so we went to palatte again today..my friend and i had a arts' board meeting downtown. she runs 2 businesses downtown, and in addition to being managing editor of a local mag, and we do everything we can to support cenpho businesses.
we walk in, get the 'have you been here before' spiel for the owner and we told him about our unfortunate experience the day before.
we asked if he wanted our opinion and he said 'well, yeah but i don't know if i'll do anything about it'..ok fine, whatever.
we told him our issue with the self serve counter action - and how even at that moment, you had to tell everyone. grab a menu, head to the counter around the corner, grab a table. its awkward!! esp when its busy. where are you supposed to stand because there's no space! in fact, we pointed out people around us, looking uncomfortable, trying to figure out where to stand and what to do while you're holding a menu.
so we order, i got a coffe and the bev *egg spinach dish* and my friend got an iced coffee and the potato.
i get a coffee cup unceremoniously handed to me. uh, ok..what am i supposed to do with this?
we sit down, and my friends iced coffee shows up. only its the color of iced tea. so we send it back - thats iced tea, not coffee. turns out it is. they took a cup of ice and poured coffee over the top of it. lukewarm, diluted, and tasted like dishwater. she sent ended up trading it for regular coffee.
my friends dish comes first - not much in the way of potatoes, and with some unnamed flavor we guessed was cinnamon. cinnamon? hrm. and the cheese? well, if cheese is heated too much over a grill, with eggs, you separate out the water, so you end up with a runny mess. which was precisely how the dish showed up. runny, wet, and not enough potatoes to qualify as a potatoe dish.
so, i still have an empty coffee cup. we've had 3 visits from staff *bringing the iced coffe 2x, then my friends food*, and no one notices my empty cup. so i finally i just decide i'll get my own coffee. s o i do. and have to ask the guy at the counter 'is it self serve?'. it is. and the cream/milk/etc are glass jugs in tubs of water. yowza. safe food handling temperature much?
15 minutes after my friend gets her food, the owner comes back to see if we're ok. i ask - is my food coming? he sends it over. don't know what happened but it was no longer hot. the toast? if it truly was whole grain thats news to me. and the bev? strangely greasy, and devoid of any seasoning - no discernable salt, pepper, or any other hebs. yipes!! and the avocado look like someone scraped it out of the peel and tried to slice it. nicely prepared it would have been a decent presentation. in its current incarnation it was embarrassing.
the fruit side we both got? apples and plums. the apples were soft, and the fruit wasn't cold. whether it rose to room temperature while it sat out for 15 minutes i'll never know.
so the owner comes back to talk to us. here's where the condescending attitude came in. evidently he and his wife have lived all over : nyc, san fran, paris, australia. and this, counter service, is the way it is. and they are here to teach phoenix what its like in the rest of the world. we just looked at each other. we both lived in nyc, and i lived in the bay area, and we've both spent extensive trips abroad, including my 2 stints in cooking schools in france and thailand. and if counter service is the way it is in those places it's news to us. his parting comment sealed the deal, tho. 'we're targeting people who get it'. so, clearly we don't.
thats fine. we'll get it at au petit four or coronado cafe or matt's. flavorful, straightforward food served with a smile and not a side of attitude.
i can forgive a multitude of sins, esp for a newly opening restaurant. like switch, where the manager pulled up a chair and said 'tell me what you think'. im sure he wasn't in love with every thing we said, but he smiled and nodded and listed to what we said. in a thousand years i can't imagine a restaurant in a newly opened establishment telling people who he KNEW walked out the day before that we clearly don't get it, and this place isn't for us, because clearly we hadn't been to nyc, san fran or france.
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