Being spoiled by the $1.50 banh mi at Nguyen Hong (Steeles/Middlefield), I've never had a reason to go elsewhere, but a family trip down to the beaches seemed the perfect opportunity to try the raved-about sandwiches at the Rose cafe (Broadview/Queen) as a quick pick-up lunch on the way.
We ordered ($1.75 each, "not spicy" for the kids) and while we were waiting, son #1 had to use the bathroom, so I took him to the back while my wife and son #2 waited for the lady making our sandwiches.
When I came back, my wife discreetly informed me that she and son #2 had been loudly reprimanded by another lady, presumably the "see tau paw" (lady boss) of the store.
For what, exactly? Well, they were looking at the nutritional information on the side of a package of something when the boss lady leaned over the counter and barked, "Don't get your hands all over the package!" (they weren't touching, by the way) to which my wife civilly replied, "We're just looking at it." Then the boss lady went to the back counter and started gossiping to a third worker.
*deep breath* To our fellow Chinese-/Asian-Canadians: do you also experience the not-talked-about phenomenon of Chinese/Asian businesses serving other cultures with big smiles while "talking down" to those of the same culture? Especially if you're "Canadian-born" like us?
To be balanced, I must admit that the lady making our sandwiches seemed to have some sympathy for us after that incident and finished our transaction very graciously (I think in part to make up for her colleague/boss' rudeness).
And for what it's worth, the sandwiches were not as fresh as Nguyen Hong. The bread was quite dry (it was before noon, not the end of the day!) and one type of the cold-cut meats in it tasted a little off. Thankfully the kids don't complain!
I'm sure others will disagree (and have every right to! :) ) but for me, a great chow find must also include good service, ESPECIALLY toward my (kindergarten-aged) kids. How then could I recommend them to our friends who also have kids?
To each his own, but the next time we head down to the beaches we'll be buying something else.