It’s happened to us all.
We try out a restaurant, the food is good, like really really good but the service is so awful that we pledge never to go back.
Well, this happens a lot in Buenos Aires. It’s so damn frustrating! Business owners & waiters, don’t you want to make money?! I mean that’s why you’re there, right, to make money?
And it’s so difficult because you want the tasty menu so bad but you’re unsure if you want to compromise good food for the lousy service. I mean, how does one decide?! Does the food trump the experience or the other way around?
I talked with Momo about it. He was of no help. Just kept sitting there waiting for a ride in his new box car. Who can blame him? Es lo mas.
Bueno. So I decided to take the boy to dinner. Somewhere fancy. Somewhere close to home in Palermo. A big night before I took off to the states for three weeks.
I let him choose, I made the reservation, we had a picada (Argentine appetizer) and some vino at home and arrived at Sipan Palermo at 11. Everything was off to a great start. I even got to pick out his clothes!
We walk in as the clock struck our reservation time and the host, 10 minutes later, acknowledges us and then tells us to wait at the bar while they prepare our table.
And their maracuya pisco sours are freakin’ off the chain delicious so any excuse to order one is just fine by me.
Too bad it took 10+ minutes to execute that drink! Ugh. Why, world?! Is it because there were other bar patrons waiting before me? No, there was no one!
Is it because I’ve worked in the industry for so long (both front and back of the house!) that I have expectations? Standards! Uff.
Those expectations are such a bitch sometimes. #life
Or is it the gringa in me?!
Bueno. Long story short after 20 minutes of walking through the door we finally got sat and unfortunately it took another 15+ minutes to get any attention, let alone from someone who was actually informative about the wine selection or fish of the day. It’s a Peruvian Japanese fusion restaurant with a focus on seafood, and you don’t even know the fish of the day?! And it’s not like the place was slammin’, there was actually loads of empty tables which made me question why we had to wait to be seated in the first place, ESPECIALLy considering we had a reservation. Was it all a ploy for liquor sales?
All the food was outstanding. Every bite. The wine too. We shared about 5 dishes- 2 ceviches, octopus, nikkei, tiracuya and everything really was tasty. Fresh, bright, simple, FLAVOR. Loved it all.
Crazy adult conversations were happening. Business, future travels and world domination mostly. It was a great dinner.
The check arrived, it’s was mildly outrageous at 800 pesos, and of course 70 of that being cubierto.
For those of you unfamiliar with cubierto… cubierto is a charge that many restaurants and cafes use in Buenos Aires. From what I’ve been told it’s a charge for the use of the tables flatware, linens, dishes, bread, etc.. Is this legit, Argentina? Because I know the waiters aren’t getting it even though that’s what you may want us to think…
And then people don’t tip on top of it because it’s so outrageous to be charged for forks when you’re eating at a restaurant and so many think it’s for the waiter even though it’s really not! So then the waiter gets nothing. No cubierto, no tip. Which I guess is what they deserve anyway because the service was so freakin’ horrendous. Or is that why they’re giving such bad service in the first place? Because there is no money being made!
Is this one of those ‘What was first? The chicken or the egg?’ situations. Right?!
And ya never know. My girlfriend went a couple of weeks ago and had excellent service but so so food. Timing is everything. Is that it?
On our walk home we ran into Cosmic Nacho and went up to see Fantasmin and her puppies!
Exactly what we needed. A little adorable unconditional hairy animal love to put everything back into perspective.
Shit service or not, life is fantastic.