Monday, August 20, 2007
My friend and I had planned on seeing a matinee this morning. However, we weren't able to agree on a film. Now when you're my friend, it's pretty easy to come up with an alternative. Food! So we decided to have brunch this morning at Union Bar And Grille, which she heard about for Restaurant Week.
We arrived pretty hungry, well at least I was, and we were seated right away. The place is pretty cute inside, but the tables were very close together. Our waiter arrived not too long after and we decided to order the $9.95 Early Riser All Inclusive Brunch Special from the menu. Our waiter seemed to be a pleasant enough fellow and brought us our juice, coffee, tea, and very small slightly dry pieces of coffee cake.
I started getting hungrier and noticed that our food was taking a long time. It had been close to a half an hour. The waiter seemed to be handling all the tables in our area by himself, so we figured things must be backed up in the kitchen. We started noticing other people being served. The two women sitting to my right even remarked that our food was taking a long time compared to everyone else.
Our waiter came over and apologized for the wait and asked me if I wanted more coffee. I'm not sure if someone didn't show up; they are just plain understaffed or what. I had been wondering when he would notice that my cup had been empty for a long time. He poured some more coffee. Then very soon after a server brought two plates over to me and my friend, put them in front of us really quickly and we noticed that they weren't our orders, then he quickly snatched them back and gave them to the couple sitting to my left, who had come in about fifteen minutes after us. We couldn't believe it!
The women to my right both laughed and again remarked that they just didn't want to give us our food. Now, my friend and I were getting really steamed. When our food finally arrived, we had waited about forty minutes for it. The food wasn't bad, but I won't be rushing back to this restaurant.
I had some other restaurant experiences this summer that I was going to blog about, but then didn't. One just made me so mad that I didn't want to think about it and the other was really good, but I didn't have time.
First let me tell you that the really good one is called Ivy. I definitely want to go back to this place. A different friend and I had planned to go to dinner at Vinalia, which I'll be telling you about next. I should have known from this experience not to try and go to Vinalia again. Anyway, she was going to make the reservations and we were going to meet there. You have to go up an escalator from the street level. As I'm going up, I hear this blaring techno music, which seemed rather odd. I saw an open door where the music was coming from, but figured this couldn't be the place. It was supposed to be a wine bar. I went over to an information or security desk and asked where the restaurant was located. He pointed over to the open door with the music. This did not seem right. I walked in and there were no tables or chairs, people standing around and a DJ setup blasting the music. All the staff was standing around not offering any help. I walked over to someone and asked if this was Vinalia. The woman said they were closed for a private party. Why did they even let me walk in?
I left and called my friend who was still looking for parking and told her I'd meet her outside. She said that she had called for reservations, but nobody answered. You would think that they would have had a message on an answering machine or something to inform their customers. I guess customer service is not their big thing. I didn't see anything on their website either saying that they would be closed on a Saturday night for a private party.
I had a backup restaurant in mind called Ivy. We walk in and were very cheerfully greeted by their hostesses. They asked if we had reservations. I think it was around 7:00 or 8:00. We said no, but they said that they could seat us right away if we thought that we could be out in an hour, because they had a reservation. I laughed and said that would depend on how quickly they served us. They laughed too and said they'd let the waiter know. We were seated and the waiter came over immediately. He was very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. He told us that the portions were small, so we should order a few dishes. I love this place! The decor is really lush and nice too. I want to sit upstairs next time.
Their menu is wonderful and I would have had more, but we had to eat fast, plus I actually had to go a barbecue right after. Way too much food that night! Anyway, if you go to Ivy, and I really recommend that you do, try their macaroni and cheese with truffles. Wow! I cannot wait to go back to this place. We finished within forty-five minutes. They were so nice and more than generous even seating us at all. That is customer service.
And Vinalia. I don't even want to spend too much more time talking about them. I should have known not to go back, but two co-workers wanted to go there for lunch, so I figured it would be nice for us to hang out a little bit. Long story short, our waitress seemed pissed off at the world from when we walked in. One of my co-workers is a vegan and the place was not vegan friendly. I don't recommend the place. And to top it off, I won a free lunch for myself and a group of people. I didn't take the free lunch. A free meal isn't worth it, if the staff is going to be mean to you.
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