Sometimes you want to lounge over a coffee and a newspaper, sometimes you want to hang out at a sports bar. Well fine, for the wanna be jocks and the pseudo intellectuals I thought I’d take in a couple of Victoria eateries: Union Pacific Coffee and Podium Sports Grill.
The Union Pacific is a place I use to frequent quite regularly. It was something different than the big coffeehouses and the food was pretty damn good. I hadn’t visited since I put on “upsell” goggles so I thought now would be a good time as any. After running a few errands I stopped in for my usual Soy Chai and Pesto Charlie Panini. The place wasn’t that full but even then; the place is mostly shared seating. So instead of making new friends, I bellied up to the bar top and had my meal. With a newspaper of course.
Podium Sports Grill I’d never been to nor had heard anything about. Friends had gone the weekend before but that was really the whole of it. A friend and I, whenever we meet up, go for wings at a different place every time. Podium was on our radar for this week. It was Monday night so it was as busy as you’d expect…tumbleweeds. Thankfully the wings were damn good…unfortunately this is a customer service blog and not a wing blog.
When I conceived of this week’s blog, I was fully prepared to compare and contrast. Café vs. Bar. The ins, the outs. The blaring differences and obvious similarities. No dice. I can sum them both up with: OK. Fine.
Union Pacific is pretty good at getting through a line up. There was a cue when I arrived but it filtered through pretty fast. An order taken, a number given and off to my chair I went. Not a lot of interaction with the staff beyond that and when they drop off your food…oh wait, if you’re there long enough they take your empty plate. Shouldn’t forget that.
If I had one complaint, it was they put a napkin under the hot sandwich. They do it every time. My only serviette is not only greasy with melted cheese on it, I also have to pick the remnants off my sandwich. Yum.
Podium, not much different. Sat down and ordered. The waitress showed a little personality with a quick joke (though I’m sure she used it on most tables) and a smile. Food and drinks came quickly enough. It’s not like the place was very busy. It would have been nice to get a bit more interaction with the waitress. I wasn’t looking for a pick up or anything but we were two guys in a sports bar…there are expectations. In the end, I just wasn’t blown away but I wasn’t really disappointed either. It just…was.
Union Pacific Coffee and Podium Sports Grill: 2nd Date – I’ll give you a second chance. I just don’t have anything to complain about. You don’t thrill me but you keep me satisfied in this relationship. Just don’t be surprised if you lose me to someone more exciting. I’m easy that way.
Service Rating System:
Friend Zone – I just don’t like you in “that way.”
Booty Call – If I don’t have anything else better going on, I’ll stop by.
2nd Date – I’ll give you a second chance.
Going Steady – This could be the beginning of something major.
I’m getting really tired of debit machines with tip options. It’s all well and good if I’m in a restaurant where there’s some interaction with the server…and relationship, however brief, has formed…but pizza joints? Thai take out? I say thee nay! So you take my order, ring it through, turn, pick up my order, turn, and hand it to me AND want a tip? For what exactly? You’ve done the absolutely bare minimum. You’ve basically DONE YOUR JOB! No added value. No extra effort. Unless you count smiling…we have to tip for smiling now? If you read the “About the Upsell” section, you know I have a long background in serving and tipping. I’m a big fan of both. But I’m taking a stand here and now. You hear me order takers! I will no longer be guilted into tipping you for simple tasks! I’m serious because I’m using exclamation marks!