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My kid likes pirates. I like food. How could we possibly lose on a place called Piratz Tavern when it came to planning a birthday outing?

The first clue was that we stood in the empty dining room for three or four minutes before someone from the kitchen alerted an appropriately swashbuckling type who, to be fair, looked as if he’d be as comfortable serving mead at a ren faire as bringing a paper eye patch to our 3-year-old, which he did with dispatch.

That was the fastest I saw anyone move at Piratz. Our food took 50 minutes to arrive (we were one of three parties in the joint by that point), and God forbid anyone refills your tea once in a damn while. My jerk pork sandwich was good, if sparely dressed, but my wife’s steak sandwich was aggressively average, and the kid’s fish sticks were Mrs. Paul’s-worthy and overdone.

The décor is great. Jolly Rogers abound, there are atmospheric wax drippings on tables, and knives are thrust hilt-deep in the walls above the kitchen—-though I have to wonder if they were thrown by diners too weakened by hunger to signal their dissatisfaction any other way. I’m really surprised by the half-assedness of this place. I mean, it seems like a slam dunk to entertain kids during the day and frat boys at night. Then again, maybe a real pirate wouldn’t care whether your food came in a reasonable time or if it was edible. He’d probably just shiv you and plunder your dubloons.

(Confidential to the DCist writer who expressed hope last year that Piratz’ late closing hours would offer “suburbanites the same opportunities as citydwellers to stay up way too late, eating and drinking”—this restaurant is roughly 1,600 feet from the District line.)