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Aug 31, 2010 10:57 AM

Violation of Dietary Restrictions Played for Comedy at ORIGINAL JOE'S EDMONTON

My fiance and I have lived down the street from Joe's on 109th St. for a year. As busy professionals we get take out 3-5 times a week from neighborhod restaurants. However, we have never been to Joe's, hearing not very good things about it.

The other night, we decided to give it a try. We were impressed by the diverse menu, vegetarian options and half-price wine Thursday. We decided to make it a regular place and were excited to have another dining option within walking distance, liking but being tired of Kyoto/DaCapo/Highlevel.

The next day, we got take-out from this location for lunch. We ordered a club sandwich (no bacon) and a turkey wrap (no bacon). We emphasized to the server that we could not have bacon and she was very friendly and receptive. We also ordered four sides. When we got home, two of our sides was missing--unfortunately, that's not the problem.

Three bites into the wrap, I bit into a huge piece of bacon. The same thing happened to my fiance with his meal. Having not eaten bacon in over twelve years, it was upsetting. Most of the bacon in the wrap is finely chopped, so I had obviously eaten a few bites of the bacon before I discovered it.

We called the manager to alert him because we did not want this to happen to other diners. He could not have cared less and he laughed at us for being concerned about the bacon in the dish. I also informed him about the missing sides and he said "oh yeah I'll let the kitchen know."

When I said that I understand mistakes happen but that he seemed unconcerned that his restaurant had played loose with diners' serious dietary restrictions, he said "it's just bacon. I'll tell the kitchen! kay! bye!" and laughed more and hung up on me.

We were really shocked. We've had bacon accidentally put in our take-out or dine-in meals at other places (including at Red Ox Inn and Ruth's Chris), but we've never been laughed at when we notified the manager about it. Usually it's a quick "sorry" and they fix it--no big deal for them or for us. He can find our dietary choices amusing on his own time, but to be so blatant and dismissive about the error made us angry.

Further, he did nothing about the missing sides, which is just bad business.

Red Ox Inn
9420 91 Street, Edmonton, AB T6C 3P4, CA

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  1. Unfortunately quite often places like this can't figure out how to make changes. Often with something like a stirfry, everything is just pre-mixed in a big bowl and they scoop it out. With a club sandwich or a wrap, it should be easy though. Can't say that Joes is a place I frequent -food is OK but no better than any of the other boring chains around, good when desparate but not worth seeking out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dan G

      I just received an e-mail from the head office, who I notified after the incident. I have never been so impressed with a company before! Not only did were they efficient in taking care of the incident--within four hours!--but they were sincerely apologetic.

      Amongst other remedies, they have now modified their kitchen policy and will have every item double checked by the manager so this doesn't happen again.

      The food at OJ's is fine, but their attention to this matter and commitment to it not happening again is just outstanding.

      And, I must say, I am surprised--being a chain I didn't think they'd really care or, at most, would offer a half-hearted sorry and gift certificate. The fact that they are this committed to customer service and food quality speaks volumes about their company.

      We're making this our new number one take-out spot in the area.

    2. Meh. Unfortunately your story doesn't surprise me. Probably why I always stick to beer when I've been to OJ's in the past.

      1 Reply
      1. re: S_B_Russell

        They were REALLY amazing about taking care of things so I am 100% confident it's probably the safest place to eat now.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. The original (no pun intended) response is very unfortunate but it seems head office had some common sense and the ability to make the correct changes.

          I frequent Original Joe's in Calgary quite often. They are a pub with pub food but I've found it to be of high quality at a competitive price. My brother worked at one location as well and said it doesn't take more than a line cook to put it together but it's a step up from most places.

          Can't agree with you on the bacon though, bacon makes my world go round.

          Original Joe's Restaurant & Bar
          3690 Westwinds Dr NE, Calgary, AB T3J 5H3, CA