Monday, January 23, 2006


About 2 or 3 times a year I have to go to beautiful Canmore Alberta for my job. They are always Saturday meetings, but my company is nice to me and books me a room for both Friday and Saturday night, and Scott comes along. We went the weekend before Christmas. It was lovely. The weather was clear but cold. There was a cross country skiing competition, I think the last one before Torino, being held that weekend too. Both Friday and Saturday nights the town threw a street party with music and events. It was a real kick to see huge groups of skiers from all over the world dancing and singing. Canmore is so beautiful:

We usually eat at the same restaurants every time we go, but this time we decided to try two new places for dinner. Friday night we went to Luna Blue. It's right on the main street in the older part of town. Big with an open kitchen and very nice staff. We started with some brushetta, the sort that makes me hang my head in shame when I think of the inferior crap that I make. I had a delicious pasta dish with diced chicken, cashews, mangos and a curry broth. Scott has the gooey-est cheesy-est canneloni I've ever seen. We'll be checking them out on future visits for sure.

You know, nothing pisses me off more than spending good money on a shitty dinner. That's what happened to us the next night at Chef's Studio Japan. The food was pretty good, some things we ordered were better than others, but on the whole it was pretty decent. The service was so bad it was laughable. We ordered a multi-course dinner and some sushi.

This was vegetable tempura. It only had one type of vegetable in it; I think it was potato. It was alright. The tempura batter was light and crisp, but the vegetable had no flavor.

I had sake for the first time ever. I didn't really care for it, it wasn't what I had imagined sake would taste like. We didn't get our drinks until after we'd had 2 of our courses. After we had the tempura we had a seaweed salad (yuck) and a beautiful miso soup.

Soft Shell Crab! I've always wanted to try this. We tried to have it a couple of times in San Francisco but had no luck. This was good. I'd have it again.

Our sushi plate. It looked beautiful. Tasted pretty good too.

In the end, we weren't even served all the food we had ordered. At one point we watched a waiter carry a dish of food to every table in the place before finally bringing it to us. Bad service drives me crazy. I used to be a waitress and nothing annoys me more than a fully staffed dining room that still can't function. Studio Japan is pretty small - MAYBE 20 tables. They weren't full and had 4 servers. How can you provide shitty service with those numbers?
Maybe we caught them on a bad day, I don't know, but we didn't enjoy ourselves at all. We won't be going back again.
How about you? Any really wonderful or terrible meals recently?


it's only fuel said...

I agree, there really is no excuse for bad service...especially at a more upscale restaurant. I was also a waitress in my younger years - and was very efficient, so it just drives me crazy when servers can't get it together.

Canmore looks beautiful, I love Canadian mountains coverd in snow! Brings me right back to our trip to Whislter last year for a snowboarding trip:) Ahhhhh....Whistler! Our next trip will be to Banff in Alberta.

What do you do for your job?

Paige said...

A friend and I hit the Darby Arms on Saturday night, and had a similar experience. The food, as always, was fantastic, but the service was crap. They had one waitress on for the whole dining side of the building, and she was basically incompetant. It took us about 20 minutes to get our beer, and another 20 minutes before we could order our food. (which finally arrived at least a half hour later) If it wasn't for the goodness of their pub food, I don't think I would go back.

Sara said...

it's only fuel - It's nice to hear from other former waitresses that things like that bother them too. I love Whistler, although I haven't been there in years. Banff is so beautiful too, a little more "touristy" than Canmore. You may drive right by Canmore on your way to Banff, depending which way you go. When are you planning your trip?

PS - I work in finance.

Paige - Doesn't it drive you crazy when the foods good and the service is bad? I never know what to do in situations like that.

Ivonne said...

Those photos are beautiful ... sorry about the bad service ... but the photos are gorgeous!