Review: 2 Toots Train Whistle Grill

Review: 2 Toots Train Whistle Grill

Posted in the Glen Ellyn Forum


Chicago, IL

#1 Oct 20, 2008
Beware of the table Nazi! Remember that episode of Seinfeld with the soup Nazi? Well, this place has its own version only it's the seating/ordering Nazi!
It all started because I work in the area of the 2 Toots Restaurant and Grill in Glen Ellyn and have been distracted/annoyed, like my fellow coworkers, by the daily borage of little train whistle blowers as they exit the restaurant and toot with gusto all the way to the car where they are finally silenced by the closing of the car door or the angry glare from a passer by. Warning! We've calculated that the pitch of these whistles just may kill a small dog!
Based on the happy enthusiasm of the whistle blowing children - I thought it might be fun to bring my 5 year old there to see what the place had to offer - as long as we could escape without acquiring a whistle! One week day this past week I had my 18 year old meet me with the 5 year old after work and we entered the restaurant together. We were greeted by an enthusiastic hello and asked if we needed seating for 3 and I said no for 4.(One of our friends was to join us shortly.) We were shown to our seating and sat down or rather we squeezed into our assigned booth after letting out all the air from our lungs and sucking in our stomachs and we are not very robust people.
We were promptly given a menu and encouraged to place our drink order. While perusing the abrupt menu and sipping our drinks served in plastic cups with lids and straws, the same gal who had originally seated us leaned over the counter/rail road tracks and proceeded to lecture us that next time we would not be seated until our entire party was there and that we may need to be moved from our confinement, I mean booth, if more customers came in and there wasn't enough seating for them.
What?! Weren't we customers and didn't you just seat us?! Maybe you thought the 4th person in our group, at the time of seating, was too small to be seen or was just stuffed in my daughters backpack! I did a quick scan of the restaurant and saw the same 8 people that were there when we originally came in 5 minuets before. OK, maybe we could fit a couple on our laps if really necessary as long as none of us needed to breath!
Anyway it gets better - we were then instructed we needed to place our order and could not wait for our friend - again so they could seat the impending masses that were no doubt going to descend like locusts on the restaurant any second now! Where's a cell phone when you need it!? If I had the cell phone I would have called our friend and told her to meet us somewhere else!
Well, we reluctantly complied and placed our order stalling as long as we could by dodging eye contact with the eager wait staff. It was our mistake thinking the harassment would end after we placed our order. We were wrong. To add to our wonderful 2Toots experience my 18 year old was approached by the owner/manager with a stereotypical teenage remark asking him 'if there was something wrong or was he just bored' because he had is head resting on his arm as he leaned over the table to play tic-tac-toe with his 5 year old sister. The same owner/manager muttered a few more sarcastic remarks at my son (who is an adult) as he passed our table as we ate. The last time he passed by I shot him "the look" and imagined myself shoving the train into a dark tunnel if he uttered one more word.
By the time our friend came - a full 25 minuets (oh, my!) had passed since we entered the restaurant, were seated, ordered, ate and paid. I was embarrassed to tell her we had already eaten and explained the situation to her. We were both appalled by the experience and agreed we never had witnessed such poor customer relations. We both have been in the restaurant business - her a former owner of a successful popular local restaurant and I a former department manager at one of the busiest restaurants in the country. We managed to escape without the whistle and a good opinion of the restaurant.

Geneva, IL

#2 Dec 1, 2008
who does this pompas ass lady think she is. Your at a childrens restaraunt cant she understand that there is a time limit per table so that they can take care of all the customers not the ones who like to sit at a table and take up space. Since she knows the business then she would understand that the rest loses revanue when they cant sit customers at a timely fashinon. Which means if each customer sat their for 25 min and then ordered their food the restaraunts sales would be down dramaticly. There is a saying called smart consumers this lady obviouly isnt, i think that most people understand a time limit and that other customers or waiting and are courdious and wont sit there for 25 min to order. And oh yeah who doesnt have a cell phone, and if your son is an adult tell him to sit up and act like one. 2 toot is a great restaraunt just keep doing what your doing.
Village Oversight

Glen Ellyn, IL

#3 Dec 13, 2008
Based on their customer treatment, they obviously didn't give 2 toots.

La Grange, IL

#4 Dec 13, 2008
Village Oversight wrote:
Based on their customer treatment, they obviously didn't give 2 toots.
I'm with ya brother
Pompous Get Reprive


#5 Dec 27, 2008
Well, I was here on 12/18, and waited to be seated for about 15 minutes. I wasn't in a rush, since my husband and kids were still on their way. I went to the washroom, came out and still proceeded to be ignored by the ignorant teenagers working there. Finally, I seated myself. Now, I have been here a number of times, but this was just rude what happens next. I sat down, called my husband and asked how long until he got there. he said "less than 3 minutes". I called-no wait-BEGGED-for a waitress to come over (no, there was only 2 other tables on this evening in occupancy) so I could get a start on the drinks. She replied that I must place the entire order at ONCE and turned and walked away. My huband arrived and asked where the drinks were. I told him, they wouldn't let me order without you all here, or making the entire order. Another girl took our drink order (gee, wasn't I just told I couldn't do that!!!???) and then came back with the drinks and took the rest of our order. Needless to say, had my kids not been so excited, I wouldn't told them to shove it out their azzes. I have been in the restaurant industry most of my life and this was THE worst treatment ever. The teenage rag should not have a job, all she wanted to do was talk. It is not like they were busy, at the time my hubby arrived, there was us and one other table. I guess that is why yesterday my friend informed me of the FIRE LINE DO NOT CROSS surrounding the building. Seems there was a partila ceiling collapse at Curves next door and/or a fire. Karma is truly a bit*h!
Train party

Los Angeles, CA

#6 Feb 2, 2009
Thank you so much for writing this article. I was planning on going there for my sons birthday and called to find out the details and now this makes soo much sense. The man (who sounds like the owner mentioned in your story) was very impersonable and unaccomodating but I didn't give it a second thought. Seeing as we have a larger group I am now worried that we will be treated in the same manner and have difficulties being seating and eating etc.. not to mention having someone ruin the mood of the evening is never very nice. I think we will go to the one in Lisle even though it's farther just to be safe. Thanks so much for your review!
Train party

Los Angeles, CA

#7 Feb 2, 2009
thanks for the tip! Sounds about right. We were going
Train party

Los Angeles, CA

#8 Feb 2, 2009
Sorry about that last incomplete message. I was just going to say that we were planning on going there for my sons birthday and called to get details. The man on the phone sounded just like the man you described. Very unfriendly and unaccomadating. Now i'm afraid we will have a bad experience there because we have a larger group and I don't want any problems. Plus, I'd hate for the mood of the evening to be ruined just b/c of one person. We will definitely go to the one in lisle even though it's farther! Thanks for the tips!

Glen Ellyn, IL

#9 Feb 2, 2009
That place is awful!Obviously they don"t need my business!I took my 3 kids there and had a similar experience.I will never go back to that hell-hole

Chicago, IL

#10 Feb 3, 2009
I met a friend there for lunch today. We'd neither one eaten there before, but did so because we both had fond memories of a long-ago restaurant in Wheaton that served via train.

My experience was opposite of any mentioned above.
The service was excellent, the food was fine (my table mate said his hamburger was excellent; my tuna sandwich was good, as were the fries), our waitress was friendly.

NOTE: Since this was my first visit (and thankfully, I had not read any of these reviews), and since I was otherwise distracted, upon entering, I missed the "please wait to be seated" sign and simply parked myself in a booth--which had ample room.(BTW, I am "fluffy" and did not feel crowded.) After I sat down, when I turned to face the waitress, I noticed the sign across the tracks from me. I said, "Oh! I'm sorry! Was I supposed to wait to be seated?" She said yes, but not to worry, that I was fine. No problem.

My friend arrived, we read the menu, we ordered, we were served, we were asked several times by different staff members if we needed refills ...

It was a very pleasant experience. I would not recommend against it, and I would certainly go back just to try the hand-patted burger my next visit.

FYI, it was apparent that you get your child out of the restaurant without a whistle by not ordering the cupcake for dessert, which comes with a whistle on top. But what fun it was to watch the delight in the children's eyes when their cupcake arrived (via train, stopping right in front of them--the same way our food did) and they gave the whistle a toot-toot--which mimicked the whistle they toot in the restaurant. Clearly, they are catering to children, but again, our visit was easy and rewarding.

You know, there are ways to both express and handle disgruntlement. The people who have posted here, who say they've been in the restaurant business, sound crankier than the ones they are complaining about. I'm wondering how they handled crabby customers when they were taking care of them.

Just another point of view ...

Glen Ellyn, IL

#11 May 27, 2009
My husband and I had a similar experience to the first poster. They have awful customer relations. From the moment you walk in the door they are rushing you out. Again, you wonder if they are expecting huge rushes to experience their culinary genius menu of burgers and hot dogs. I live 3 blocks from this place, pass it daily and I've NEVER seen a full house. People tend to spend more if they are given time to sit a few minutes and let food settle. The people who run this place are young and delusional, they must be. They will certainly never get the crowds they always seem to be waiting on. 3 of our neighbors went and were all just as unimpressed.

Don't bother, you can get a better burger at Curly's and MUCH better service.

United States

#12 Jan 29, 2010
We all love Toots Toots. Adults and children! The staff is friendly and sweet to the children. The food is ok. Our boys like the grilled cheese and juice!!! Hope you will be in bussiness for a long time!!!!
mom of 3

Lombard, IL

#13 Feb 3, 2010
We love it. Decent food, fun music, cute train, pony ride and prizes for 25 cents, and close to home. I hope it stays in Glen Ellyn for a long time!

Wheaton, IL

#14 Dec 13, 2010
Village Oversight wrote:
Based on their customer treatment, they obviously didn't give 2 toots.
Wow its a resturant geared at entertainig kids. if you were so annoyed with the whistle thing in the first place what posessed you to take your 5 year old? You need to find a hobbie!
Choo Choo Charley

Elk Grove Village, IL

#15 Dec 13, 2010
Try the Choo Choo restaurant in Des Plaines. It's the original and obviously what they copied. Except The Choo Choo treats you better.
Very Annoyed Mom

Lombard, IL

#16 Jun 6, 2011
What a disappointment! We went there to try something different. We normally go to the All Aboard Dinner in Downers Grove (AWESOME PLACE). The service was immature with the high school kids working there without management! Our food was presented within 2 minutes of ordering! There is no way a chicken breast can be fully cooked in 2 minutes which means it was pre-cooked and left in a steamer until it was served.
Our check was delivered with our food so we didn't bother to order dessert. We then had to wait nearly 10 minutes for one of the teenage girls to take our credit card. After dinning there we found out they charged our credit card FOUR times!!! We have since disputed the charges and will NEVER return there.

Schiller Park, IL

#17 Jun 6, 2011
I actually had a good experience here with our 16 month old. Wait staff was curtious and attentive.

Call me strange, but I'd rather be served by an 18-20 year old girl than some weird, middle aged man at a childern's restaurant.

Burgers aren't too bad either obviously not healthy, but hey it's a burger/hotdog joint what do you expect, the train kept the attention of my son.

We'll be going there again.

White House, TN

#18 Jul 28, 2012
I stopped by this place while visiting friends in Chicago area. I was so please to see the grass fed beef menu options. Much healthier...and the cup cakes rocked (so much for healthier but so good!) Service was great and kids looked like they were having a great time. Restaurant was clean and very cute. Come to Knoxville so I can bring my grand kids!

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