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relativelygruntledVancouver (Fairview)Since June 20, 20132 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service3 (3)
  • Value2.5 (2.5)
  • Ambiance3.5 (3.5)


Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 Reviews Found
Moose's Down Under Restaurant830 West Pender Street, Vancouver
All Other Restaurants Should Take Notes
Submitted Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 1:29pm [Dine in]

If there is one person in Vancouver who knows exactly what great service means, it's Corina of Moose's Down Under. A group of us have been going to their weekly trivia night for many months now, and I continue to be amazed at the level of service that is so consistently provided at this large and lovely pub.

The first time we went there, I was a little surprised that they asked for my name when I was ordering. However, this seemingly small gesture is what the beginning of amazing service looks like. All drinks and meals were associated with my name, and I was called by name throughout the night. It made me feel like a person, not just a table number. As I and my friends continued to dine here, the servers (and especially Corina herself) memorized our usual drinks as well as what we like to eat, and our food sensitivities. Now, when I walk in, I'm greeted with a "Hi, how's it going, would you like a cider?" before I even sit down. It's like walking into a group of friends, rather than a restaurant.

In addition, their menu is quite large, and provides a variety of excellent meals to choose from, especially for a pub. Though there is no specifc gluten-free menu, I have not had any trouble finding things to eat there. The servers and kitchen are all familiar with celiac and gluten-sensitivity, and I can always get an answer about whether something is "safe" for me or not. If not, there are absolutely no problems with modifying something to make it celiac-friendly. Corina and her staff go above and beyond to accommodate my dietary restrictions. They also go above and beyond for one of my friends who is a bit of a picky eater, heavily modifying menu items to suit her taste. And they don't do it grudgingly. They do it in the spirit of providing an excellent dining experience, and with a smile. Moreover, they do it at a price that's affordable.

The drink menu is also agreeably varied, though I know my boyfriend and one of my friends wish that the beer list was a bit larger. I'm a cider drinker myself, and have a few options to choose from, though I usually end up drinking Foundry. The man behind the bar also has a wicked shot list in his head and sometimes comes up with some awesome creations.

The location can be a bit tricky to find the first time, because the pub is below ground. As a result, it tends to be a little less busy on sunny days, and a little bit dark inside. However, I don't regret the lack of a patio or large windows one bit. The pub is large and comfortable, and well suited to big groups, as well as just a couple of friends.

You definitely don't get a generic cookie-cutter restaurant experience at Moose's. What you do get is personalized, world-class service, good drinks, delicious food and a fantastic experience. You make friends, you have an excellent time, you feel comfortable and you keep coming back. All the proprietors of the so-called high-end "chain" establishments need to go have a drink and a meal at Moose's and take notes. This is what service should look like. This is the experience that people are willing to pay for. Unfortunately for the dining public, places like Moose's are a rarity and often lost in a sea of restaurants offering overpriced meals and supercilious service. Corina and her staff have made a life-long customer of me and my friends, and with excellent reason. Keep up the great work!

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Cactus Club Cafe5500 No. 3 Road, Richmond
Just Lost Themselves 12 Customers
Submitted Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 10:30am [Dine in]

One of my coworkers is getting married later in June, and so we decided to all pitch in and take her someplace nice as kind of a work "bachelorette" party. Being that we work so close by, Cactus Club seemed the natural choice. We made a reservation for 15 people (only about 12 came) and went.

We were seated right away, no issues there. The drinks were a little slow, but when you go out with 12 people, you expect a little more of a delay. My issues started with their so-called "gluten-friendly" menu. So many restaurants out there go above and beyond to accommodate gluten intolerance. Cactus Club is not one of them. Who wants chicken teriyaki without the sauce? Or a burger with no bun? Or... and this is the best one: Fish tacos with no tortillas! I ordered the jambalaya rice bowl with no green beans, as this is how the gluten-free menu says to order it. Another celiac at my table ordered a burger with no bun, and a very sad looking thing it was. When I got my order, I was very disappointed. There were two dry little lumps of chicken, three tiny shrimp, and I thought that they didn't put any sausage on it at all, until closer inspection revealed a few tiny shreds of sausage, barely bigger than the brown rice it was served on. The vegetables were obviously from one of those frozen veggie mixes you buy at Safeway. It was bland, and hardly had any flavour.

I wish I could say that my jambalaya was the worst part of the night. However, it was good in comparison with the service we received. One of the servers spilled a large, wine-based beverage onto one of my coworkers and all over the table. Normally, when accidents happen, a simple apology will go a long way. This server not only didn't apologize, she had the utter nerve to get mad at the table for requesting some help from the staff in cleaning up the mess. She literally threw a few paper napkins down in the middle of the table and stalked off in a huff. Meanwhile, red wine and fruit juice was streaming all over the table, falling on the floor and into laps, and soaked the chair my coworker was sitting in. Were it not for her propensity to wear black clothing, her entire outfit would have been ruined. We requested more napkins or a damp cloth or something, and were basically given a sneer, so at this point we asked to speak to the manager. 20 minutes later, someone came out who may have been the manager but never introduced herself as such, which makes me think they just called whoever. Fortunately, this new girl brought a damp cloth and someone with a mop. Still no apology though! My coworker never received an apology, just attitude.

Also, my supervisor did not receive her meal (a burger) when the rest of the food came out, and had to sit for 15 minutes while the rest of us ate. She insisted we start so that our food wouldn't get cold. The reason? The server said "Oh, I forgot about you," and never put her order in.

In summary, the food was bland, the portions were small and overpriced, and the service was abominable. The attitude of this Cactus Club is "We Don't Care" and it shows. Maybe, instead of hiring physically attractive but inexperienced and self-absorbed servers, they should hire people who actually care about providing quality service. Cactus Club has been trying to go upmarket, but they don't realize yet that you can't just raise your prices, shrink your portions, put some fancy curtains up and call yourselves upmarket. Fine dining is about exquisite food and exemplary service, the latter especially. If you expect people to pay, you must provide an experience that makes the customer feel special. I know that 12 of us were made to feel like nothing more than inconveniences and annoyances due to the actions of the staff, and we will not be returning. Not only that, we have already warned others away and will continue to do so. There are too many good restaurants in this area to waste time on Cactus Club, attractive waitresses notwithstanding. If I wanted to see cleavage and butt, I'd go to the beach. I don't need to see it while I eat.

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