Saturday, February 24, 2007

A nice restaurant, not a good restaurant

Laura and I had breakfast downtown at Patachou on the Park, the restaurant in the new Simon office building. The original Cafe Patachou, not far from our old house on Butler University's campus, is one of our favorite places to eat. The new Patachou downtown has the same menu and is very attractively decorated, and the food is good. But it's got a host of problems that the original Patachou didn't suffer from. F'rinstance, they didn't have any coffee made when we got there. We were there for almost twenty minutes before Laura got her coffee. And I mean, she got her own coffee; it's self-serve. They have these high-tech coffee urns with electronic displays showing how much coffee's left inside, but apparently nobody ever checks the displays. They write their specials in colors on a big black mirror behind the counter, just like they do at the original Patachou. But the original's menu board doesn't face a bank of windows; you can't actually read the writing over the reflected daylight outside. They don't have a soda on tap, so if you order a Coke they pour it from a can. I can't decide if that's a good thing or not. And the layout of the restaurant doesn't make sense. It seems very roomy and spacious, but the space between the tables is tight enough I had to squeeze through to my seat. I'm also not impressed with their omelettes. They're good, but they're really not worth the money. The basic omelette is $8.25 and includes one ingredient. Each additional ingredient is $1.60. So if you want an omelette with Swiss cheese, sausage, mushrooms, and tomatoes, you just spent $13 on an omelette. For that kind of money, they should at least call it a frittata. They've also got good oatmeal, if you're willing to pay $5.25 for a bowl. Still, the prices could be worse; the old restaurant at the Conrad Hilton downtown charged $9 for a bowl of cold cereal with milk. Wow.

On a similar note, the Conrad has remarkably bad guest care for a five-star hotel. One of the perks of the Conrad is that it connects directly to the Artsgarden, and through the Artsgarden to the Circle Center Mall, the convention cencter, and the RCA Dome, so the guests don't have to go outside in inclement weather to get around downtown. Except that for the past two weeks, the door connecting the Conrad and the Artsgarden hasn't been working. You can get out of the hotel, but to get back in you've got to walk outside. Whatever the problem is, the Conrad doesn't seem to care; if they were truly interested in five-star service, they'd either fix the problem or station a security guard at the door to let guests in.

I know I sould awfully curmudgeonly today; sorry about that. I'll be perky again tomorrow. :-)


NerfSmuggler said...

Jeff ... perky ... be afraid, be very afraid. :)

Jeff Mountjoy said...

So, Cat Poop on Sunday. Is that perky enough?