Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Avoca Cafe & Foodhall Belfast


Review: Cafe

I went to: Avoca Cafe & Foodhall Arthur Street Belfast

On the: 8th of November

For: A quick lunch between shifts

I gorged on: Nothing, not one thing, nowt, zero, bugger all

And it was: Couldn't tell you, I've got no idea if the beautiful looking quiches were just that or if the rare roast beef was as tasty as it was tempting. Who knows? Not me!

The service was: A hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha what service?

It cost me: Nothing but wasted time. I'm not getting any younger and don't have time to waste.

I'll be going back: When the anger subsides and I find myself with a free 8 hours

And so it gets: It gets what I got, nothing......

Other words: Always one to try something new and having enjoyed the Avoca Irish Cookbooks I stormed the stairs to the foodhall of the new Avoca shop with gusto. I bypassed the clothes, the books, the very expensive novelty items and went straight for the food. I had an hour between shifts and wanted to treat myself to something nice for lunch. My normal split lunch consists of crisps, pre packed sandwich, couple of espressos and as many fags as I can smoke without being sick. There were plenty of people milling around the store, more browsing than buying. Avoca don't do cheap.

The food on offer looked fabulous. Lots of fresh baked breads, crisp salads, rare roast beef, rolled stuffed pork, a veritable feast of quiches, pies, and puddings. I was excited. I hopped from one foot to the other as I worked out what I was going to get for lunch. The lady in front of me in the queue had no such problem, she was getting what looked like two of everything. It was taking time but that was okay as I was still deciding between a beef sandwich and some quiche. The chap behind the counter wrapped each sandwich, each pastry topped pie and pudding with an exactitude that had me muttering, "OCD" under my breath. He rang the order up on the register took the payment and turned to me and asked me what I wanted. I said, "I'll have a sandwich please." But apparently he heard," I don't know what I want go ahead and serve somebody else I'll just stand here like a fucking lemon and scratch my fat ass whilst playing 'She'll becoming round the mountain' on my imaginary tin fucking whistle.Thanks." And he did.

Really, I said, "
I'll have a sandwich please" to which he said "No problem." That seemed like a clear and reasonable exchange. But then as he was about to put his gloves on he changed his mind and served the old chap beside me! Well you can imagine how my mood had changed from one of excited anticipation to one of puzzlement followed sharply by one of seething anger. "Oh sorry..." he said "I'll be with you in a minute or two."

At first I reluctantly agreed to this shafting but quickly decided that I wasn't going to put with having the sanctity of the queue just abandoned. I counted up the minutes I had already spent in the queue and guessed how long the next punter was likely to take. I didn't have 4 hours to spend getting lunch. So I left, well not without voicing my dissatisfaction first. And as I walked away I could hear the chap behind the counter shouting his apology to me. Too late fella, too late.Oh and in case you are wondering I ended up with a sausage roll from a Spar Shop and a bottle of water. The "meat" in the sausage roll was a florescent red colour which was a bit strange. But back to Avoca, bad work people very bad work.......

This story made me giggle,
Miami Airport has turned to the "good" folks at Disney to train it's staff in the art of good customer service.

Miami airport isn't the first to airport to sign up for the specialist training from the Disney Institute. Anyone who has had the great displeasure of having to use Belfast International Airport will know that it's been a Mickey Mouse operation for years. (Bet you didn't see that coming.)

25 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

bendersbetterbrother said...

I know what must have happened.
Every time I go into a bar/restaurant I forget to remove my invisibility cape.
Next time this happens, and you can't remember whether the cape is on or off say "shite breath" out loud. If you get eye contact from the waiter you're visible. You'll also get a puzzled/angry look so you must quickly follow up with "white bread" said in the same tone and rhythm as your previous statement. Waiter thinks he's been sniffing too much mustard and hastily makes your sandwich. Job done.

Manuel said...

bwahahaha i cant stop laughing at that......don't try it with me all the same......

Conan Drumm said...

There's nothing worse than an establishment suffering from precious ego syndrome. They think don't really need customers. If their accountants manned the till they'd soon shape up.

Manuel said...

Conan: Precious ego syndrome, I had that once, some will tell you I still do........I am a Waiter you know..........

simonr said...

I feel your pain. A similar thing happened to me; when I dared to complain, I was accused by my companion of being rude and a miserable old sod. Bastard...I'm not that old...

Medbh said...

You know there are few things that can set you off more than someone fucking with your food. And what is more simple than a queue to follow? One at a time in order.
A pox upon them, Manuel.
Stay away from those sausage rolls. They'll kill you!

dave said...

Mmm, nothing pisses me off more than waiting for food or drink.
There are some bars that seem to think it's ok to have 2 staff on while 100 people are waiting on a drink.
Not me fella, that's for sure. I don't work all week to wait 30 frickin minutes to get one drink, no sir-ee. If they don't want my crispy £20 notes, perhaps the next bar will gladly take them off my hands.

Manuel, you seem to get called 'sugar' quite a lot in the comments. Are you really made from sugar or is this a myth?

Manuel said...

simonr: Welcome. Not "that" old, I know how you feel. I tell myself that everyday.....

Medbh: It glowed! Glowing food cant be good eh?

Dave: I'm just a very sweet boy........too much will kill you all the same......

Nick said...

Manuel, how come when I try to leave your blog by clicking Back nothing happens and I have to close the whole screen and go back to my Internet home page??? This has been going on for about a week now. It's a tad irritating....

Mudflapgypsy said...

Ta' for the heads up Manny I will never plague them with my presence.

Manuel said...

Nick: I have no idea......saying that why do you want to leave?.......I'll ask about and see what the geeks know......

Muddy: I'm just here to help.......

Fresh Hell said...

I have so little time for piss-poor service. I don't care if the place serves my favorite fare in the whole broad globe, if the fuckers make me wait, it's o-v-e-r! Apparently I'm not the most patient girl in the world.

Caro said...

MMMMMMM Spar sausage rolls...

*salivates*

Manuel said...

Fresh Hell:Me and you both! But ffs 20 minutes is long enough when you are next in the queue.......

Caro: Wrong but so right......

Anonymous Boxer said...

I have an interanl "5 Minute Ticker" and if I don't eye contact made (at the minimum) I'm outta there.

Boo! to them for ignoring you!

Anonymous Boxer said...

P.S. Good lord I can't type. It's the sickness speaking, not me.

:-(

sheepworrier said...

Nill illigitimi carborundum

Nick said...

Well, you know about my recent experiences with waiting for food, Manuel. Quite inexcusable. Surely getting the food to the table subito is a basic, unless it's cooked personally by the owner at vast expense. Which is beyond my budget anyway. Your experience sounds more like my typical bar experience - excuse me, can I have a pint of.... (bar person ignores me and fawns over menacing mafioso type) excuse me....

Nick said...

Oh, I should have said, getting the food to the customer....

MJ said...

Note to restaurants:

Good customer service involves being polite but not forced cordiality.

Case in point...

Safeway (grocery store) requires staff to smile at customers. Not just an ordinary smile, mind you but a smile that must "show some teeth."

Every time I visit the U.S., I am taken aback by the fake smiles in the service and hospitality industries.

savannah said...

whatever happened to civility, sugar? it seems to have disappeared in customer service.

(except for you, of course!)

Upset Waitress said...

Manuel, admit it. You were slobbering all over the counter. The guy probably didn't want to sacrifice a limb while handing you a sandwich.

fatmammycat said...

Poor Manuel. Not nice, I was ignored by an expert yesterday too. It can really fuck with your head after a while. You start wondering if they actually can't see you and your slowly drooping expressions.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I miss sausage rolls. Especially glowing red ones. Lucky git ye.

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