Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pretentiousness + bad service = Unhappy Customers

Yesterday was the International Women's Day and I thought it'd be fun to go out for lunch with my girl friends. Only Angela was available and we decided to try the new Le Pain Quotidien in Old Town recommended by Robyn.

The restaurant was very welcoming: communal table, pretty desserts, families with children dining on open faced sandwiches. And then the pretentiousness started. We were addressed as madames by our waiter: give me a break! We are not in France, and he was definitely not French. Angela ordered iced tea and grilled chicken & smoked mozzarella with pesto tartine. I opted for mint lemonade and tuna with olive tapenade & roasted peppers tartine. The sandwiches (tartines) arrived accompanied only by a few slices of tomatoes and cucumbers. Angela's was very good. Mine was okay, but there was nothing holding tuna to the bread, so it kept on plopping off the bread and onto the table. They should have used mayo! And the bread should have been toasted. Oh, and the roasted peppers? I would be suprised if they used more than an eigth of a pepper for my entire sandwich!

I asked if they have refills for lemonade; "of course, madame," was the answer.

I then decided I should try one of the desserts and asked if they had anything warm. The waiter recommended a winter crumble with variety of berries. I decided a simple apricot crumble would be better. It came absolutely cold! Was it too much of an inference to think that all crumbles were served warm!? I asked the waiter about this and his answer was "yes, this is served cold." Uhm...the right answer should have been "this one is cold, but we can warm it up for you." I ate my dessert cold.

Then the bill arrived, and I was charged twice for my drink. I decided it was time to chat with the manager, but our all-of-a-sudden eager waiter decided to intercept me and ask what was wrong and said he'll take the extra charge off: no apologies offered.

Very disappointing. Not sure if I'll give this another try.


Angela said...

The food and service were lacking but at least the company was fab! :)

If I ever have a restaurant of my own, I will steal their menu holder idea. A round loaf of hard bread cut down the middle with two slim slits cut to hold the menus. Ahhh, maybe your just have to see it to understand :)

cia007girl said...

saying that they offer refills doesn't mean that refills are free :p