Saturday, April 29, 2006

the bad waitress. turns out it's bad.

just what the world needs, another fucking hipster diner. i had actually been looking forward to trying the bad waitress out, if you know what i mean. oh, sorry, you probably don't. well, the bad waitress is the name of this new restaurant that opened in town, associated loosely (or not, i guess i'm not sure) with the spyhouse coffee shop down the street.

don't get me wrong, it's beautiful on the inside, keeping nicely with the midcentury/post wwii style that spyhouse does so well. the problem, in my opinion, is that in opening a restaurant one should put as much time into their fucking menu as they do prettying the place up for all the art school students in the neighborhood. my wife and i both ordered tofu scrambles. now, i'm not new at this, so i know that this is typically a gamble, bought having heard some good things about the place, i figured why the fuck not. they were supposed to have good coffee, and, later in the day, a good beer selection, so i figured they deserved a chance. i wanted it to work, too, i really did.

it turns out that their interpretation of a tofu scramble involves large cubes of tofu that are neither marinated nor fried for any discernible amount of time, served in my case with my three veggie choices (one of which was extra), broccoli, mushrooms, and onions. the veggies were good (canned mushrooms, but that's fine at a diner), but the onions were really weird. i would have expected them to be diced, but instead they were served in fine rings, which seemed an odd choice for this type of meal. also, there was no scramble component, which is always confusing.

the hashbrowns were satisfactory, my wife's homefries were dry. they were out of lemonade, so she had an orange juice, which is hard to screw up. i ordered a two-cup pot of green tea, having had a lot of coffee earlier in the morning. the tea was presented beautifully, on a tray that had a little indentation for the pot. unfortunately, it was bitter, completely indiscernible as a green tea.

having pretty much exhausted the vegan options at the bad waitress (unless i decide to go there and pay someone to serve me a boca burger, which seems a bit retarded), i have to give it a big surly vegan "fuck no".

the thing of it is, with a restaurant, sure atmosphere is important, but it should really be all about the food. case in point: evergreen taiwanese is down the street. we almost went there, but as it wasn't quite eleven, they were still closed. this is a place with subpar atmosphere to say the least, and that's not just because they're in a basment, although it doesn't help. on top of that, they served me squid once. Squid! but i still would have rather eaten there than wasted my time and money at the bad waitress, despite the beautiful surroundings.

but, you know, who the fuck am i?


Anonymous justin said...

Did it at least live up to its name? What I mean is, was the waitress bad?

6:04 PM  
Blogger the surly vegan said...

well, only sort of. i guess the irony is that there aren't waitresses, per se, but instead you write your order down and bring it up and pay and then they bring you your food and disappear.

but there was one woman there with purple hair, weird leopard print pants that seemed like pajamas or yoga pants, and a black sleeveless shirt that said "dysfunctional" in motorhead script.

i'd say that's pretty bad.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Wow - this post is surly! Where the heck you been, man?!

9:51 AM  
Blogger the surly vegan said...

weird that anyone is commenting on here, because i really haven't been very good at keeping it up. thanks for the input.

the truth is, i'm really not sure how much sense this blog makes anymore. i haven't been doing very much cooking lately, thanks to school and work, i suppose. also, i'm just not sure how great the writing is on here, or how useful of a resource it is.

i've got a whole draft in progress all about vegan shoes and belts and wallets, but it reads like a laundry list, and isn't really that interesting, i don't think. i'll work on it a bit more this week and then i'll get it up, as they say in the retirement communities.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Ainsley Wiles said...

I have to agree, it should be about the food, then the service, and atmosphere last or nearly last. If you go for the atmosphere why bother ordering. As far as the site goes, I find it interesting. I mean you ride a fixie, I figured I would give the site a chance.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

But there are some things that are extremely redeaming about the Bad Waitress that you didn't mention: (and I really kinda like the place so bring on the debate!)

1) It's got the same ordering system (mostly) as the Hard Times Cafe - you pen what you want on the paper and it's made and brought to you. With this system, there's no server reasking you if you need anything else, and because the server doesn't need you to leave in order to stop paying attention to you, it's very easy to stay a long time (i.e. if you're working laptop-wise - see point 2 below).

2) Free wireless.

3) Coffee by the pot. (also good if you're on a 6 hour work bender)

Admitedly, every time I'm there I go for the Egg Omlette with mushrooms and swis (so not anywhere vegan) and it's greasy in that greasy spoon way. Nothing like "good" food but I'm there to work for a long time and eat a meal or two and drink my weight in coffee.

It comes down to the fact that there are very very few places in Minneapolis that have the amenities to allow you to stay for a long stretch of time (wireless, chill staff, food, coffee) and for that reason i give the Bad Waitress two thumbs.

9:06 PM  
Blogger the surly vegan said...

bring on the debate, he says. well, i happen to know this character, so if i seem even more surly and rude than normal, understand that andrew has made my short list of people i'm glad to have met so far in 2006.

even if he is an omelette eating monster.

1) the Hard Times occupies an important place in the Minneapolis culinary/leisure landscape to be sure, but I'm not sure that it should be the benchmark by which another restaurant's merit is measured. Granted, you were just pointing out the ordering system. Fair enough, and in the case of the Bad Waitress I could see how it might be seen as a fun novelty. As I wasn't trying to stay a long time, I can't speak personally about that, but there is something to be said about being able to slack off somewhere. I got yelled at the other day in Andersonville, Chicago at the Corner Grille (Foster and Clark) for using the bathroom without making a purchase, so this is definitely something I can appreciate.

"Thanks for your patronage"
"Uh, it won't happen again"

2) Free wireless. Yeah, I really can't say anything bad about that. It's like they're asking you to hang out all day.

3) Coffee by the pot. Okay, fine. The Bad Waitress is a spin-off of the Spyhouse cafe down the street, and has brought with it some of the Spyhouse's finer points.

So, in the final analysis, maybe it's not such a bad place, if you don't mind the kitschification of dinerdom, it's just that their vegan offerings are garbage.

we should ride bikes again soon.

8:27 AM  

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