Breizh at Ainslie. It’s hard to review what you cannot eat

By 13 January, 2014 12

Breizh Cafe at Ainslie shops promises to bring “Treasures from Brittany” but treasure is rarely easy to come by and at Breizh it’s harder than it should be.

Last week we rolled in around 11.30 to be told the kitchen would not be re-opening until 12.

By the time we’d looked at a menu, ordered orange juice and coffee, had a browse of a newspaper this really doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.

But these options were pointedly not conveyed so we wandered off to somewhere that did want our money.

A few places seem to be doing this malarkey lately and it’s simply terribly customer service. I understand running separate sessions, but if the door’s open then for gods sake extend some hospitality, it is your business.

We came back this Sunday just gone to take another swing at it.

Walking through the door I noted the sign advising us to read the menu at the table but to order at the bar.

Walking past the waitress we asked where would be a good place to sit and were waved ambiguously in the direction of some empty tables.

Tables also empty of menus.

For five minutes we sat ignored and unwanted. No water, no greeting, and no menus.

There were two staff standing behind the bar scratching themselves.

There were two staff moving around the floor studiously avoiding eye contact.

Again we left.

Again we found a business that did want to take our money.

Thankfully Pulp is reopening after their summer hiatus this week.

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12 Responses to Breizh at Ainslie. It’s hard to review what you cannot eat
#1
poetix5:08 pm, 13 Jan 14

That is so rude.

I note that The Front will be doing more meals when they reopen in February. They are closed for kitchen renovations at the moment. Might be interesting.

#2
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd5:45 pm, 13 Jan 14

Sounds gross.

Edgar’s is just as bad from my experience.

It’s not hard people. And honestly, to treat customers in such a way, I hope you go under.

#3
goosepig5:54 pm, 13 Jan 14

poetix said :

That is so rude.

I note that The Front will be doing more meals when they reopen in February. They are closed for kitchen renovations at the moment. Might be interesting.

It was rude and very disappointing. But good news about The Front – I like it there and they let us take the hounds.

#4
Masquara6:04 pm, 13 Jan 14

JB haven’t you been to Brittany? Rudeness is de rigueur there!

Breizh have GREAT coffee. Nearly as good as Lonsdale St Roasters’.

If a place has great coffee, I am happy to forgive some of the other faults.

I haven’t eaten a meal there, but I found the staff pleasant and helpful.

I love Pulp’s food, but I had the worst coffee I have had in years there – worse than the NLA’s worst – the other week. Burnt, watery, lukewarm.

Re the Front – they are finally apparently going to provide tables, maybe even booths! All they will need is to bring in decent coffee along with the upgrade. Douwe Egberts multinational cheap robusta hotel blend is still really not the right coffee for The Front.

#5
Jivrashia6:55 pm, 13 Jan 14

goosepig said :

But good news about The Front – I like it there and they let us take the hounds.

More appropriate releasing them at the other establishment, wouldn’t you say?

#6
veronicamars1:20 pm, 15 Jan 14

I’ve been to Breizh several times over the past few weeks. It was one of the few places on the northside open over the Christmas/New Year break. I have always found the service polite and professional. The coffee has been consistently good and the food delicious. I’ll be back for more.

#7
BombaySapphire3:31 pm, 15 Jan 14

It is a pity they wouldn’t serve you, as they do an incredible chocolate croissant.

#8
gazket4:57 pm, 15 Jan 14

I would of left too after seeing that link posted by the OP.

what is that flat pancake looking mush, surely that wouldn’t fill a toddler and looks as appetising as wet cardboard.

#9
Masquara9:53 pm, 19 Jan 14

Breizh need to figure out their opening hours a bit better! I think they are closed all day Tuesday, open 8.00 am to 4.00 pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and then much of the day Saturday, then 9.00 to 3.00 on Sunday. Very strange hours for a suburban cafe! There’s no lunchtime crowd of workers, of course, and I don’t know who would turn up at 8.00 on a weekday – they would need to open at 7.00 to catch the coffee crowd on their way to work. (There they would have a massive free-parking advantage over Lonsdale Street Roasters, and could capture many Gungahlin rat-race peasants happy to detour away from Ebden Street).
Today, with the cool change, people would probably have sat around happily between 3.00 and 5.00 today. Sadly, I can’t see them surviving on those hours, unless they have the luxury of providing tax deductions!

#10
Masquara10:06 pm, 19 Jan 14

gazket said :

I would of left too after seeing that link posted by the OP.

what is that flat pancake looking mush, surely that wouldn’t fill a toddler and looks as appetising as wet cardboard.

You haven’t been to Paris or any of the French ex-colonies? I think you’ll find the “grey pancake mush” is amazing crepe sarazin, named after Genghis Khan’s hordes. Ignore the look – sarazin with lemon and sugar is a classic.

#11
Mordd11:30 pm, 19 Jan 14

When I worked at a combo cafe/pub in melbourne, I usually opened the doors 30-45 mins early to air out the place before ‘formal’ opening time. Occasionally would have customers come in early, I would make them comfortable, get them water, paper, menu, explain that the coffee machine is just heating up and in 15-20 minutes or so I will happily make them coffee if they don’t mind chilling out in the meantime. Not one customer (even those who weren’t regulars) ever objected to this explanation and having to wait and I was hardly going to turn someone away because they were 20 mins early. I agree, good customer service has gone out the window in the past decade or so.

#12
BimboGeek2:12 am, 20 Jan 14

I’m with Mordd, it’s more satisfying to take pride in showing the customer a little extra love and making them love you back than to walk around with a chip on your shoulder about how you’re so much better than this job and overcompensating like a petty bureaucrat.

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