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

cherylmtl Feb 23, 2013 08:56 PM

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. l
    luism RE: cherylmtl Feb 23, 2013 11:38 PM


    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
      cherylmtl RE: luism Feb 24, 2013 07:41 AM

      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. s
      stak RE: cherylmtl Feb 24, 2013 12:16 PM

      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
        cherylmtl RE: stak Feb 24, 2013 01:34 PM

        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. w
        williej RE: cherylmtl Feb 24, 2013 01:57 PM

        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
          unlaced RE: williej Feb 24, 2013 02:06 PM

          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: SnackHappy
            williej RE: SnackHappy Feb 24, 2013 04:42 PM

            How do we find that blog?

            1. re: williej
              SnackHappy RE: williej Feb 24, 2013 04:47 PM

              What blog? I'm not following you.

              1. re: williej
                EaterBob RE: williej Feb 24, 2013 05:35 PM


                Specifically this one

                1. re: EaterBob
                  Fintastic RE: EaterBob Feb 24, 2013 06:43 PM

                  Its nice to be noticed..

                  1. re: EaterBob
                    williej RE: EaterBob Feb 24, 2013 07:01 PM

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

            2. f
              Fintastic RE: cherylmtl Feb 24, 2013 02:43 PM

              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. Ruthie789 RE: cherylmtl Feb 24, 2013 04:41 PM

                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
                  lagatta RE: Ruthie789 Feb 24, 2013 05:38 PM

                  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
                    poser RE: lagatta Feb 24, 2013 05:45 PM

                    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
                      lagatta RE: poser Feb 24, 2013 06:42 PM

                      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
                      Ruthie789 RE: lagatta Feb 24, 2013 06:16 PM

                      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
                        hala RE: Ruthie789 Feb 24, 2013 07:11 PM

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

                    3. re: Ruthie789
                      Shattered RE: Ruthie789 Feb 24, 2013 06:34 PM

                      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
                        Ruthie789 RE: Shattered Feb 24, 2013 06:36 PM

                        I just chuckled or as the young ones say LOL!

                        1. re: Shattered
                          Anth RE: Shattered Feb 24, 2013 07:00 PM

                          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
                            Shattered RE: Anth Feb 24, 2013 07:27 PM

                            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
                              Anth RE: Shattered Feb 24, 2013 07:30 PM

                              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
                                Shattered RE: Anth Feb 24, 2013 07:33 PM

                                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
                                  catroast RE: Anth Feb 24, 2013 07:35 PM

                                  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
                                    williej RE: catroast Feb 24, 2013 07:53 PM

                                    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
                                    Shattered RE: Anth Feb 24, 2013 07:53 PM

                                    @ 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
                                      catroast RE: Shattered Feb 24, 2013 08:31 PM

                                      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
                                    marblebag RE: Shattered Feb 25, 2013 07:06 AM

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

                                    1. re: marblebag
                                      Ruthie789 RE: marblebag Feb 25, 2013 07:39 AM

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

                                      1. re: marblebag
                                        Shattered RE: marblebag Feb 25, 2013 04:08 PM

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


                              2. m
                                Maximilien RE: cherylmtl Feb 25, 2013 07:14 AM

                                That's weird!

                                Me think, at least for Maison Publique, that they will get a nice simple coffee machine (espresso) and offer it.

                                It is not that difficult to make a simple coffee.

                                For Maïs, I would not mind/don't care; a taco restaurant is not a place to linger for coffee (IMO)


                                10 Replies
                                1. re: Maximilien
                                  williej RE: Maximilien Feb 25, 2013 08:09 AM

                                  They should take a look at Gus. A simple coffee machine and the liquor is just sitting on a cabinet. And the tea is in sachets sitting in a bowl. Nothing fancy. Gus has great food, great cocktails, great cooks. How can a place not have coffee?

                                  1. re: williej
                                    Ruthie789 RE: williej Feb 25, 2013 10:04 AM

                                    Where is this place, I'm going!

                                    1. re: Ruthie789
                                      lagatta RE: Ruthie789 Feb 25, 2013 10:33 AM

                                      Hi Ruthie, here it is: http://restaurantgus.com/ (from "openings in 2013" thread).

                                      51 Beaubien E., between St-Laurent and St-Dominique

                                      1. re: lagatta
                                        Ruthie789 RE: lagatta Feb 25, 2013 10:54 AM

                                        Thank you Lagatta! Have you tried it?

                                        1. re: Ruthie789
                                          lagatta RE: Ruthie789 Feb 25, 2013 12:39 PM

                                          No, not yet, though I live close by. It is a cute small bistro. I don't know anyone else nearby who has gone either.

                                          1. re: lagatta
                                            Ruthie789 RE: lagatta Feb 25, 2013 12:43 PM

                                            Well thank you again.

                                            1. re: Ruthie789
                                              Glaff RE: Ruthie789 Feb 25, 2013 01:56 PM

                                              Here's a review : http://willtravelforfood.com/2013/02/...

                                              1. re: Glaff
                                                Ruthie789 RE: Glaff Feb 25, 2013 02:23 PM

                                                I do want to try it. Review pending.

                                                1. re: Ruthie789
                                                  williej RE: Ruthie789 Feb 25, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                  Closed Sunday and Monday. I liked sitting at the bar for the conversation with the waiters/bartenders and for the view of the cooking. Depending on the night, you might need to reserve.

                                    2. re: williej
                                      Shattered RE: williej Feb 25, 2013 04:06 PM

                                      Re: Gus. Exactly. It's not rocket science.

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