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Greasy Spoon (how one should follow his intuition, or pay the price)

Went to "Greasy Spoon" (Laurier W.) last week.

I wanted to eat sushi, but more important, I wanted to sit on a terrasse (and there are not that many close to where I live), so I walked passed "Jun I" to go see what what happening at "Greasy Spoon". Terrasse 2/3 full, some people seated inside, someone chucking oysters...

ok, I took the chance, if they want a solo taking a terrasse place, then I'm doing it; mixed crowd of mostly groups of girls/guys, early to mid 30s

Seating at my place, ordered a gin-tonic, came back in a small glass, not really tasting the gin, but did not think much about it, I was reading. Ordered a 2nd one with a 1/2 dozen oysters. Came the oysters, well chucked with a very good mignottte (with lots of black pepper which I like with my oysters)

Then, ordered the Halibut (fl├ętan), pan fried, served with very "2000-ish" bok-choy and balls of carrots; the fish was well cooked, the sides, well, kind of ordinary. with that, a couple of glassed (tumblers) of pinot blanc (didn't asked because the wine list was ordinary and not many choices)

And decided to get desert, a big piece of bownie with ice cream, what not to like; well, I would have swapped the size with more "quality", or maybe better worded as make it a lot more chocolate brownie-ish than "cake-ish"; it seemed to be a desert to be shared.

Well, not too bad food wise... but the service was overly friendly, my waitress seems to spend too much time chatting with customers, heck not chatting, but getting into a friendly discussion, that her collegue had to call her up to to take care of business; and the worse (or maybe the "wierdest" is that I was reading a book with "art images" in it and the waitress asked about it, I answered; and without asking, she picked up the book and flipped the pages...

That kind of startled me, never happened to me before; I just kind of "closed" after that. finished my meal, paid; left a sub-normal tip and quietly leave.

Me think she was not used to deal with a "single" that likes to sit down, eat and drink, and just be; most of the other groups and tables were more "actively" involved in their evening. (if you get my meaning).

so the conclusion, a lot more expensive that I was ready to pay; 2 gin-tonic (under-powered), 2 small glasses of wines; 1/2 doz. oysters, fish and desert ... for the nice final of $92 farking bucks. (the oysters were $3 a piece!!)

the final conclusion... I should have listened to my instinct and stopped at JunI instead; well, we all learn from our mistakes; my reaction probably sounds worse that it was, but I rarely feel bad about a restaurant; and I wanted to like that place, they have a good location, nice terrasse (with late afternoon/evening sun).

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  1. I'm sorry to be dense, but what exactly was the problem here? If you order things knowing the price, the final bill should not be a surprise. If the waitress is friendly, how is that a problem? Sounds like you were well taken care of, and actually had a server who cared. I think that leaving a "sub-normal" tip is completely uncalled for. Unless you omitted some really bad incidents, sounds like they did nothing wrong.

    3 Replies
    1. re: maisonbistro

      I just felt the service was lacking, being waited by one, served by another; waiters that seem trying too hard be friends, ... maybe it was just me, bad timing, bad frame of mind. don't know...

      I've been in other places where somethings or ther other was lacking but felt that I belonged there, of felt that it was worth it (even if expensive). In short, there is nothing there that would make me go back; maybe it's the quality/price that wasn't there for me ?

      For example, "La Buvette" is a fun place, the service is not perfect, but does not look to be spending time chatting with clients; it's a place a don't mind spending money.

      1. re: Maximilien

        Oysters are $3 each in most of the restaurants that I have been to of late. Add 4 drinks, a main course, and dessert and the bill does not sound unreasonable.

      2. re: maisonbistro

        Indeed, if you're buying food in a restaurant, check the prices first, it seems common sense.

      3. I have to agree with eat2miuch, ordering 4 drinks and oysters was always going to drive up your bill and when you add a main and dessert, well.....
        Plus, i see what youre saying about the wait staff. I've been there a few times and they are a bit "fake" if you will, but I think that management is really trying to engrain that into them. Because their clientele seems to include a big yuppie crowd, they probably want to get customers to believe they can get the waitress' number. So in other words, you get 20-something gorgeous women who have probably never waited a table before.
        But the food, I find is generally pretty good, and their prices are reasonable compared to some other places in the city.

        1. I think that you overreacted to the prices. It is NOT a greasy spoon restaurant so you should not expect those prices. As for the bok choy being very 2000, bok choy is a vegetable. It is served in many restaurants and as long as it is prepared well, then there should not be any issues. Also, their menu changes every day. The food is market fresh.

          Try it again. Go with some friends this time. See how your ideas change.

          1. I've eaten at the Greasy Spoon three times now and I gotta say, I really like it. The half-shell oysters are pricey, sure, but frankly, they are some of the best I've eaten. (And I am an American Southern girl who grew around the Gulf so I know good seafood.) The cocktails are tasty and whimsical, the main plates pretty tasty for the price. I am going to try and drag the husband there again this weekend (I aim to go every other month).

            1. Picking up your private reading material and looking through it without asking is intrusive and unacceptable. The intentions might not have been malicious but that is rude thing for even a friend to do, let alone a random waitress.

              2 Replies
              1. re: reelection

                I have no informed opinion on that place as it has always given me the creeps. That is just visceral, as I said. None of my friends who live nearby have ever had the slightest desire to eat there, terrasse or not. Funny how gut feelings are...

                1. re: lagatta

                  Your gut feeling is, imo, the right one. I ate there a few times about a year ago and its all about the scene, from host to waiting to cocktails and on and on. Its a shame, because the food actually isn't bad, or it wasn't then, but the scene turns me off completely. It also isn't exactly cheap (though to be fair not unreasonably so) and given the other options in the area I couldn't see myself going back.

              2. Why were you "startled" about her picking up your "art" book? was it a rare 1st with a dust jacket? did she rip out a page or something? with some smooth dialogue maybe you could have hit it off and gotten her number.

                i have been to that restaurant. the poutine starter was nice and flavorful. the hot chicken was average. i found it was the same scene as Mbrgr and decided once was enough. i like the food better on notre dame at Liverpool H.

                harry