July 2, 2006

Service with a...shot

I came into Creme Cafe with high expectations. Creme had been recommended to my roommate and she had been wanting to try it out for awhile, so our little group headed on over there last week. Creme is a Southern, soul food-y place in the U Street area, which as Anharchy previously explained, is quite vibrant and hipster-licious.

The five of us - the sixth was running late and joined us a bit later - arrived around 7ish and decided to eat in the "lounge," the area that seemed sort of like a waiting area with tables. The restaurant is very small - probably ten non-lounge tables against one of the walls, parallel to the bar. I really enjoyed our table (three small high-tops pulled together), as we had an excellent people-watching view and were removed from much of the kitchen and bar bustle.

So we get there, and having heard excellent things about their cocktails, we all order some fruity girly drinks. Katie Rod ordered something with Tanqueray, which they were out of. I know it's only Wednesday, but gin seems like something pretty basic to be out of. The waiter recommended another beverage, so she went with that. I had a Yellow Cab - vanilla vodka & pineapple juice. Quite delicious, and not too sweet. We did the requisite drink pass, and were all satisfied with all the different cocktails that were ordered.

Chris was a bit late, so we lingered over our drinks until he arrived - it was probably about 20 minutes until we actually ordered food. Again, they didn't have the ribs that poor Katie Rod wanted. Now Creme is the sort of small, classy place that has a very small menu. The ribs was one of maybe seven potential entrees - and what I'm guessing are a very popular one at that. So she went for the shrimp & grits, another highly recommended dish there.

So we're chatting, ordering another round of drinks....and waiting. We get the usual "your food is coming out soon!" from the waiter...but we keep waiting. After awhile, we're starting to get a little miffed. Plus, it seems like our waiter is avoiding even talking to us. FINALLY, he comes over saying there was some sort of mix-up and that our food was coming out soon. For our trouble, he brought Chris a "shot" of sambuca.

Um, what?

At the time, we were slightly amused by the gesture, but the more I've thought about this I've realized how absolutely odd it was. First of all, does anyone like sambuca? NO. Second, how does giving something to one person at our table make the rest of us any happier? Third, who does that??? Does our being a group of twenty-somethings mean that shots make everything better? And lastly, it was a GIANT shot. Props to Chris for taking it to the face.

About five minutes later, the waiter brings out some bread and (what we think was) hummus. Approximately 1.8 minutes later, our food comes out. A little late with the satiation there, server-man.

...unfortunately, they got Kelly's order wrong and had to send it back. She waited about ten more minutes before her crabcake came out, only with a "last but not least" to show for it. Not even an apology. Excuse me???

Service aside, the food was excellent. I had Mama Laura's chicken, which was tender, juicy, and served with rice and a smattering of vegetables. Some bones to deal with, but nothing too annoying. Everyone else seemed to love their food - Allison got a burger, which she asked for with cheese...which of course it didn't have when it arrived. And condiments did not come around until fifteen minutes after we were served and she was 2/3 of the way through the burger and fries.

Would I go back and give them a second chance? Surprisingly...yes. The food was delicious and different, and something that I would like the try again. Maybe on the weekends they're more prepared, and I've also heard excellent things about their brunch. But Wednesday is officially a Creme-free night from now on.

Technorati Tags: , ,

No comments: