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“Great food, deserves better service” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Made By Ben

Made By Ben
100 Walcot Street, Bath BA1 5BG, England
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Ranked #223 of 465 Restaurants in Bath
Cuisines: Coffee Shop
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast
Description: A small cafe serving hot food and coffee in Bath
Bath, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Great food, deserves better service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

Made by Ben is a charming, quirky, typically Bath sort of place - tiny tables crammed into Georgian town house rooms, upstairs and down.
The food is great - quiches, pies, cakes, tortillas, salads, baguetttes, pastries - to eat in or take away, plus a fabulous selection of cooked and chilled food for dinner parties. All produced to a very high standard in both presentation and deliciousness.
However, as is SO often the case, the service leaves much to be desired. Most recently had lunch there with a friend - you have to order at the counter - and my dish needed to be heated, which seemed to take an age but clearly wasn't long enough because it was still cold in the middle. When I went back to the counter, I got a very flamboyant and I thought rather insincere "sorry about that darling" from a person I'd never met before. So far, so-so.
It was delicious once it was at the right temperature.
But when we came to pay - nightmare! No-one had written anything down, nothing was in the till / computer, neither member of staff could remember (understandably) so we had to recite what we'd had, and it seemed to take an age, with both girls repeating everything we and each other said - very inefficient. No tip.
If you're thinking of starting a bakery, cafe, restaurant, roadside picnic spot PLEASE make sure your standard of service at the least lives up to the standard of your food, otherwise it's just a huge disappointment.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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43 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A culinary garden of lunchtime delights...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Being a jaded, discerning, Manhattan expat in a country that tries to pass off crusty,old baguettes with shredded mystery cheese as lunch, it was a big relief to find a lunchtime oasis like Made-by-Ben. From the moment I walked in to Ben's, and viewed his gallery of home-made delights, I was assured that I would be served a fine-crafted meal. The staff was friendly and energetic, and Ben himself was quick-witted and smile inducing while he took our order, making sure to give us all the options available from his arsenal of fresh condiments and extras so that our midday feast would be a complete experience. Being a dreaded vegetarian, I went with the Smoking Goat sandwich, a carefully contrived sandwich combining pesto, FRESH (how 'bout that!) slabs of homemade bread, sauces, nuts and gorgeous goat cheese. An obviously, well designed sandwich. And I say well designed since it seemed that each element was well-thought out to enhance the flavors of the other. The service was speedy and caring, the dining room cosy and quiet, the atmosphere was both modern and rustic and Ben will be quick to tell you that the giant Moulin Rouge poster that adorns the wall harks back to his days as an ex-dancer at Paris' famed cabaret, his creativity apparently inspired by his former digs. My cohorts had a pastrami sandwich, which she said would easily rival some of the finest Jewish delis we frequented back in New York, and a visitor we had up from New Jersey savored one of Ben's 'tortillas' which at first view made me reconsider vegetarianism. When we finished we were all truly satisfied having had a whimsical meal, as opposed to just 'grabbin' a bite'. Ben offered us coffee, prefacing it as the 'best coffee in Bath', and it was the perfect coda to our meal, lots o' crema, the way I love it, hearty roasted flavor, and that indulgent little ivy-leaf design in the froth, just to show they cared. Although, he was sarcastically disturbed that I put three sugars into his creation, "but", as I explained to him, "life is bitter, coffee should be sweet." By the time we were finished we felt like we'd had a fine midday dining experience topped off by a bill that left us equally satisfied, worth far more than the total of the check. I guess you can tell by now, I thoroughly recommend Made by Ben to anyone who...eats food! Now, any time we have visitors in town, we'll be making our pilgrimage to "that sandwich emporium on Walcott street".

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Our first and last visit to Made By Ben”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

Only once before had I stepped inside Ben's, only to wait several minutes without being acknowledged as one member of staff struggled to prepare two drinks, spilling one all over its saucer. Then, I heard another member of staff say to the other 'oh s*** it's Ben' as the owner/boss arrived. Not the best first impression...and put off by the look of the coffee about to be served, I left to grab by coffee elsewhere.

My boyfriend and I usually walk past Ben's at least twice a day, and being big foodies and lovers of great coffee we finally decided to give this place a shot. After all if the coffee was good we'd have happily become regular customers.

I noticed on entering that there was a different member of staff accompanying the others that had been there on my previous visit, so hopefully we ordered two lattes.

Okay so the beans weren't over roasted, nor was the milk burnt. But that's about the only two positive things we could mention... I mean it took a long time to make for starters... and we stood waiting, rather than them offering to bring the coffee to us at our table. With only one other gentleman in the shop with us at the time, (to the 3 members of staff) they should have managed right? We were not asked whether we wanted to stay or take-away and before I realised and could ask for a proper cup we were served our coffee in paper cups.

It was more like a filter coffee with milk than a latte, as the milk was heated with the steamer, but not frothed at all. The flavour was not great and the cups weren't full to the brim, instead one was an inch short of the top and the other half an inch. We looked disappointingly at our cups as we headed to the back room to sit by the window. Pleasant enough surroundings but two empty cardboard boxes were discarded on the middle of the floor... and my boyfriend pointed out that the view to the little garden outside would be lovely if the rubbish was cleared away.

If you love your coffee like we do, Made By Ben is probably not the place to go. Though quiche lovers this place might be worth checking out.

Rarely have I left a review on Trip Advisor but in this instance we thought that Ben could really benefit from some honest feedback. After all, leaving your business in the hands of others is a risk all business owners have to take... but with so much competition in Bath it's risky business to allow others to damage your reputation to such a degree...

Our honest opinion?This place could really benefit from some competent staff, who behave more professionally in front of customers and have received at least SOME coffee training.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Really disappointed!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

The quiches looked so gorgeous, I couldn't walk past. Once in the shop I was ignored by the guy behind the counter; not a great first impression. Eventually another assistant asked me if was being served. I was a bit shocked that the piece of quiche I chose cost £4, but hey, if it's something special, why not.
When I got home I took a bite, and it tasted horrible as the bottom of the quiche was completely black and burned. I had to slice of quite a bit of the bottom, leaving a sorry mess of chunks of potato and some onion and hardly anything else of interest. It wasn't special at all, at best average, and that horrible burnt taste lingered on. Extremely dissapointed...........how hard is it to check if your quiche has burned before you sell it to customers??!!

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Always a good visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Have eaten here on numerous occasions. The food and sandwiches are very good and well filled. Ben is a great owner. Highly recommend

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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