Trust me I am not difficult to please. When I get good service and food I am a very happy camper but lately, as you can see by my past few reviews, I have had some really bad luck at Greater Vancouver restaurants.
The latest downer was Havana. Went there yesterday for lunch by myself after strolling down a rain soaked Commercial Drive I thought a good meal would pick up my spirits. Wrong.
Inside the place was jammed with people so the only seats available were outside on their huge patio underneath the heat lamps. It took longer than it should have for a server to acknowledge me sitting at one of the tables, even longer for my beer to arrive.
After getting the menu from a different server I selected the paella. I have had paella before and it was really good at another establishment. Didn't take all that long for my $20.00 dish of paella to arrive. There were a fair number of mussels and prawns, the sausage was difficult to detect, there were also some veggies and brown rice and beans but not enough of the brown rice and beans in my view. The dish looked good but tasted pretty much like nothing.
I thought Cuban food was suppose to have lot's of spice, a bit of heat and life to it. This was the most bland tasting dish of food I have had in awhile. I've had spicier tasting Lifesavers. The prawns were fine, the mussels ok however for 20 bucks it just wasn't happening.
I had three different servers, a male server brought me the paella and tended to me for the remainder of my visit. He had zero personality. He brought me stuff and took stuff away and he took longer than he should have. I sat there for a good amount of time with my dirty bowl and beer glass in front of me although he past by the table on at least two occasions when he should of taken it away.
In the end I asked for my bill payed for the overpriced dish, which is really getting to be a theme with me lately. I left a very minimal tip I was so ticked off with everything. Mr. Personality had the gall to ask me whether or not I liked the service, in other words "why aren't you giving me more of a tip?". I said the service was mediocre and left it at that although I could of said so much more.
Note to servers. I fully understand that you make the bulk of your wage through tips. When I receive good service I tip at least 15 per cent and many times more than that. Your job is to work at getting that 15 per cent tip or more. It is not a guarantee. I refuse to pay for mediocre service and food, which lately I seem to be getting plenty of both in this city.
Interact with your customers a bit. Put a smile on your face. Since it's Christmas time while taking an order why not ask a customer how their Christmas was? Fake it if you have to but that my friends is the trick to getting the money you think you may deserve.
Work for it. I am not an unreasonable diner who can never be satisfied and want you to jump through numerous hoops. I want a decent dining experience and lately they seem hard to find.