Over the years, I have frequented this establishment many times. And the only reason I go is because I need to find a place that is relatively quiet so that I can have a conversation with people AND there is no time limit on how long I stay (other than regular business hours).
I think their coffee is OK. It is not weak and watered down some some places, but it is not the same as buying some good beans to grind and brew yourself in a good coffee maker.
Their food quality is OK. It really is nothing to write home about. They have a grill that serves up chicken, steak and burgers. I will say that the times I have had steak, they were done to the level that I specified (medium rare).
They have a minimum selection of fish (tilapia, salmon, trout). It was done nicely and served over rice.
Rösti is always a nice thing for me...I love potatoes. But you know, it isn't that difficult to make, I do it myself at home. What they make is not different from pan frying potatoes yourself, but it is till nice to have.
Dessert selection is actually decent. They have a good amount of cakes and they also make crêpes. I do taste the butter in the crêpes, so that is a good thing.
The bad / not that good?
Their oyster selection is limited to 1 - malpeques
The wine and beer (draft) selection is pretty lacking for a restaurant trying to be at this caliber. It is a very basic level selection of wines. None of the wines that I have tried over the years have ever impressed me. Some were downright terrible.
The bar service has been atrocious over the years.
- Not knowing how to pour wine - the person just turned the whole bottle upside down and let it empty into a carafe
- Not getting the wine I asked for and having to have me point it out to them which bottle it is
- Horrible draft pouring skills - way too much head and having to scoop out the head to make room to pull more beer - repeat till the glass is full
General service without a smile is what I have been faced with most of the time. Yes, there are some who collect your plates and gives you a smile when you thank them, but overall, the servers have not seemed happy or energetic working there. The other night when I went, one lady was calling out (loud) when the food was ready. Usually they just set it aside till the person comes back to pick it up. This was the first time I heard it sound like a "real" market. The cashier was also not very friendly. It may have been me not being very funny...but the credit card machine was VERY slow. I made a crack about it being slow and she just said "Yes, it is slow." She seemed annoyed that it was rejecting my credit card because the chip was failing. I had to do the process three times before it finally worked.
The washroom was not pleasant smelling. It did not smell like a public washroom in a subway station, but it was not fresh. The restaurant had only a handful of diners that night but they could not even keep the washroom neutral smelling. It was dank smelling.
I do not really understand how come so many people still come and keep them in business all these years. For the price, I could have a better meal at a number of places. The food is not overly amazing, just normal. The service is average at best. But many people still like it...That said, I will probably go back if I need a place to sit and talk for a few hours without the staff giving me dirty looks. To me, that is all this place is good for.
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