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Feb 23, 2013 08:56 PM

What's up with restaurants that don't serve coffee?

I have been to two new restaurants in the past few days - Mais Taco and Maison Publique. In both cases, when I asked for a coffee with my dessert following the meal, I was told they don't serve coffee.

In the case of Mais Taco, an espresso would have been the natural partner for their amazing chocolate bar. And if Maison Publique can serve tea, why not coffee? Is this some new trend I'm missing? Or are these (hopefully) anomalies? At least the food was good, but still...

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  1. @cherrymtl,

    it's really weird they did not serve you coffee at Maison Publique, since they have excellent (unlimited) coffee at their brunch. (They guy from Myriade was making it; I don't think he still is, but the coffee was still good last time I had it.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: luism

      They did say that they brought someone in to orovide coffee for weekend brunches, which would explain Myriade. But they don't otherwise serve coffee, which I still find strange.

    2. Lesley Chesterman's review of Maison Publique also mentioned that coffee was only served at brunch. I do think it's strange & don't understand why a restaurant would make that decision. I think a lot of people expect to be able to have coffee with their dessert. Maybe it discourages lingering so they can turn the tables faster??

      1 Reply
      1. re: stak

        Which might make sense, except that they serve tea. I was told, when I asked, that they needed the space for a machine, and a barista to prepare drinks properly. But I don't understand why they can't just offer something simple like french press coffee, if they can serve individual pots of tea.

      2. Lesley Chesterman was very critical of Maision Publique in yesterday's paper. She mentioned they don't service coffee. Very odd practice.

        6 Replies
        1. re: williej

          yeah, it was quite funny to see some responses on twitter from Societe Orignal and Myriade - it was hard to know if they were just joking or if they were quite put out by her review

                  1. re: EaterBob

                    Thanks EaterBob. SnackHappy didn't specify it was on twitter nor how to find it if it was. I thought it was a blog.

            1. I really don't know why Maison Publique doesn't have coffee, but I've been to other restaurants (namely in NYC and Boston) that don't offer desserts & warm beverages in order to expedite their turnover. However, its a bit odd that they'd have one but not the other. Maybe they legitimately don't want to serve a sub-par product, so would prefer to offer nothing at all.

              1. I went to the M on Masson and when I asked for a coffee I was told they could only give me a long extracted coffee from the expresso machine. They do not offer just a standard drip coffee.

                18 Replies
                1. re: Ruthie789

                  Well, that isn't "not serving coffee" - lots of places only do espresso machine coffee. A long one wouldn't be too strong for people who prefer milder coffee.

                  1. re: lagatta

                    An over extracted espresso wouldn't be milder, it would be bitter. However an Americano would be the drink to make. On the topic of a restaurant not serving coffee. Given the state of 99.9% of restaurant coffee, it would be a good thing.

                    1. re: poser

                      Yes, that is perfectly correct; I expressed (sorry) myself badly. I believe the proper method is adding hot water to a normal espresso?

                    2. re: lagatta

                      It also adds up on the tab. Also missing part of my story, we were asked if we preferred to drink l'eau de la ville or bottled water? I was just put off.

                      1. re: Ruthie789

                        I think I prefer that question to "sparkling or still?"

                    3. re: Ruthie789

                      I hate that kinda crap. This and MP's reasoning for not serving coffee is what happens when the snobs take over.

                      Their explanation makes perfect sense if you believe pharmacies shouldn't sell vitamins without the pharmacist on duty to consult first.

                      A restaurant not serving coffee... my head almost exploded. Are they working with the guys who have a problem with the word 'pasta' on an Italian menu? Because I'd call it the stupidest thing I've heard in years but it's been week full of that.

                      1. re: Shattered

                        I just chuckled or as the young ones say LOL!

                        1. re: Shattered

                          some of us actually care about what we're charging you for. If you're content paying $3 for nespresso, there's no shortage of restaurants who'll oblige.

                          1. re: Anth

                            It's not 'nespresso', it's not 'americano', its coffee. Cof-FEE. It's a staple, so every restaurant should "oblige", including yours.

                            Man, I don't even drink the shit and I know this. Mind boggling.

                            But hey, maybe people should list more restaurants that don't "oblige" so they can be avoided, since you and others can't "oblige" a basic part of most people's after-dinner experience.

                            1. re: Shattered

                              I don't own a restaurant, but I don't charge people for "staples" just for the sake of profit. But hey, you don't drink the shit, right?

                              1. re: Anth

                                No, but I believe ppl have a reasonable expectation to something that any reasonable person (ie. anyone who's been to any restaurant, like, *ever*) expects a restaurant to have - like plain, regular coffee!

                                p.s. I've worked in restaurants, we like to keep the customer satisfied.

                                1. re: Anth

                                  it's a bit of a power trip. regardless, chesterman put them on notice for poor execution - the lack of coffee was just icing.

                                  1. re: catroast

                                    Yes, and she said she was disappointed in the cook (oops, chef), saying he was better than he was at the previous restaurant he worked at (DNA, I think). And, of course, there was too much salt.

                                  2. re: Anth

                                    @ Anth: "I don't charge people for "staples" just for the sake of profit."

                                    But MP & M sur Masson do! Exactly my point. MP's excuse is that they will only serve it when it's profitable - of course, that barista-drawn coffee has a higher markup than a drip coffee would. Do you even see the irony of what you wrote? A $5 barista-drawn 'pretenchisio' vs. a $2 cuppa joe. Hmmm. (And please don't try to tell me the barista is more overhead. In cafes, they make $9.50/hr +tips. In a restaurant, if they claim them as a pt employee, its $6.50+)

                                    And does M charge more for a 'longue' than coffees at most restaurants? I'd be amazed if they don't.

                                    @catroast: No, their absurd reasoning for why they couldn't serve it outside brunch was the icing. Masking their profit motive as a concern for quality, whilst denying the customer what they want - well played, MP!

                                    But she certainly makes the point that the chef isn't playing to his strengths overall.

                                    1. re: Shattered

                                      let the new money have their tea. besides, there's no way that anth wakes up on sunday to sling shots for $6.50 / hr - not to mention his crazy rider.

                                  3. re: Shattered

                                    Maybe restaurants will have to serve hot chocolate too, to please everyone.

                                    1. re: marblebag

                                      Marblebag, coffee has been around for donkey years. It's a standard item on menus.

                                      1. re: marblebag

                                        Sure, but don't forget your Hannah Montana thermos, wouldn't want it spilling on the way to school!