You know, I don't like it when I'm made to look like a jerk. I'm perfectly capable of projecting such an attitude myself, so it's especially irritating when I talk-up a place and get the hose for it...
Case in point: Last week I went to this nifty little coffeehouse in Sharonville called Alreddy Coffee & Cafe. Literally, a big house with hardwood floors, classy wooden furnishings, lots of sunshine pouring through big windows, a very appealing menu of breakfast and lunch fare, and glorious coffee...
I loved it. I ordered a cappuccino, an orange juice, and a croissant sandwich. They were great. I mean, I was really into the vibe of the place and the food was good. Most importantly though, the coffee was spectacular.
As soon as Kerrie got home from work, I told her we needed to go for breakfast over the weekend. What can I say, I was into it!
But... (and there is always a "but", isn't there?)
Kerrie and I DID go for breakfast on Saturday and it went something like this: First off, the front door was locked. No real reason, just had it locked. The customers sitting at the tables in the front motioned for us to go around to the side door. Hmmm... As we went in, I got two menus from the girl behind the counter (who will hereafter be referred to as Princess) and she told me we should have a seat and she would come out an wait on us. Princess was neither rude nor pleasant, She was just there. (sigh) So Kerrie and I sat down and waited. After about ten minutes, I got up and went back to the counter. There was an older and more mature looking woman waiting on customers also, she came over to me and took my order - all the while Princess was toiling away wiping down the countertop and making coffee. I ordered an Indian Spiced Chai and a Mexican Fritatta for Kerrie, and a Cappuccino and a Belgian Waffle for myself. Top it off with two ice waters and I was told they would bring the drinks right out to our table. A few minutes later, Princess came trotting out with out hot beverages, set them down and walked away. So I got up and went to the counter, again, in search of silverware. At this point, the older woman seemed a bit put-off by my recurring trips to the counter. "We need to figure out who's waiting the tables today, OKAY?" she snapped at the Princess, then smiled and told me she would be right out with clean silverware.
Not a great start at all, but let me tell you... The food is good. Kerrie's Chai smelled SO good, hot and full of aromatic spices. My cappuccino was excellent. The foam was so thick, I stood my spoon straight up in the mug. My waffle was divine, too. It was light, crispy and perfectly cooked. There are many worse things in this world than a soggy, heavy waffle (Like a late-night drive with Ted Kennedy) but every once in a while a restaurant gets it so right, you just can't help but feel good...
Until you make your fourth trip back to the counter. They never brought out our ice water, and I had to go fetch. Finally, a man who was obviously part of the kitchen staff came out and asked if we were finished and if he could take our plates. He followed up by asking if we needed refills on anything. Oh, the irony! The one person who DOESN'T get tipped is the one who was the most attentive and polite.
You know, I don't mind going up to the counter to get stuff, IF those parameters are clearly defined at the beginning of the dining experience. When you say to a customer: "I'll be right out to wait on you...", well then... fucking do it! And don't roll your eyes when I come back up looking to be served Princess...
So I'm torn. Do I go back? I'm thinking "yes", if only for that fan-tabulous foamy capp... Sometimes, it's all about the coffee - ya dig?
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