Rhode Island’s Arooga’s takes the crown as the worst restaurant in the state. Leaving customers frustrated and having severely low reviews across Google and Yelp, they’ve topped the competition in this category at both of their locations in Warwick and Attleboro Massachusetts. To note, before I gave them this award, my food journey has taken me to a lot of horrendous establishments. In this consideration were other places where I’ve had to step through piles of rotten food, had observed multiple blatant health code violations, was berated by employees and managers, and more. But Arooga’s has been far the worst and with brutal honesty, I don’t believe you could pay me to go there.
This view isn’t mine alone either. I’ve attended with friends and family and have went multiple times to their two locations and nearly every time, we have all observed the same occurrences. This is additionally supported by the wealth of reviews on Google, Yelp, and across the web where people are frustrated, and rightfully so. Before I begin, these are my personal observations which corroborate with friends, family, and reviews across both locations. And yes, while their location in Attleboro is technically in Massachusetts, it’s right on the border of Rhode Island and suffers identical issues as the Warwick location.
• From the start, waiting to be sat can take several minutes, sometimes up to a half hour or more as there isn’t always a host. Even if there is a host, finding a suitable server is another equally time consuming hurdle.
• Upon being sat, expect another lengthy wait for the server to approach you for your drinks and order. You may be even completely forgotten about!
• During this wait, you may likely observe that at times, there appears to be more staff than customers. Very few staff seem to be helping each other out, in fact, trying to get their attention for anything during any part of your dining ordeal will result in the cold shoulder: Empty cups needing refills, wondering where your server is, asking for the bill or a box, etc. In addition, it’s noticeable most customers aren’t laughing or smiling as frustrated faces and demeanors can often be seen.
• When you do eventually get your order, don’t expect to be checked up on. No refills, additional sauces, or fixing any mistakes, you eat what you get and then wait another unbearable amount of time for the check.
• Expect the entire dining process, from start to finish, to take several hours. Lunches will reach into dinner time and dinner into the late night.
• They will not respond to complaints or concerns submitted via their website. You must contact them on their Instagram.
• I posted about Arooga’s on my Instagram and commentors didn’t appear to enjoy the Arooga’s experience either (see below).
• Despite being an adult based, bar centric restaurant, kiddie sized cups are served for your non-alcoholic drinks. You’ll certainly need many refills which won’t ever be noticed as your server is MIA and other staff ignore it.
• When you get your order, while infrequent, there may be items missing to which you will be informed that they forgot, were out of stock, etc. You will still get charged full price.
• Like the kiddie sized cups you’ll be served, food quality is as if a toddler made it. Most items you order will be unseasoned and plain, have microwaved texture, and frankly, will be disgustingly overpriced for their portion size and quality. For example, salads are unseasoned and slaughtered with plain sauces as if they’re a soup, fried food is lukewarm, and most of everything else is just poorly done or hit or miss at best.
• Why are the prices so high for poorly done bar food? Surely, all that money for electricity to run the unnecessary walls of TVs isn’t going into the price of food… right?
The “Good / Potential”
• Despite being a bar based restaurant, the menu has a lot of interesting and promising items but unfortunately, they continually fail to deliver on them.
• Pretzels are generally good if made and served correctly. Sometimes however, they can be missing their advertised sauces and much of their seasoning. In addition, their donut and PBJ burger are notably very good, likely because they were heavily loaded with sweetness so any shortcomings go unnoticed. In the exceptional case that the food is as advertised, it can be absolutely amazing.
• Many months ago, they would offer “sauce flights” for many of their items. Basically, you’d get a bunch of different sauces with your food. They have taken much of this away and now only offer a few select sauces for certain items. This was a favorite, what happened?
• The Arrooga’s Warwick location seems a tad better in most metrics than the Attleboro one. However, both spots still suffer from the exact same issues.
In summary, trust the reviews, including this one, and avoid Arooga’s. Without exaggeration, Arooga’s would be a top tier spot if they got their service together, put any effort into their food, and listened to the thousands of reviews. And seeing that the same issues occur at both locations, this doesn’t appear like an employee issue necessarily. The silver lining is that this restaurant has so much potential that’s being squandered by, well, I’m not sure! They have tons of reviews stating the same things over the last few years—the writing is on the wall and it’s all fixable, so why isn’t anything being done?