I just returned from a week in Manzanita, OR. Food choices aren't great in the area, but I was taken out to brunch at the Gower St. Pub in Cannon Beach and was impressed. The decor is charming--although the chairs look better than they feel. I had their corned beef hash, which was tasty and interesting--it's kind of a deconstructed version, with the corned beef sliced and served in a gratin dish with a melange of onions and potatoes, seasoned with what I believe was primarily rosemary and butter. Accompanied by good sourdough toast and perfectly poached eggs. They were quite busy--every seat filled, inside and out, but the service was efficient and friendly.
I took a couple of people out for lunch there a couple of days later and things were different. It was slow--three tables occupied, and perhaps as a result of that, staffing was light--a waitress and one cook. The waitress spent a lot of her time--in ten minute increments--talking to the people at a table outside with complete disregard for the two tables inside. A fellow at the next table finally went outside to get her so he could pay his check. She didn't appear happy to have her conversation interrupted, but she came in and took care of him. Meanwhile, we waited. And waited. Our food came out about half an hour after we were seated, which seemed like a long time, but we were OK with that. I had the Gower St. benedict, which consisted of poached eggs on dungeness crab cakes, sauced with a creole hollandaise. It was not as good as the corned beef hash, primarily because the crab cakes had a LOT of binder in them and were gummy as a result. Eggs and hollandaise well-executed, though. My brother had the Gower St BLT, which is served open-face with a poached egg on top. His egg was seriously overdone--they never should have let it out of the kitchen that way. My sister's goat cheese/asparagus/wild mushroom scramble was fine.
The waitress continued to do a poor job after our food was delivered--what little service we got was delivered with tons of attitude. A woman at the table next to us ordered what was specifically stated to be a shellfish salad, and she showed the waitress, on one of her rare appearances, a fish bone that she'd pulled out of her order, asking what a fish bone was doing in a shellfish salad. The waitress looked at it and told her that she was wrong: it was crab cartilage, which was just complete b.s. Not that big a deal, but indicative of this girl's demeanor. We once again had to call her inside to get the check, and she was really snotty. I'm sure we hit the kitchen in a rough spot, but there's no excuse for crappy service.
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