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Bad Cafe

Madam Cholet 22 July 2013 63

Unfortunately we happened to find ourselves in Woden today, right about the time that Mr Nearly Five was getting hungry. We decided that we would have a hot chocolate at a cafe in the Westfield. We ordered two hot chocolates, a kids milkshake ($5) and a plain ham and cheese untoasted sandwich ($13). The kids size milkshake arrived in a giant metal container – in complete contrast to the size that the waitress indicated (smaller obviously), and the sandwich arrived toasted. I sent the sandwich back and asked for a new untoasted one (he just doesn’t like them toasted).

The next sandwich arrived, untoasted, but with only the ham and cheese inside that we asked for – no butter. So really, two slices of dry very thickly cut bread with very tough crusts, some really tasteless ham and some squares of cheese.

Call me old fashioned, but when I order a sandwich that costs $13, I do expect that it will have at least a covering of some kind of spread to make the bread more palatable. At least this is what we do in our house. I also tasted the milkshake and it tasted vaguely like they had passed fruit through the milk. But pretty much, it was just a huge container of frothy milk.

When I challenged the waitresses at the desk about the quality of the sandwich and suggested a discount due to it’s in-edibleness, she flatly refused. I pointed out that it was quite clearly for a young child (as two different waitresses would have gauged when serving us at our table), and her response was ‘the kitchen does not know who it’s for’. I gave up on the discount, but did say I would not return. Not that they care.

Is it just me expecting too much or is it really hard to get anyone in the service industry in Canberra, specifically cafes, to care about the customers they serve and to provide value for money?

We should have gone to a certain new cafe in Erindale as previously planned to claim our ‘free drinks’ from when we overcharged last week instead!


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63 Responses to Bad Cafe
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Madam Cholet 1:19 pm 30 Jul 13

Good experience alert – just been to Loading Zone. Purchased a sandwich for $9.50. The very nice person who took over the order then asked me what I was charged and promptly refunded me a dollar fifty as she said the sandwich was smaller than usual due to the pot luck with the size of the loaves they purchase. Or something to that effect.

For the record, yummy sarnie – french toast (as in cooked in egg), filled with ham, cheese, salad and lashings of English mustard. It was called a Bear Hug if you want to sample one.

Bluenomi 1:59 pm 23 Jul 13

Holden Caulfield said :

Bluenomi said :

I have a 3 year old who is a big fan of milkshakes. Quite often places only do the one, adult size. So I just grab a spare water glass and pour toddler size servings into that. Seems to do the trick without causing the wait staff or myself any issues.

As for a $13 sandwich, well this is why I take one with me if there is a chance we will be out at feeding time. I know it will be the way she likes it and it doesn’t cost me a fortune!

Good god! Parental responsibility, we’ll have none of that here!!!

Sorry! Dear me, what was I thinking!

Holden Caulfield 12:48 pm 23 Jul 13

BimboGeek said :

Just checked. Downtown Milk Bar in Manuka does a milkshake in a tin for $4.80 and the locals generally believe it’s the best milkshake in Canberra. I am not an expert in milkshakes so you’ll have to take their word for it. You pay a bit more in the places with a more upmarket ambiance.

Yeah, well I went there once on that recommendation. The best ever?

NFI if got a dud serving, but it was the worst milkshake I’ve ever paid money for, haha. Milk that was barely flavoured. No ice cream. No good. No second chance.

FarrerGirl 12:06 pm 23 Jul 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

C’mon johnboy…name and shame. Don’t want to take my girls to a place like this.

Also, plus one to the upstairs Woden cafe next to the Turkish joint. Went for breakfast and my girls cinnamon toast was two slices of hard bread covered in cinnamon. Not cinnamon and sugar but pure cinnamon.

Idiots.

Won’t even mention how bad the adults food was.

I agree it sounds suspiciously like this cafe – I go there once a year and really regret it. Last time I went there with a group, my order was forgotten – I loved the white lies they told to cover up their mistake! I ended up cancelling it as I could not be bother waiting another 20 minutes.

As for a good story – I love the Cherry Bean cafe down near the Donut King at Woden – good service, good food, relatively good price (you just need to ignore the play area noise at peak times). I also love Ricardos at Jamison Centre – but uber busy most of the time.

DrKoresh 11:34 am 23 Jul 13

Zan said :

No they are not idiots. Cinnamon is good for you. Cinnamon sugar is not.

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-surprising-health-benefits-of-cinnamon.html?page=1

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

C’mon johnboy…name and shame. Don’t want to take my girls to a place like this.

Also, plus one to the upstairs Woden cafe next to the Turkish joint. Went for breakfast and my girls cinnamon toast was two slices of hard bread covered in cinnamon. Not cinnamon and suger but pure cinnamon.

Idiots.

Won’t even mention how bad the adults food was.

Don’t be silly, cinnamon sugar is just sugar with cinnamon in it, it’d give you all the benefits you get from eating plain cinnamon plus the delicious taste of sugar. Also, I wouldn’t go around posting links to sites like that as the basis for your argument. No evidence would probably be moar convincing than being directed to those digitised tabloid sites.

zorro29 10:28 am 23 Jul 13

MrBigEars said :

zorro29 said :

i dont mind paying for a milkshake as long as it’s good…$7 seems to be the standard now

A shake? Milk and ice-cream? And it costs 5 dollars? You don’t put bourbon in it or anything?

most places that charge about $5 use soft serve and not good quality scoop ice cream…i am pretty fussy when it comes to my milkshakes – it’s a matter of global importance and delciousness!!! yeah…i haven’t paid $5 for a milkshake since the 90s – even donut king charges more than $5 for a shake now don’t they???

and an apt question about whether the Manuka milkshake place brings all the boys to the yard….can’t say i ever drank it but i never noticed the milk bar either 🙂

bearlikesbeer 10:02 am 23 Jul 13

dominic_mhd said :

bearlikesbeer said :

I had a bad experience at Coffee Club in Woden a few months ago. As the waiter served my food I handed him my unused water glass, pointing out that it was dirty (not just watermarked, but encrusted with someone else’s food). The waiter asked me “So do you want another one?”. I said I wanted a clean one, and he walked back to the counter. A few minutes later, standing behind the counter, he called to my table “Here you go” and placed a glass on the edge of the counter for me to get up, walk over and collect. I got up and walked to another cafe.

Considering you pay at the counter as you order at Coffee Club, and you stated they already served your food, I don’t think they lost out.

I considered picking up my sandwich in a napkin and taking it with me. Then I thought about the state of the glass I was offered, and decided to give the sandwich a miss. That left me about $10 out of pocket.

I never returned to Coffee Club, and have shared this story with friends and co-workers who frequent Westfield Woden. Coffee Club lost out on my repeat/return business.

DUB 9:15 am 23 Jul 13

I think that I may know what café this is. It is located between the Homebase and JB Hi-Fi, right?
They do have sandwiches that go beyond $13 mark. I bet that’s where OP went.
Those curious can go and check their prices.

KB1971 8:19 am 23 Jul 13

dkNigs said :

KB1971 said :

dkNigs said :

It sounds like you ordered a toasted sandwich untoasted to be honest…

I hate how some people find it so hard to order off the menu, why do they expect a special request everywhere they go? Just because you have a fussy four year old doesn’t mean the world has to indulge them like you do.

WTF?

Ordering a sandwich and asking for it not to be toasted is a hard task? Not everybody likes a toasted sandwich, I always thought toating was extra, not the tandard fare. Asking for a ham and cheese sanwich is hardly a special request, especially if they do sandwiches.

There are quite a few places that only do toasted sandwiches. The thicker bread which was too hard for a four year old to eat is a pretty good indication that this was one of them.

New to me & I eat out a lot, even in differnet cities when I travel for work.

bigred 6:50 am 23 Jul 13

Woden cafes are so good that one always contemplates bringing one’s own food. There is an amazing sameness.

bigfeet 4:03 am 23 Jul 13

BimboGeek said :

Just checked. Downtown Milk Bar in Manuka does a milkshake in a tin for $4.80 and the locals generally believe it’s the best milkshake in Canberra. .

But does their milkshake bring all the boys to the yard?

Zan 2:05 am 23 Jul 13

No they are not idiots. Cinnamon is good for you. Cinnamon sugar is not.

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-surprising-health-benefits-of-cinnamon.html?page=1

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

C’mon johnboy…name and shame. Don’t want to take my girls to a place like this.

Also, plus one to the upstairs Woden cafe next to the Turkish joint. Went for breakfast and my girls cinnamon toast was two slices of hard bread covered in cinnamon. Not cinnamon and suger but pure cinnamon.

Idiots.

Won’t even mention how bad the adults food was.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 11:36 pm 22 Jul 13

C’mon johnboy…name and shame. Don’t want to take my girls to a place like this.

Also, plus one to the upstairs Woden cafe next to the Turkish joint. Went for breakfast and my girls cinnamon toast was two slices of hard bread covered in cinnamon. Not cinnamon and suger but pure cinnamon.

Idiots.

Won’t even mention how bad the adults food was.

BimboGeek 10:35 pm 22 Jul 13

dph said :

There’s no cafe/restaurant in Woden (or Canberra for that matter) that charges $13 for a simple ham & cheese sandwich (by itself).

The only explanation I can hope for here is that they usually do tempeh paninis and the boss has told the teenaged staff not to give discounts for substitutions or removals. Still, for that money you can buy a burger made to order from fresh top grade mince and fresh salad toppings, so a bit of spam on stale cellulose doesn’t really compare.

Sandman 9:59 pm 22 Jul 13

Oh no, my milkshake’s too big!!!!! Is this another segment of “s*** no-one says in Canberra”?

55% of the point of having kids is the yummy leftovers and excess food.

$13 for a ham and cheese sandwich though? And you still ordered it?

dominic_mhd 9:46 pm 22 Jul 13

bearlikesbeer said :

I had a bad experience at Coffee Club in Woden a few months ago. As the waiter served my food I handed him my unused water glass, pointing out that it was dirty (not just watermarked, but encrusted with someone else’s food). The waiter asked me “So do you want another one?”. I said I wanted a clean one, and he walked back to the counter. A few minutes later, standing behind the counter, he called to my table “Here you go” and placed a glass on the edge of the counter for me to get up, walk over and collect. I got up and walked to another cafe.

Considering you pay at the counter as you order at Coffee Club, and you stated they already served your food, I don’t think they lost out.

dph 9:42 pm 22 Jul 13

There’s no cafe/restaurant in Woden (or Canberra for that matter) that charges $13 for a simple ham & cheese sandwich (by itself).

poetix 9:07 pm 22 Jul 13

Masquara said :

poetix said :

Masquara said :

Good God! Old-money frugality, very rare sight on the Gungahlin-esque RiotAct!

I’m positive I’m not Gungahlin-esque.

(What does that even mean though? Blocky? Lacking trees? Recently developed? How is the RiotACT Gungahlin-esque?)

You once spent $13 on a $5 samwidge – so you don’t qualify as old-money frugal, sorry! : )

Happy to be jolly and working class.

jayskette 8:33 pm 22 Jul 13

if the OP decides to buy a ham and cheese *untoasted* sandwich for $13 then the OP deserves to be sucked in….

BimboGeek 8:32 pm 22 Jul 13

Just checked. Downtown Milk Bar in Manuka does a milkshake in a tin for $4.80 and the locals generally believe it’s the best milkshake in Canberra. I am not an expert in milkshakes so you’ll have to take their word for it. You pay a bit more in the places with a more upmarket ambiance.

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