Submitted Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 12:25am [Dine in]
I suggested this place after seeing the cauldron with some out-of-town friends and finding out they hadn't had dinner and it was already 9:30pm! Whenever I go by it, it's always only half full at best so I thought it was our best bet on an Olympics Friday night. Boy, were we glad we did! There were only 2 tables in line in front of us and the 5 of us got seated upstairs after 5 minutes. We ordered the spaghetti and meatballs, satay chicken skewers, yam fries, and nachos. We all liked our food. The yam fries were the type that had that crunchy light batter coating and the pesto mayo that came with it was a good match. I found the nachos expensive at $18 + $2 for guacamole but it was a very large plate. Neat "bin ends" concept on their wine menu: the last of the case of wines they'd stopped buying or were no longer available were all priced at $45. Tried an interesting Fess Parker pinot noir from Santa Barbara County, California. Our food came before our drinks, but our server apologized. Water service could have been faster but considering how busy they were, we understood. Our server asked if it was OK that she took a few minutes' break to eat dinner at as it was 10:45pm and we weren't in a rush, we said OK. I appreciated her asking and also for informing us of the 18% automatic gratuity unlike my lunch experience at the Library Square Public House 6 days ago. We were glad we picked Transcontinental last night.
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Submitted Monday, February 15, 2010 - 11:16pm [Dine in]
Decided to go there for lunch with a friend before checking out some of the Olympic sites in the area. Got there at 11:45am and the place had about 5 tables of customers. We chose to sit at the back upper part of the pub and after 10 minutes of nobody noticing us, my friend went near the bar to get the bartender's attention before a server came by to greet us. She mentioned that we "must have snuck in". We actually just walked in normally but nobody noticed us. All the TV screens and sounds systems were blasting broadcast of the Games which we were expecting and accepting of. I brought my Entertainment coupon and put it on the table before ordering. We order the sirloin beef sandwich with fries and the blackened chicken salad both of which were very good. It took 1.5 hours for lunch even though the place was half empty but we didn't mind because we weren't in a rush. Our server, a different one from who took our order, checked on us regularly to see if we needed anything else. When I asked for the bill, I handed her my Entertainment coupon which had been lying on the table the whole time and it was then that our server told us they were not taking Entertainment coupons during the Olympics period. Well, it would have been a courtesy to have told us that when we were ordering. The coupon was on the table the whole time. Were they afraid that we would leave? Still, shouldn't that be up to the customer to decide? On top of that, our bill came with a 20% automatic gratuity! Hello, we were not a party of six or more so what's with the automatic gratuity? And 20%?!? My friend was paying by debit card so she went up to the bar. When she asked why there was a 20% automatic gratuity put on the bill, she was told that that was the establishment's policy and if she found anything wrong with the service. My friend said the service was OK (think back to how nobody noticed us when we sat down and didn't mention no coupons honoured) but not deserving of 20% which we had no choice but to pay. Anyway, we left with kind of a "bad taste in our mouths" even though the food was the best part of our experience. I don't think my Entertainment coupon will ever get used because I don't plan to go back there. And I feel strongly enough that I should warn people about the 20% automatic gratuity regardless of how many people are in your party and it's not a guarantee of great service that I, who have never bothered writing a review for anything, is writing one for the first time.
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