The owner may have made a diamond out of a rough building, but the only thing memorable about this dining experience was the awful service and the indignant owner. It was hands down the worst service I've had in what claims to be a nice restaurant. And the food wasn't that great either.
I was in town for a meeting and staying near the restaurant. It was my first time in Waterloo, so I checked TripAdvisor before arriving for dining recommendations. Despite the cheaper options around the corner, I decided to splurge on dinner for myself. The owner seemed very nice and the atmospher was unique. The service started off bad when my salad arrived before the complimentary bread. It was made worse by waiting for 15 minutes into the meal for my drink to arrive. When I asked, the waitress apologized and said it would be right out. She further explained that she didn't have time to go downstairs because it was so busy. I think there was at max 10 occupied tables in the restaurant with 35. I saw her waiting on two other tables tops. The waiter had the lions share of the tables and was clearly able to manage his workload.
The food was fine, but nothing to write home about. Delicious asparagus. The salmon was overcooked in the center. The potatoes that another reviewer writes about were mashed potatoes shaped like spaghetti with paprika on top. Whoopie! The kicker came when I ordered the flaming molton lava cake. They lit it on fire which was cool, but the center wasn't molton when I put my spoon in it. The unbearable part was when I leaned over to take my first bite and could smell the 151 that still created a ring on the outside of the plate. The smell was so nauseating that it made me sick to my stomach. I informed the waitress and she said, "yeah, that alcohol does smell bad." I said the chef used too much alcohol, that it hadn't all burned off, because you could still see it on the plate and smell it! She said she would let him know.
She came back half way through my nauseating cake to collect her money. I hadn't even moved the check. For a European, you would think the owner would tell his staff not to hound the guests. A few minutes later, I asked the waiter to take the rest of the cake. I had another sip of my drink and since I felt like I was going to be sick, I got up and asked the waiter where to find the restroom. When I returned from the restroom, they had dumped my half full martini! I still hadn't even moved the check. Before I even got back to the table, I saw the drink was gone, so I asked her, "Where's my drink?" She was like, "I thought you left so I dumped it out. Sorry." Seriously, you thought I dodged a $35 bill? At this point, I wish I had!
I said to the waiter, "How did you think I left, I asked you where to find the restroom?" He was like, "That was my fault. I saw you walk towards the front." No kidding it's your fault you moron. He apologized and was smart enough to volunteer to make another drink, but by this point I wasn't interested. I said forget it and gave them my credit card.
On the way out, the owner asked if I enjoyed the meal. I said, "Actually, there was so much alcohol on the chocolate cake that it make me sick to my stomach." He said the alcohol burned off. I said not all of it burned off, you could still see it on the plate and the smell was just too much when I leaned over to take a bite. He then inquried, "Why didn't you exchange it?" I explained that I told the waitress. Apparently I should have been more direct, because he said, "But you didn't ask to exchange it, did you?"
Really? A customer that complains that the foods is making them nauseous should specifically ask to exchange it? I also explained that when I went to the restroom, after I asked the staff where to find it, that they dumped my drink. He proceeded to tell me that I "must have a sensitive stomach" and sometimes their cake is "too rich for people."
They didn't comp my cake or my drink which totalled nearly half of the bill. Unfortunately for the waitress, she paid for it with her tip. I have never not given a tip to a waitress, even if the service is poor and the food is bad I tip at least 15%. Fortunaely for me, her indifference made me feel quite indifferent over the entire situation. Maybe she can treat herself to my replacement martini.
Maybe their cake is just crap and their service worse? I say tomato, you say tomatoe.