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Crazyweed - Canmore

m
misscheeks Oct 23, 2006 05:21 AM

So I consider myself a pretty forgiving person in restaurants in general, but my most recent experience at Crazyweed was so bad, I simply have to share.

There were 6 of us. We started by telling our server we would share the scallops and a flatbread to start, 'for the table'. We also put in our orders for our mains.

She arrived with the apps and as she announced the arrival of the scallops she said 'and here are your scallops - err - i mean scallop'. YES low and behold just ONE single scallop on a bed of friseé. After we all picked our jaws up from the table, i asked her if this was intentional as the menu said 'scallops', plural, and the thing cost $16! She assured us that yes, in fact the portions are measure by weight so sometimes you only get one. Ya right, it wasnt even that big! Regardless, i think if they cant secure a good amount of scallops to serve, it should be removed from the menu. I also didnt appreciate her incredulence to the situation, almost acting as if my questioning it was innapropriate. Also, she could have suggested it wasnt a good appetizer for the table to share!

So we start cutting into the flatbread and 'scallop' and she comes back to announce that our mains are ready. At this point i could barely take it anymore and told her that we had just started eating our apps, there was no room on the table, and further, this really wasnt our problem. She told us they were getting cold, and we told her to just put them under the heatlamp then! we were just taking our first bites of our appetizers! she said they didnt have heatlamps. Fine.

We all just stared at eachother wondering if this was a bad dream, wondering when it would end.

She walked away and, without asking her to go ahead, she came back and started putting the plates down on the table...forcing our plates of appetizers to the side. Finally my one friend snapped and said 'no! i am just starting to eat my apetizer, there is no room!' and she gave a look like she was equally fed up with us. At this point i wanted to throw my water at her.

She explained that she 'thought she heard' we were hungry so that was why she thought we would want our food out asap. Again, it seemed to be our fault we were in this situation.

We took our mains seeing as she kept delivering them anyways and tried to make the best of an awful waitress. We couldnt believe what had just happened and definitely were talking openly about how insane this all was.

Not sure if the chef/owner woman noticed (we were sitting at the back table directly beside the open kitchen) but the waitress came back after our meal and apologized saying she was sorry she rushed us and offered desert. They comped us 3 free deserts so... that was, I guess, somewhat of a makeup.

Anyways, the food really was as excellent as I remember it, but the service was even worse! i had even warned my friends the service was awful in there, but nobody was expecting that!

I had the flatbred with smoked salmon and also tasted the lamb curry special with fresh yoghurt which was so so so good.

Here is the thing. Even tho I am 30 years old now, I still feel like I get second rate service from servers who think we are just a bunch of punk kids. We work hard, have money and we tip sometimes better than our parents for godsakes! the whole thing just pisses me off as she was sucking up to two big-wigs who were sitting next to our table having a business dinner. I think I hate her. It makes me mad even writing this...the waitress with the red hair if anyone wants to know! ;-) boooooooooooooooooooo

  1. y
    yen Oct 23, 2006 05:51 AM

    Sorry you had such a shitty experience - there really is no excuse for that sort of service. I have had that kind of service once before at Crazyweed (where i was pretty ticked too), but that was one out of 15 times so i chalked it up to a bad day. I dont believe she had red hair though :)

    To key on one comment you made though, I agree with you that those of us in our late 20's/early 30's often get second-rate service wherever we dine. I, for a fact, know i tip better than my parents. I know i tip better than 99% of the population. I am understanding, patient, and very generous, yet often times, this courtesy is not extended in return. My solution these days is to say something: i've decided that it is no longer my place to keep quiet and walk out of the restaurant without mentioning anything. If im unhappy with the food, the service, drinks, anything - i say so. It's not to try and get comp's, or to be an ass, but to bring it to their attention so they might do something about it.

    The cynical side of me says most establishments don't care that much anyway, but the good ones will. And that's enough for me. Unfortunately, my dining companions are often embarassed by the fact i mention when things weren't to our liking, but that's the perils of dining out with me :)

    1. m
      Miles Oct 23, 2006 11:58 PM

      The food at Crazy weed is good; what is the deal with the service? I have stopped going to eat in and only get takeout.

      1. m
        misscheeks Oct 24, 2006 12:59 PM

        Funny, my mom was so sick of the service there she resolved to only order takeout as well. This plan worked well once, but then she phoned, they put her on hold , forgot about putting the phone down, and kept the phone off the hook for an hour! This happend to her twice no-less!

        They need to drop the whole our-food-is-so-good-we-can-do-whatever-we-want attitude.

        I notice alot at restaurants that because of my age or youthful appearance i'll call it ;-), I dont necessarily get 'bad service' sometimes but that every table in the restaurant got bread for instance, except ours. The wait staff take shortcuts.

        Yen, I totally agree, sometimes you have to suck it up and speak up, making things awkward. Its almost more insulting sometimes to keep your mouth shut.

        www.rundown.blogspot.com

        1. formerlyfingers Oct 24, 2006 03:45 PM

          Great thoughts here today. I will chime in and say that i agree with the other 20 and 30 somethings about the oft poor treatment from mostly Calgary area restos towards our set. Most of the top chefs today are in fact from this age group, and maybe its time for restaurants here to notice what is happening in the greater dining world as a whole. What i mean is the push towards more accessible and dare I say even casual dining experiences where the pomp and formality of eating out is replaced by comfort, relaxed atmosphere and hipness. One needs look no further than the source itself, Lyon, France, where Joel Robuchon, one of the greatest chefs of our time, has created a new trend towards casual high end in his spot L'Atelier. Here the food is priority #1 but not at the expense of service. Service has been modified and scaled back to its namesake "to serve" period. Efficient, timely, intelligent and seamless serving of the food, to the mostly 30's crowd. Look at all the best restaurants in Vancouver, for example. They are full of this very age group. Why? Because we represent the current culture of the day. And we have money. And we are educated. And we know about good food and wine. And we don't live in the world our parents lived in, even if some restaurants still cater to that crowd. Piss us off and you'll have made a colossal mistake. Why? We will be around longer, for starters, and we have learned that good food, wine and service is our right, not our priveledge. It's what the whole world knows. I am thirty years old too, just turned. And what I want is the very best this city can offer me. Sadly, what I often receive is what Yen and Gobstopper and Misscheeks described: callous, uncaring, sloppy, and generally unprofessional service. Calgary restaurants: your job is to please your customer. The oil executive and the computer programmer and the blue collared. And the fellow industry professionals like me and gobstopper who often dine incognito and in casual clothes on purpose.This world with the internet and travel and ever shrinking culinary borders is available to us all, and we expect your best. Isn't that why folks do this? John Manzo, all I can say is that even when I couldn't afford to, I ate well because I made it a priority. Sorry you only discovered it later on in life. Not my problem you couldn't or wouldn't eat well at "my age", with all due respect. Here is my list of places in Calgary that seem to get it more than others. Divino. Eight. Raw Bar. Brava. Living Room(though their food has slipped in the last couple years.) Most sushi places, esp. Globefish, Uptown. In Vancouver...Chambar, West, Feenie's, Guu, Vij's, the Bin's. Old guard: pay attention to what the new guard is doing. It's where dining is going.

          1. The Chowhound Team Oct 24, 2006 07:24 PM

            Please feel free to add your input about your personal experiences with the service at Crazyweed or other local restaurants, but for general discussions about service as related to age, please start a new thread on the Not About Food board. Thanks.

            1. p
              prix fixe Nov 10, 2006 06:47 AM

              It truly saddened me to read this rant as it may deter diners from experiencing one of the top gems in Alberta. I feel you have put a bad spin on us, the 20-30 something crowd - "I think I hate her"?!? This evening I returned home from a 1 hour trek (Calgary to Canmore) Crazyweed met my gastronomic expectations in food, wine and service. This brunette would like to thank all hair colours for such a wonderful dining experience.

              1 Reply
              1. re: prix fixe
                y
                yen Nov 10, 2006 07:13 AM

                In one way you have a point - it is unfortunate that such a review may deter people from trying a restaurant that serves great food.

                On the other hand, the point of the post really was a complaint about the service - a point that was validated by several of us who have had great food, but lousy service at the Crazyweed. The regulars here are generally extremely open-minded, and people i would not consider to be reactionary - it takes something remarkably bad to generate such a passionate post.

                Most CH's love Crazyweed - look back at posts for the past 3 years, and you'll see pretty much unequivocally, people always recommend it. This wasnt slander of a good establishment, this was reporting a series of incidents that have occured to several credible posters.

                I for one whole-heartedly encourage people to speak up - otherwise, people who do try Crazyweed based on all the positive reviews about the food, might have a similarly bad service experience, and blame our board for a misleading review. People should make decisions with their eyes open - Crazyweed does not always have bad service, but it does happen.

                As for the bad spin on the 20-30 demographic, obviously based on the responses that were posted (there were several more that were deleted) - misscheeks, myself, formerlyfingers, and shazam. this is not an isolated incident. It is not indicative of all restaurants, nor is it indicative of all servers, but it happens more than it should. And that is worth mentioning.

                This black haired person would like to thank all servers who respect and treat all customers equally, including those at the Crazyweed, for their wonderful service.

              2. j
                jeffwhit Nov 10, 2006 11:40 PM

                I have never experienced service like this at Crazyweed, although I have never dined there exclusively with people of my own age group (I am 27.) Still, it ticks me off that should even be an issue. On another thread I complained about the quality of food at Siding Cafe, but failed to mention the service had taken a similar, though not as extreme direction as the food.

                1. m
                  misscheeks Nov 14, 2006 01:40 PM

                  prix fixe,
                  Trust me, I love Crazyweed more than anyone and thought well and hard before being so harsh. In fact, I feel like I am overly fair at allowing restaurants to have a few slips in service. The point is, this experience in poor-service was truly off the charts. Have you ever had your server just start pushing your apetizer plates to the side as you are eating? Am I supposed to bite my tongue simply because the food itself is awesome?

                  Lastly, this was not even near the first time myself or my family have had terrrible service there.

                  PS - the 'i think i hate her' and hair colour mention were obivously to be taken lightheartedly. Regarless I am sure I'll still be back this winter, tho I'll be giving the redhead the evil eye. ;-)

                  1. m
                    mikeberg Apr 4, 2008 06:15 PM

                    I understand your frustrations at The Crazyweed. I went there in January and the food was very good and interesting. I really like the uniqueness of the menu, but I'll have to agree that the service is not great to say the least. I think I'm almost immune to all the bad service out there. Living in Calgary with a shortage of workers in almost every industry, I see the bad service everywhere. It too bad because even if the meal was the best you have ever had if the service sucks it just ruins the whole experience.
                    Cheers!!! to a better dining experience.

                    1. a
                      Anomay Feb 11, 2009 02:47 PM

                      Has anyone been to Crazyweed in the last 6 months for dinner? We're thinking of going there for Valentine's Day.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Anomay
                        h
                        happyeats Feb 12, 2009 06:59 AM

                        Hi!

                        We were there last April, not too long after they'd moved to their new building. We thought the food was wonderful! Mind you, maybe we're not huge food snobs. I enjoy almost anything if someone else cooks it!

                        Seriously, though, it was awesome. The service,the evening we were there ,was phenomonial. My sister showed up somewhat unexpectedly , so we had already ordered. The waitress did her best so all of us would get our meals together, and we did. She was very friendly too, and the place was very busy.

                        The room at that time was pretty bare. But, they didn't have any of their pictures up. It might not be the most romantic place, if that's what you had in mind, especially for Valentines.

                        Another option would be The Trough. The food there too, is wonderful and it might be a tad more romantic. Service there is over the top. Your water glass is never even half empty and they give you some little tasters of wine and appies, which are kind of nice.Hope you have lots of fun wherever you go!

                        1. re: happyeats
                          a
                          Anomay Feb 16, 2009 12:36 PM

                          Crazyweed was a disappointment.

                          When we arrived at 5:30pm, it seemed like they weren't ready for business. Their special Valentine's Day menu wasn't ready - we were given poor quality print-out from their website.

                          Food was good, but the service was terrible. We were given the dessert menu and be urged to order before we even receive our main courses! When we mentioned that we still haven't eaten our main dishes yet, the waitress informed that if we ordered ahead, the kitchen then could "make them right away." For the price they charge, this level of service is not acceptable.

                          I guess they only care about turning tables on Valentine's Day than making the customers happy. The table next to us waited over an hour for their food too.

                          It was too bad.

                          1. re: Anomay
                            howlin Feb 16, 2009 01:54 PM

                            thats probably the reason the attitudes are bad,in that there is someone else around the corner waiting to eat ,and anouther behind them ect.quantity not quality.more peaple in ,more money to make ,consider yourselves the victims of the almighty dollar.on that note i must try this place out on my trip to van this spring.any food recs?

                            1. re: howlin
                              h
                              happyeats Feb 16, 2009 02:44 PM

                              Anomay,

                              I am so sorry to hear you had a bad experience at Crazyweed. (Especially after I said how good it was.) You said the food was good, but the service was awful. Was it because it was busy or was she just all around terrible? Do you ever contact the restaurant following to let them know you haven't been pleased? I never have, but I think if I was really disappointed, I would. Hope your next experience, wherever it may be, is better.

                              1. re: happyeats
                                a
                                Anomay Feb 17, 2009 08:03 AM

                                I think the issue is partly due to Valentine’s Day, but mostly due to inexperienced staff and disorganization. I’m not sure talking with management will help.

                                I didn’t mean to say that your review of Crazyweed was invalid, Happyeats. Just that our experience was different …

                                On happier note, we did have a great experience with the Sunday Brunch at Banff Spring Hotel! Awesome food, attentive staff, and desserts to die for!

                                1. re: Anomay
                                  ybnormal Feb 18, 2009 03:12 PM

                                  Sorry that you had a bad experience at Crazyweed. I like it there myself. After talking to some food people and having experienced it myself, I pretty much avoid all special restaurants during Valentine's Day and Mother's Day for sit-down dinners. Going one day before (or so) to celebrate yields a much better experience.

                                  Case in point, went to Olives Friday night instead of Saturday with 3 other couples. Very good food and fantastic service all around.

                      2. h
                        happyeats Feb 17, 2009 08:30 AM

                        Glad to hear the Banff Springs was better. We have never eaten there but maybe we'll check it out next time we're in the area.

                        I guess talking to management wouldn't help probably given the situations with staffing in Canmore. Maybe lots of young folk just come for ski season and by the time they are adequately trained, they go back home. I always think if I ran a restaurant, I would like to hear what the shortcomings are so I could work on improving them.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: happyeats
                          c
                          cookin_mama Feb 19, 2009 01:22 PM

                          I've been a 'lurker' on Chowhound for awhile, but I really wanted to add to this post. I wouldn't want someone to come to Canmore and spend good money to have a miserable experience. I have to agree that the food at Crazyweed is excellent ( I've only been there once, really enjoyed the food though), but I am floored by the service I experienced, as well friends & families stories. My experience was not terrible. Lunch took almost 2 hours, and the service staff offered no apologies.

                          A group that included my parents went to the restaurant for lunch, and when 2 of the women were served the wrong meals (one received the buffalo burger, another a beef burger, easy enough mistake) the server insisted they just switch plates, after they had each taken a bite out of the meal! Some family friends were also kicked out of the restaurant by the owner when they sent food back because it was undercooked. He actually followed them, yelling, out the front door!

                          I know Crazyweed has received excellent reviews, but I think it's gone to their head.

                          1. re: cookin_mama
                            c
                            cgyfoodie Apr 12, 2009 09:23 PM

                            Crazyweed was recommended to me by a friend that has a condo in Canmore. I have to say after reading the reviews above, I was somewhat skeptical of going there for Easter dinner.

                            First off, it's a very unassuming building and when we drove up, it almost looked like it was a cafeteria. To my surprise it's probably one of the best restaurants I've been to in a long time. The food was fantastic and the service excellent, however, the restaurant wasn't packed. It appeared that there were 3 wait staff on, but, I couldn't tell if there were others in the back of the restaurant. We were served quickly and attentively by all three. Our main server was a lovely young woman originally from the French Riviera. She was extremely pleasant and very accomodating. My daughter is a vegetarian and she offered to go back and speak with the chef about other vegetarian options which weren't on the menu.

                            Perhaps they've had complaints about service that they're taking it a little more seriously. An excellent choice if you're in Canmore!

                        2. p
                          pglenn Apr 19, 2009 08:32 PM

                          My 30 something Canmore friend and I dined at Crazyweed on Thursday. We had one appetizer between us and a salad and the samosas to share. It was a great meal, well paced and fantastic service. I only had to call the server over once b/c we decided on a second beer. The samosas we over-the-top flavorful and crisp with a little kick. I will definitely order that again.

                          I do have one suggestion - add a place to place a purse in the washroom.

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