed.
It was the first time I've ever had chicken and waffles, and it was pretty good but I expected so much more. I wanted the chicken skin to be more crispy and the meat to be more juicy. The gravy was too salty for my taste.
Our server was pretty great though, he made us laugh (that's always a plus in my book) Hopefully I can find the perfect Chicken and Waffles in NYC
* Donna M.
I should have listened to the other reviews BUT I didn't. Really should skip this place. Nice lookin place....looks like a chain-type restaurant but seriously, don't waste your money. YOU'LL BE DISAPPOINTED AND MORE ANGRY AT YOURSELF FOR NOT LISTENING TO THE REVIEWS....LIKE I AM!
1. Fried chicken was not cooked all the way (blood near the bone. This is where you should stop reading and just not chance it. But if you need to know more.....please read on!)
2. The $15 fried chicken entree was a quarter chicken (one breast attached to the wing....seriously.....FIFTEEN DOLLARS FOR THIS!) with 2 small sides....one being a "block" of mac/cheese. I didn't taste it but it looked nasty. It was still on the plate when we left.
3. Had fried pork chop entree. Who knew you could make a pork chop this thin? I envisioned nice, juicy pork chops. NOT! Grits weren't good. Sw potato souffle wasn't bad. Sweet though. Like dessert.
4. Service wasn't good. Young kid (nice enough) but very inexperienced. Another kid dropped off our meals and just looked at us. Everybody looked pissed to be working there. Not one smile anywhere. Had to ask for cornbread, hot sauce and other things that should have been on the table already. Overall crappy service.
5. After telling the waiter about the undercooked chicken, we then signaled the manager. (She should have come over on her own. Anyhoo.....) She said she was aware of the chicken situation and she took the entree off the bill. (It so wasn't worth the money...even if it was perfectly cooked). My husband said "I hope I don't get sick". She then said, "IT USUALLY TAKES 24-48 HOURS". LOL!! Guess this ain't the first time she's had to say this to someone who's eaten there! She seemed embarrased and uncomfortable....like she knew it was a terrible place to eat. So for all those who say this was a friendly place where the chef came out to say hello....the food was great....I dunno what they're talking about. I enjoy good soul food and this ain't it.
Please don't ignore the reviews or get sucked in by the BILLBOARD! That's what got us....it sounded like a good idea! Seriously, skip this place. Fast food is a better choice. Or how bout a nice slice of pizza?? Or hit up one of those buffets....anything else.
** Tia T.
Good lemonade. BAD food! If you like Dennys you will like this. If you tastebuds are more refined, STAY AWAY!
** Sana R.
I have just two complaints about my overall experience at Redding's.
1. The music was just tad loud for the brunch crowd they were attracting.
2. The service was very slow for the Saturday morning.
Here is my story. My boyfriend and I made a reservation on Opentable for Redding's while staying at the shore this past weekend. For 10am on a Saturday morning, this place was not jiving just yet, so we didn't really need the reservation. We walked in, the hostess was dressed for a girl's night in and our waitress had no idea what a poached egg was. The service was so slow that a group of 4 white boys walked out after 15 minutes because no one attended them. It took over 30 minutes for our order (scrapple and eggs & chicken and waffles) to come out. The good thing was we had some homemade biscuits to share. Be sure to ask for extra jelly!
I recommend the scrapple and eggs with homefries. William had the chicken and waffles which he liked. ALSO they have free refills on huge mason jars of homemade lemonade. Try it for sure!
* Marion W.
I always go to Atlantic City with my son who's 12 and I always ride pass the Reddings billboard on the expressway. Every time I see it I always said we were going to try it out.
Well I finally took my son along with my 7 month old son. We were seated right away when we arrived. However the host came to our table after we had be there for 15 mins and asked if anyone has helped us yet. And I told her no and she said someone will be there right away. It took another 5 mins before our waitress made it to the table. It was early Saturday evening, not really crowded and had a good amount on their wait staff walking around in circles looking confused and attempting to look busy. I couldn't understand that at all.
After we ordered our food she brought out our VERY VERY sweet tea and NO cornbread or muffin (like the other soul-food spot do). Our food took 30 mins to come out. I ordered smothered turkey chops, mac and cheese and the stewed veggies. The stewed veggies were the best, the turkey chops were VERY bland and it barely had gravy on them. And the mac and cheese was bland also. I'm not a salt and pepper person but I had to drown my food in it for flavor. My son had the chicken and waffles with a side of mac and cheese. The chicken was ok, the waffles would've been good if the syrup wasn't so watery (and I was wondering why the lady sitting at the table behind us pulled out a bottle of syrup from her pocketbook.....I should've asked if we could borrow it.
Our waitress asked if we needed a doggy bag (because we still had a good amount left on our plate) and we politely declined. We love mac and cheese but not theirs. The only person who enjoyed the food was the baby. We will not be returning at all. At least I can say is that I tried to support them.
** Natasha P.
I'm giving two stars because although the service was bad, the food we did receive was good. That said, by 7:30PM when we arrived they had run out of the BBQ ribs. When provided with options, the server offered fried pork or smothered pork chops with a side of the BBQ sauce. We wondered how that had anything to do with the BBQ and wondered why the pulled pork was not available. Other things hinted that perhaps the training of the server on the menu were sub-par.
For the food we did get, the menu indicates you get pickles and a choice of sides for sandwich orders, these were omitted. I am not sure if that's the fault of the kitchen or the serving staff. The company I dined with wanted fried pickles given the availability of frying and pickles and their knowledge of the soul food cuisine. However, the server didn't even bother to check and just looked like a deer in headlights. Unusual request I know, but for those who know about that regional southern delicacy...
Two of us had the fried chicken entree, one the chitterlings po' boy and another the fried pork chops. The sides - most said the greens were very good as well as the Mac and cheese. Cheese grits were meh. Sweet potato fries - when I'd ordered the SP soufflé. A tad greasy.
Service was slow, waters not refilled, two of four in our party waited to order or reorder a beer or cocktail. An hour and a half later, nothing. So we took ourselves to the Irish Pub where the service on the patio was perfect - drinks all around.
Reddings AC has lost four potential repeat customers; two of which are local thus missing out on local referrals.
Given reviews from last year, it appears the same issues continue. The owner must not read the reviews and feel tourists are all the business they want or perhaps need.
**** Leslie F.
We were headed to A.C. for a concert, saw the billboard for Redding's as we approached the city and decided to try it out. We had a wonderful server (Angelo), who was very warm and welcoming and made great suggestions for what to try.
Since I wasn't too hungry I had a bowl of the turkey and crab soup which, frankly, I think Redding's should bottle and sell. It's the perfect thing for when you have a cold--nice broth, bits of real crab and turkey and delightfully seasoned. Fantastic! I could have eaten another bowl.
My husband, at Angelo's suggestion, had the smothered pork chops with the sweet potato souffle and sauteed string beans. The chops were huge, meaty and delicious. The souffle could have been a dessert it was so decadent.
And let's not forget the cornbread. Outstanding! Again, I could have had that for dessert.
Large dining room, simply decorated, great for couples or families. Separate bar area looked very inviting.
Chef Redding was in the restaurant and came by to talk with us. He was very appreciative of our visit and it's clear that he is doing the cooking.
The only change I'd make is to tone down the amount of sugar in the sweet tea which was really, really SWEET.
Thank you to Redding's for an unexpected delight. We will be back!
* Kris B.
Worst service I have ever had!!!! This was the second time I've Been to this establishment. The first time I was hungover and didn't quite remember the experience until we stepped back into the place today when it all came back to me. The last time I remember them taking an eternity to take our order AND got 2 dishes wrong! I'm not a picky person either but this place really got under my skin. The food is mediocre at best anyway. Some dishes are better than others but overall it's dissapointing if your expectations are for good home-style southern food.
The terrible service at readings is the sole driver behind me setting up a yelp account to let everyone know to NEVER waste time and money at this place. The place was more than half empty and we were still asked to wait 5-10 mins to be seated.
When we were seated about 4 mins later, no waiter/waitress was introduced to us. 2 gentlemen stopped by the table just to let us know that someone ELSE would be with us shortly!
No water, no coffee, no service for about 15 min. At that point we were putting on our jackets and heading back out the door. On our way out someone finally talked to us just to ask what was wrong?! The service!
The slow, disorganized, inexperienced, clueless, retarded-ass people working there...THAT was the problem. It seems whoever owned this place hired all their family and friends who have obviously never worked in a restaurant before. For such a big place which can seat so many, they sure don't know how to utilize the space and staff correctly.
This is the WORST experience you can have, especially when you wake up hungry from a night of drinking and partying and just want some good breakfast in a decent amount of time, and good service with a smile or at least just service!
I will never be coming to reddings again even if Jesus himself invited me there.
Oh and I hope someone who works there reads these reviews because they need some kind of self-awareness about their lack-luster place.
**** Wendy W.
after dining at redding's today, i don't think it deserves the harsh rating.
redding's is located on the "strip" in atlantic city, within walking distance from many of the casinos. they have a parking lot in the back and plenty of meter parking around the block.
the decor is clean and contemporary with earthy colors. it is modern with a coffee shop-comfortable feel. the dining area is quite spacious and airy. there is also a separate bar area.
we were disappointed that they didn't have the first 2 things we ordered. the server said it was because the restaurant was new. we had waffles and fried chicken (dark meat), smothered pork chops, and coconut cake.
the complimentary corn bread were buttery and moist.
the waffles were crispy on the outside and had a light, fluffy, and oh so buttery inside. there was absolutely no need to smear butter on these bad boys. the fried chicken was a little overcooked but had a nice flavor and crunch. the chicken was deep fried so that the fat melted into the light batter. delicious.
the smothered pork chops were fat fat delicious. they picked a fatty piece of pork (nice), battered it, and deep fried it. then smothered the chops in a gravy that you can tell was made from fat drippings (nice). if you don't like greasy food, you shouldn't eat southern food, especially smothered pork chops. if you like flavorful soul food this dish delivered.
the pork chops came with two sides. we had the 5 greens stew and the baked mac and cheese. the mac and cheese were perfect. the greens had a slight bitter after taste, were a bit vinegary, and was not the best greens i had.
the coconut cake was light and moist. it was a large 2-3 serving size and wasn't incredibly sweet. it was a nice ending.
now the service. it was not that bad. our server was friendly. kept our mason jars filled with water. during our meal, he checked up on us. other waiters passing by our table smiled at us and asked us how we were.
my criticism...i believe restaurant owners should have their servers taste the food they serve as it is inevitable that customers will ask for recommendations. the last thing i want to hear is "how should i know?"
overall, redding's puts out southern food a level above the area's offering. it is a bit pricy but hey you're in atlantic city where food prices are inflated.
* Darryl C.
Egg Harbor Township, NJ
I went there for some takeout yesterday since I'd always driven past the billboard and wanted to give it a try. I ordered fish, baked Mac, and sweet potatoes.
Let me cut to the chase. ALL OF IT WAS NASTY. I'm not a picky eater by far but that food was the worst Soulfood I'd ever eaten.
The fish tasted like it had no seasoning. It looked like it was made in only cornmeal and oregano.
The baked Mac n cheese? Yeah right, tasted like salt and garlic powder were the only seasonsings used their and it did not turn out well.
And the worst part was the sweet potatoes. Why did my sweet potatoes still have skin/Peel in it? Everytime I took a bite I had to spit out strings of sweet potato skin. And the flavor was terrible!
Yeah, they give you a large portion for the price but my goodness the food is horrible. The only highlight of my visit their was the girl who brought my food to me, Ashley. She was genuinely nice and very pleasant.
Other than that, you couldn't pay me to eat any of Redding's other dishes.
* Brittney W.
Don't waste your time here. Honestly.
I went on a Sunday afternoon with a group of 4 people. Upon entry, we spotted several empty tables and booths. It didn't seem too crowded or busy so we decided to stay. The greeter told us there would be a wait of five minutes so we proceeded to the "lounge" area to wait and look over the menu. After about 15 minutes we were led to our booth and proceeded to order.
The waiter looked like he was high on something: sweating profusely, low eyes, and very shifty.
After about 25 minutes, we asked how much longer our food would be. The waiter assured us our order would be out of the kitchen next. It wasn't.
An hour goes by and we ask for the manager. He too assured us that our food would be out next. He explained that there was just some sort of hold up in the kitchen that he couldn't explain because they were fully staffed. Just hold tight and the food would be right out. The entire time we waited, five tables who came in and sat after us had eaten and left.
After noticing all of the other happily full customers leaving, I again asked for the manager. This is when I began to get extremely annoyed. Not only did the manager not return to our table, he hid in the kitchen area so we couldn't see him. When he came out to greet other customers that walked in, he walked all the way around the restaurant to avoid passing our table. At this point, I demanded to be seen and threatened to walk out. Only then did he return.
This time he told us that the kitchen was in fact short staffed (a direct contradiction to what he had told us before) and that he would comp our drinks. Another half hour went by before our food came out, totaling about two hours of wait time at the table. When the food came out, orders were incomplete, incorrect, and some was cold. I complained again and the manager agreed to comp the entire meal.
Even though it was free at the end of the day, it definitely was not worth the time or aggravation.
It's safe to say that I will NEVER return to this establishment.
* Brian W.
Jersey City, NJ
Fail! Avoid this place. Terrible execution of a theme in decor, service and food.
My friend and I ordered the exact same dish, no special requests and the both were delivered wrong... In different ways. The food was only worth eating because we were hungry, I've walked out of better places. Forget about breakfast food after 11:30am. The service was apologetic, but incompetent. Finally the theme of the place was not represented anywhere inside with the sole exception of a painting of a sax musician. The Musac was not reflective of the theme for that matter either. The Ball jars for glasses looked out of place with the brand new high gloss table and coffee cups the size of a soup bowl.
This place has so far to go to be worth even thinking about going to. Don't waste your time or money.