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Aug 4, 2008 10:25 AM

John's Italian Cafe- Horrible Service

The first time I went there the meal started off relatively fine. The starters and salads came and everything was tasty. My main came and it was god awful. I told the server the food wasn’t good. Instead of offering me something else, he told me that he ate it and the HE thought it was delicious. This server with his snooty Australian accent had a bland personality with no customer service or people skills. He did manage to bring me another choice of mains so in the end I wasn’t overly impressed but not totally put off the place.
Yesterday, I went back. There were a few main options that went something like this:
1. Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken
2. Another boring pasta main I can’t remember
3. Pesto Eggplant with spinach
Roasted tomato and
Our ponytailed waiter came over oozing with anger and surliness. He walked over. We were smiling. He gets to our table and just stands there with this crap mean look on his face. He is standing there saying nothing giving us this weird look. I finally decided to put an end to the awkwardness, smiled and asked him “How are you today”. He just nods like he is doing us a favour. By this time I’m pissed at his bitchiness. I asked him about special number three. My friend and I where interested to know what it was. It was last on the menu without a main or appetizer heading and came after the pasta’s. I thought it might be some kind of bruchetta mixture over pasta? I basically needed some clarification on the dish. He was silent again looking at us like we where rude and stupid.
“It’s pretty self explanatory”. He flatly replies.
“Do you know what Pesto is?” He asks us condescendingly. In the same breath he guffaws.
“So is it a pasta dish”
“So it’s on bread”?
“So the eggplant mixture is the brochette topping?”
He stands there looking as irritating as possible.
We told him we needed a few more minutes. We quickly got up and left the restaurant. What is it with this place? The owners are hell bent on hiring hung-over ugly international surfer types devoid of personality. They also seem happy with driving away customers by the droves. I’m done with Johns.

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  1. Glad to hear you asserted yourself and took your money elsewhere... too many restos on the pretty Baldwin strip to put up with crap service from a place that already struck one once.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rabbit

      Disgraceful. Yet another sad example of Toronto's horrendous service problem.

      I was in Calgary. Every place I ate at had friendly, accommodating, warm, knowledgeable, happy-to-be there servers who took pride and enjoyment in their work. I couldn't believe it! I didn’t know how to process it all -- I just wasn’t used to that kind of service. My Calgarian friend said this is just how service was in Calgary - it was normal, not unusual at all. I always knew Toronto service was obviously not the greatest or friendliest but it was not until I saw what servers were like in other cities did I realize how terrible our service situation truly is in this city. This is just another example of the rude, apathetic, inept, and sometimes hostile service that goes unchecked in this city. These servers, and the managers/owners that employ them and/or don’t train them properly ought to be ashamed of themselves and their business should suffer accordingly, as we suffer these unprofessional fools. Good for you food face.

      I will stay away from John's on Baldwin. Menu sounds pretty boring at any rate.

    2. That is a pretty typical experience from John's. It is on many people's "used to be good" list. So is Cafe la Gaffe across the street.
      Good for you for standing up for yourself and your guests.