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Goner Message Board / Memphis / Cafe Eclectic Sucks
Posted: Jun 14, 2008 1:09 pm
There. I said it.

I enjoy the fact that they have Illy. They have done great with those drinks whenever I have been able to order them. But that last sentence explains my main issue with this place. It is no longer "too new" to excuse the mostly lousy, irresponsible-but-nice and/or deer-in-headlights service and the fact that they need to have someone come in and really organize what the hell is going on FOH.

And don't get me started on the food.

I wish better things for this place cos the owners could really have a fantastic place if they had a better menu, better cooks and lawd, better service.
Posted: Jun 14, 2008 1:32 pm
they sell lame no variety donuts all day long.

according to j9.

who also agrees that "service is lame."

she has given up on that place.
Posted: Jun 14, 2008 5:50 pm
Had a great donut & a great cup o' joe there today. Total time spent=3 or 4 minutes. What's not to like? Best coffee in town & no crazy Harris!

Burger & blt have been great. Service is inconsistent, but nothing as bad as some other coffee shops in Memphis have.
Posted: Jun 14, 2008 6:07 pm
What's not to like? Best coffee in town & no crazy Harris!
Had a great donut & a great cup o' joe there today.
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 3:56 am | Edited by: Scott
I gave up on the place when I saw that it was gonna be called Cafe Eclectic
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 8:25 am
Like I said, I have only been able to order this great coffee without waiting a ridiculous amount of time maybe twice and only when I have gone at off hours. I don't do donuts but maybe twice a year. I am talking more about the "sitting down to eat" experience which they have NOT got down.

I think their lunch/dinner menu is totally skimpy and my sandwich/salad there was pretty unimpressive. The breakfast dishes are really bad--I guess if I stuck to the basics, it may be better, but I can get basics at home. Constructive criticism y'all!
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 9:31 am
Look, I don't have a stake in this place, but I've had coffee from there about 15 times and meals there about 8 or 9 times. The coffee has been the best in town every time but once, when it was burned. The food has been above average--great angus burger, interesting blt with avocado, tasty soups, great homemade donut, etc. They carry Mexican Cokes. They make their own ice cream and pastries. Their milkshakes are fantastic. They have put an immense amount of money into the physical building to make it a superior coffee/dining experience.

The service has definitely been spotty, and sometimes I waited too long for the check but never long enough to TRASH the restaurant on a public board. Calling your forum Cafe Electic Sucks is not constructive criticism; it is sabotage of what is obviously one of the best new community centers in midtown and whose owners put in a LOT of money and effort to make it super nice. Constructive criticism is calling the manager or owner to your table and explaining your problems with the food or service. Constructive criticism is writing a letter to the owner. Constructive criticism is NOT torpedoing a new business on a public board with major invective. Perhaps I'm sensitive to this kind of thing because by looking at the interior, I know how many thousands of dollars it has taken to open a superior coffee shop. I think people in Memphis have a tendency to complain 1st and don't realize what a major commitment in time and money it is to open a successful business (here in Memphis for sure!)--esp. a restaurant. This is definitely one of the toughest markets in the country.

That said, your poor service should not be expected nor endured. Nor should you expect mediocre food. With most restaurants, poor service and bad food will destroy it quickly, however the experiences I have had are nowhere near yours, and I expect this place to continue to thrive as the overall experience is the best coffee shop in town.

You can easily vote with your dollars and avoid this coffee shop and go to Starbucks, or one of the other local shops with far inferior coffee, but please don't justify your negativity as constructive criticism. And if you like locally owned places that make killer milkshakes or coffee, chill out and give this place another shot.
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 11:04 am
I think people in Memphis have a tendency to complain 1st and don't realize what a major commitment in time and money it is to open a successful business (here in Memphis for sure!)--esp. a restaurant.

I haven't tried this place yet it looks nice but how much money someone puts into a business(or anything) isn't relative to someones right to criticize it on a message board. That is primarily about food,music,and Memphis.
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 12:49 pm
i like the place. i love their coffee, but their service does need to be upped a lil bit. wait times are a little more than i would like. but it's not going to stop me from going there.
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 1:45 pm
Went there twice this week. I live 2 blocks away so it's super convenient.

Coffee was great, the kids love the milkshakes and donuts and their portobello mushroom sandwich was the best I've had in awhile.

Service has been spotty for me as well in the past. I went during off hours both times and it was fine though.
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 2:10 pm
but how much money someone puts into a business(or anything) isn't relative to someones right to criticize it on a message board.

That's a fair statement. My point is, I'm just guessing here, they probably spent 100-250,000$ to make what was the nicest coffee shop in town (& they serve food too!) the day it opened. The bathrooms are nicer than most coffee shops in town! They've been open (only) 3 months so, yes, the service should be getting better by now. (If you had shopped at Goner or Shangri-la 3 months after the opening, I don't think you would have been too impressed).

Did I mention they have fresh-squeezed juice?

Anyone who spends that much effort/money making such an attractive locale (indoor & outdoor dining) will get their service bugs worked out. It's not fine dining, but it's good food on a limited menu, and as I said, fresh donuts, best coffee, homemade icecream, fresh squeezed juice. I have yet to see anyone else in this town put forth such an effort on coffee shop environment & food. I'm sure the bugs in the service will go away.

If you haven't tried it, go grab a cup of coffee, milkshake, mexican coke, donut, or cookie and see for yourself. If it's not up to your standards, stick with what you like. I have no doubt in my mind that the service will improve, and I also would love to see the menu expand, but it's already tops in my book for the above listed items. Does any other coffee shop in town bake their own donuts???????? Tough town!
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 2:57 pm
OK OK OK. Perhaps my statement was snarky as hell, but definitely not an unusual tone to take on this board. I respect what they have TRIED to do and have given them props on the coffee and the space (I really love the space and location, perhaps this is why I wish for far more from this place). And I think I have mentioned before (nearly three months ago and again, yesterday) that I wish for better things for them for these very reasons.

My post mentioning sucking resulted from two very unsatisfactory experiences there at lunch and breakfast and then an attempt to get coffee drinks (yesterday) at breakfast. It was packed so we cut them some slack in terms of their time and attention. The server literally threw two menus on the table and ran off. 15 minutes pass. No water, no nothin'. In fact, we had gone in initially to the counter to ask if we could just order coffee drinks and the barista told us we could go outside to a table and a server would order it for us so we could sit down and be more comfortable. This didn't really work out as he planned, obviously.

I think I can be as critical as I wanna be based on my own experiences with anything. Perhaps it will rub fans the wrong way and I will get lambasted for speaking my mind. Of course, everyone should form their own opinions, but this place is suffering no apparent problems of bad reviews (see the CA) and is consistently packed. I know a little something about food and restaurants and this place simply ain't as good as I'd like it to be. Nothing wrong with a negative opinion to go along with all the glowing ones. Especially on a public message board.

I hate Starbucks.

Wiles-Smith has fine milkshakes and they are three blocks from my house.
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 5:25 pm
As long as we are talking about coffee shops otherlands has to be up there on my list of shit holes . For one the lady who runs it constantly belittles her employees in front of costumers (seeing her yell at a 45 year old employee to "hurry the fuck up" really warmed my heart ) It also is totally filthy I use to clean the place one question do you like rat poop cookies ? Doesn't help that the place looks like a casting call for a redneck version of Ghost World either.. So I'm down with any other options cause its not like there are many to chose from in M-town
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 5:47 pm | Edited by: saispas
Hey, I agree completely...the Illy espresso drinks at Cafe Eclectic are great (I know I must have said that now around 15 times). Easily my favorite in town. I would like just a simple coffee shop, however, and Cafe Eclectic is well, pretty eclectic. I am looking for straightforward badass coffee, a few superior baked goods and maybe the Izzes and fancy waters in a cooler. Sure, I was spoiled in Portland, but these places are popping up everywhere these days. Why not Memphis?
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 5:47 pm
anybody know about the Edge Coffeehouse opening in the former Lupe and Beas/former AA "bar"?
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 5:49 pm
Was there an Edge Coffeehouse here a long time ago?

And speaking of coffee, has anyone tried the local "microroasters" from Millington's stuff? They are called McCarter Coffee and sell at the Farmer's Market.
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 5:53 pm
I like the place! so there! Its better than starbucks! Memphians sure do like to bitch while they sit on there asses.
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 5:58 pm
Who is sitting on their ass? I am sure you are positive about everything. I guess I will generalize all over the place and say "Memphians sure love to only notice the negative shit you say and then mention Starbucks if you criticize a local coffeeshop."


Posted: Jun 15, 2008 6:21 pm
Doesn't help that the place looks like a casting call for a redneck version of Ghost World either..

i about spit out my coffee when i read this line. ha.
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 6:25 pm
I am looking for straightforward badass coffee, a few superior baked goods

that's why i eat at home for that combination. out in the world, you can get one or the other; finding them together is pretty damn hard. unless you pay an arm & a leg

i like cafe eclectic's coffee. i've been there at off hours; they've always been out of the specific baked good i wanted.
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 6:50 pm
Yeah, I guess you right, TK, but while I am quite great a making espresso, I never seem to have croissants or zucchini bread on hand when I crave them! Stumptown just spoiled the hell out of me, dammit. It is perfect.
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 7:15 pm
i always have baked goods at home - i'm in a big martha stewart phase right now. you wanna croissant? i got puff pastry in the freezer. puff pastry i made myself.
Posted: Jun 15, 2008 7:36 pm

Fedex some-a that mess.
Posted: Jun 16, 2008 9:53 am
saispas-i've had the espresso from McCarters. Really, really good. I think it being freshly roasted (the day before) makes it moreso than any special bean or technique.
Posted: Jun 16, 2008 12:20 pm
jack stands -- the time was never better for you to get yourself a coffee vending cart!!!

we can get a donkey (the animal kind) and i'll hustle my cookies & brownies with your coffee. cash business yo!
Posted: Jun 16, 2008 12:44 pm
we can get a donkey (the animal kind) and i'll hustle my cookies & brownies with your coffee. cash business yo!

I'm in. Just roasted some Peruvian yesterday.
Posted: Jun 16, 2008 12:48 pm
i'll tell you what does suck, after reading this yesterday i went to get some pastries or doughnuts and they are closed on sunday, had to get some dunkin' stix from midtown minimart which is not the same at all
Posted: Jun 16, 2008 5:08 pm
Constructive criticism is calling the manager or owner to your table and explaining your problems with the food or service. Constructive criticism is writing a letter to the owner.
I went over there for breakfast the 1st r 2nd weekend it opened and was told that breakfast ended at 10:30 (this was at 11am). I wrote an e-mail to the owner saying this was pretty stupid considering most mid-towners are likely to want breakfast well into the afternoon. The next weekend it was extended to 1PM. They are quite responsive to suggestions in my experience.
Posted: Jun 16, 2008 5:20 pm

You should convert an old Mister Softee truck for your coffe shop on wheels like the MUDD truck did in NYc and parked acrross the street from Starbucks every mornin. Burned them up somethin fierce, but they couldn't do nothin.
park that bitch downtown by the JP morgan building and watch the money roll in.

Mud Truck rules!

oh, they also blair Frank Sinatra while you wait in line on th street for there mud.

Posted: Jun 16, 2008 5:21 pm
Oh, almost forgot...

Posted: Jun 16, 2008 5:45 pm | Edited by: saispas
jack stands -- the time was never better for you to get yourself a coffee vending cart!!!

Totally. The McCarter's woman is very quiet and subtle and only selling at the market and at Miss Cordelias. You could hit an entirely different market! The farmer's market has gawdawful coffee being sold by those kids and I think it is a money-maker for the market itself, which makes me feel badly for not buying it, but I can't hack that mess.

I think I will brave Harbor Town and get some of their coffee rather than order from The Roasterie (Kansas City--very good+, but no Stumptown or Counter Culture). Anyone want a half bag of High Point beans? Not a performer.
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 4:17 pm | Edited by: saispas
They are quite responsive to suggestions in my experience.

OK, so I will do this, but I am afraid the email could result with my suggestions consituting something a consultant would come up with. Perhaps I should carefully phrase all criticisms couched in "strengths"...ye olde therapist trick.
Posted: Jun 18, 2008 7:21 am
OK, so I will do this

Are you assuming no one here has told them to check the Goner board?
Posted: Jun 18, 2008 8:48 am
Yeah, but obviously and as I have been chastised, that wasn't the most constructive way to get a message to them about anything. And I didn't even get into making specific suggestions as I feel I am giving up tons of trade secrets with the amount of ideas I have for them. But as I won't be the one to spend tons of money opening a similar place, maybe I should just be a good neighbor and offer up knowledge for free for them to consider.
Posted: Jun 18, 2008 4:53 pm
I feel I am giving up tons of trade secrets with the amount of ideas I have for them.

have you ever thought about doing consulting for cafes on the side?

you'd be surprised just how many organizations and businesses use outside consultants. most of my income is made from consulting to people who want to make documentaries and think they know how... and the other half is to television networks who need "fixes" immediately
Posted: Jun 18, 2008 5:04 pm | Edited by: saispas
have you ever thought about doing consulting for cafes on the side?

It would really be my husband that could totally help hook this place up; he is the one with all the knowledge as he basically helped start from the very beginning a better version of it in Portland. Obviously the suggestions would work around their model which (obviously) people here like. But, the improvements/additions are relatively an easy fix depending on a few things. But yeah, it is not as if I (or anyone else) need to spell it out for them for free...but how do you make "constructive criticisms" without devulging trade secrets sometimes?

And just so people don't get all rankled (please dear god), I am not suggesting that Memphis needs to be Portland. This just so happened to be our experience.
Posted: Jun 18, 2008 5:04 pm
Posted: Jun 18, 2008 5:12 pm
but how do you make "constructive criticisms" without devulging trade secrets sometimes?

you make people sign non disclosure agreements.
just about everything i do involves one
Posted: Jun 18, 2008 6:56 pm
you make people sign non disclosure agreements.

Tell me more
Posted: Jun 18, 2008 6:59 pm
I think the gradual approach might be best in this town; not 6-guns-a-blazin'. Even though the advice would really be helpful and even if they didn't want to go with the stuff that would be a bit more intensive at this stage, there are enough really basic management things that would really help them out. The owner seems really nice and maybe she'd be receptive.
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 9:20 am
or don't.

according to someone who worked in a new cafe styled restaurant, all they heard for the first year was "you know, you really should..." and it just made 'em not want to do anything.

so perhaps bitching on a bulletin board could be the correct move.
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 9:23 am
I went for the first time last night and while it doesn't suck, there are some things that could have been improved.
The pluses were:
it's a really nice space - the time, money, and effort the owners have put into it definitely showed. It was pleasant in there, and clean.
it has a soda fountain - I don't eat ice cream, but I can certainly see the appeal - especially being right across the street from Snowden
the food was pretty good - all I had was a burger and the potatoes, but it was good, and cooked to order.
the waitress was very sweet and seemed genuinely interested in whether we we happy

The minuses were:
why in the world are there four seperate menus? It was awkward, and all the menus weren't presented at once. The waitress had to go hunt up an ice cream menu and it took a while. Some of the service problems could be worked out with the simple step of combining all the menus into one.
there needs to be some basic waitress training. Food was brought out in shifts, practically one plate at a time. I didn't see anyone carrying plates on a tray. At one point we were all sitting with dirty dishes, the waitress came and had a glass from another table in her hand. She went to scrounge up an ice cream menu and left the table without taking our plates. I thought it odd that she didn't at least grab one plate, as she left with only the glass she was carrying from another table. This could be helped right away by hiring a couple of bus boys.
they were out of doughnuts - if this is one of your signature items then you shouldn't run out three hours before the doors close
it's a coffeeshop. I'm just not into the 'coffeshop culture'. And, I don't drink coffee, so this really isn't a minus - just my personal quirk. Also, one of my dinner companions was swearing up a blue streak, and she talks loud. It was pretty awkward as their were children in there.

All in all, I liked it there pretty well, and will probably go back and try breakfast. I ate with people who had eaten there before and they said breakfast was much better.
I am very happy to have such a family place in that space, though. It's very good for the neighborhood.
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 9:27 am
so perhaps bitching on a bulletin board could be the correct move.

Gotcha, I mean, that is my forte.
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 9:53 am
Where is this place, did they take over the Italian diner on the bit of Mclean with the mini mart on the corner, next block over from Park cleaners and Flippin' pianos?
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 9:54 am
nope, just down the street, more like next to park cleaners
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 9:55 am
did they take over the Italian diner

Nope...Dino's is still there...I think it's south of Dino's...I have not been there...
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 10:27 am
Dino's is OK, pretty ropey hash browns, tho'...
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 11:47 am
Ive been in there and its fine. Its a neighborhood coffe joint for shits sake. Im sure they hire college kids trying to make a buck for the Summer that may or may not have any waiting experience. Situations like this often end up where the owner says hey, we have overextended ourselves and we just need to stick to coffee and pastries or donuts or whatever. I think you folks are being way, way too critical of a still very new place that has great potential. Independently owned establishments take longer to get things right because they dont have a cookie cutter management crew come in and do the hiring etc. Its going to take time, and having grown up in that area on Mignon and on Snowden, I think its great that they turned a ratty ass laundramat into a pretty cool spot to have some coffee. Ease up and give it some more time. Id rather go there than to Otherlands amongst all the pretenders.
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 11:50 am
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 12:42 pm
I still cannot understand other than me saying the place "sucks" which admittedly was overly harsh (for me anyway; this board gets pretty damn cruel), why anything I said was too harsh or "too critical". Wishing for improvements in a place that begs for a few is not a big deal. As I have said, I wouldn't even care to have mentioned it if the bones of something really great weren't already there. It won't stop me from going there again; I never said as much. And I certainly was not advocating for cookie-cutter anything...colin, you've known me for about a hundred years now and I would think you might know I wasn't going for that.

Well, whatever, I dug myself this hole; I guess I need to put my Junior League manners on when criticising anything next go round!
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 4:08 pm
Not pointin any fingers...easy, easy. Just think they need some more time. I think the place alright.
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 4:53 pm
I think it's alright too...fills a really great niche in VECA.
And, they do hire very young girls to serve, so that might be some of the service problem. Though, very very sweet young girls.

I'll probably head back to Dino's for dinner though. They vastly improved in the last year...their food is pretty damned good now. And you can have beer with dinner!

I'm looking forward to going there for breakfast. Lord knows I've bitched many many times about the lack of breakfast joints here.
That's another thing, though...closed on SUNDAYS? They would be raking it in if they were only open for Sunday breakfast!
But, I don't know. No matter how nice or fancy you are...nothing beats CK's for breakfast on Sunday morning!
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 5:38 pm
plus they feed monkeys http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/jun/19/surprise-breakfast-ou t-is-a-sweet-deal/

Holy shit. I hope I'm never in any restaurant with those people. Who the fuck names their children Satchel and Jiro?!?!? I bet those kids get away with fucking murder. I feel sorry for any wait staff that would have to put up with that lot.
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 5:53 pm | Edited by: Alisa
I'm right there with you, heyradio.
I think Woody Allen named his kid Satchel?
And what the hell is Jiro? Is that like a combination of the Gyro sandwich and a gyroscope?
It's probably some obsure goddess.
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 6:20 pm
I think Woody Allen named his kid Satchel?

after satchel page, whose parents obviously named him satchel...
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 11:26 pm
plus they feed monkeys

the article was written by stacey greenberg (says it at the top). anyways, stacey and her husband warren are awesome folks. their kids are great too. she started the rock n romp in memphis, if you know what that is. that alone makes her cool. and she gets paid to write about something most people pay to do anyways...go out to eat. as far as her kids names, who gives a fuck? what should she have named them?
Posted: Jun 19, 2008 11:30 pm
Hey, at least it's not Apple and Maximillian.

I'm a kid's name snob. Sorry. My kids are named really normal names. But, I'm sure your friend's kids are great!
Where does Jiro come from, though?
Posted: Jun 20, 2008 12:00 am
i know a few jiros... it's a common japanese name.
Posted: Jun 20, 2008 12:13 am
kinda rolls off the tongue easier than hiroshi or koichi.
Posted: Jun 20, 2008 12:18 am
i know a few jiros... it's a common japanese name.

The things I learn every day. Here I am sounding like a hick with my "gyro" comments...
Thanks eric!
Posted: Jun 20, 2008 6:36 am | Edited by: Golightly
I'm just glad my parents named me Jeff...because that's what everybody calls me....well...among other things...
Posted: Jun 20, 2008 9:11 am
Course if you name your kids "normal names" they end up with nicknames like Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious and Jah Wobble.
Posted: Jun 20, 2008 9:22 am
You got that right.
Posted: Jun 20, 2008 9:40 am
My kids have perfectly normal nicknames, too. "Pookie", "Bumbee", and "Bingo" (or just "The Kid").
At least, those are my nicknames for them.
Posted: Jun 20, 2008 10:44 am
I interviewed Stacey and the kids for a spot in Memphis magazine a year or so ago about the Dining With Monkeys blog she does. They are cool kids - one was rocking a little Ramones t-shirt too. If more parents taught their kids how to eat out at a restaurant from such an early age, the Memphis dining experience would be much better for us all.
Posted: Jun 20, 2008 10:58 am
more parents taught their kids how to eat out at a restaurant from such an early age, the Memphis dining experience would be much better for us all.

Maybe I need to start beating my kids...
Posted: Jun 22, 2008 9:10 pm
Today at Quetzal, there was one waitress on the floor. I saw her drop a knife by a table and then slowly kick it back to the kitchen.
I got the impression they were swamped, but she and the cashier started to argue over who was going to get cut.
Then church let out, and people came to eat in large groups. That surprised everyone.
Posted: Jun 25, 2008 5:38 pm
I bet those kids get away with fucking murder. I feel sorry for any wait staff that would have to put up with that lot.

I rest my case.
Posted: Jun 25, 2008 9:27 pm
When the game was over I realized that I had just had one of the most enjoyable dining experiences ever with my kids...and it had nothing to do with the food. So, uh, hey, take your kids to a bar, er, restaurant/bar, sometime! It's fun!

I'm still with you, heyradio.
And you know, I read that whole blog, and what I can't understand is how a woman who bitches so much about her "personal space" can inflict two rug rats on unsuspecting diners.

But that's just me.
Posted: Jun 25, 2008 9:54 pm
If more parents taught their kids how to eat out at a restaurant from such an early age, the Memphis dining experience would be much better for us all.

Good point. Hope she considers doing it.
Posted: Jun 25, 2008 10:27 pm
yeah, kids should be left in the car
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 7:24 am
I love this argument! People on both sides have great points and are so passionate about it. I think kids are sometimes just gonna be mortifying and annoying to
'dine' with but it is more mortifying when the parents seem to be encouraging it or are oblivious to the behavior.
i have seen plenty of parents try to reign in their toddlers, even if just a bit, but just as many sit there and ignore them while they try to get attention from anywhere they can.
Hard call.
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 8:04 am
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 9:32 am
Having my own weirdly named, ill-mannered kids(they are learning still), I can't say much about that.
I was more annoyed by the self-indulgent writing and the repeated requests for styrofoam cups.
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 9:44 am
This woman is everywhere lately! I saws her on the news defending the old Overton Park trails against the Zoo development.
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 9:45 am
Did not mean to say 'saws' above!
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 9:46 am
I have to brag on the millionaire a little here. (granted I wasn't around for the toddler stage) His kids are some of the most well behaved kids in restaurants that I have ever been around. We have taken them everywhere from hole in the wall places to nice restaurants. We don't leave messes, they don't run around and they don't get loud and whiny. Most wait staff comment on how well mannered they are.

I tend to get irritated by obnoxious kids in restaurants too, but for me it depends on what type of restaurant and why I am there. (I posted about the Valentine's Day experience last year)
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 9:55 am
I saws her
I like it when you talk tough, saispas.
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 10:43 am
defending the old Overton Park trails against the Zoo development.


multiple self-documented repeated requests for styrofoam cups.

Posted: Jun 26, 2008 5:47 pm
yeah, kids should be left in the car
Yes, obviously just threatening them with the car doesn't work.

Once they had a few bites of food in them, the children retreated back under the table. Warren and RJA soon found themselves in a modern day parenting pissing match to see who could most creatively convince their wildest child to behave. RJA threatened to put S in the car by herself while we all ate. When that didn’t work, he threatened to put her in someone else’s car. Warren told Satchel he better look out before “Mr. Sam” came over. When “Mr. Sam” stopped sounding threatening, Warren warned of “Mr. Pete.”

After quietly eating her dinner as well as a bowl of black olives, M finally dismounted from Andria’s lap and started exploring the restaurant. Jiro, who could be contained no longer, let out his hundreth request for "wollipop" and took off after M. I sent Warren after him with all of my change, while I sat in my chair groaning,
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 7:22 pm
After reading the blog more, it is more of the "personal journal" type of writing than any sort of true restaurant review, with or without children. I kept thinking, "This sounds like my Baby Book before my mom got bored writing about my every minute." Which was somewhere around age 18 months.
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 8:04 pm
Yeah, I guess that's what I meant by "self-indulgent", but then I wondered if that was just the nature of blogs. I always get a little alienated when a person is thrown into a story without any introduction. I guess that's sort of a diary style of writing though.
Most of the reviews didn't do much for me, as they were just slightly informative about the places.
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 8:30 pm
there were some comments but they were all "removed by the blog administrator". y'all must have gone buckwild on that poor lady.

but as a nanny, i concur. there's a fine line with kids in restaurants, but it can be straddled with good discipline and with paying attention to the kid. i think lots of times it's an issue with parents wanting a night out, but not wanting to pony up for a babysitter. that's just lazy.

there's also a line with the type of restaurant. like, if i'm on a fancy date at a fancy restaurant i don't want some kid grabbing my ankles, but i expect it at some place like el porton. at brunch it's BRUTAL to be around screaming kids, cos i always have a freaking hangover. horrid.
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 9:41 pm
Well, I'm going to sound like an old fogey here but...
I went out to restaurants at least twice a week with my grandmother from the time I was a tiny girl, 3 or 4. It was one of my favorite things to do and the source of many of my best childhood memories, so I'm not averse to kids in restaurants.
HOWEVER, if I had ever acted like those kids on the blog I would have been yanked right on up out of there and given the whatfor and not taken out again until I could behave in the courteous and mannerly fashion toward other people that I was also TAUGHT from the time I was a tiny girl.
I've read a lot of that blog, and it's pretty appalling what those "monkeys" are getting away with. Self-indulgent, indeed.
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 10:05 pm
I think blogs started out to be intentionally more like as your own journal, but being posted and generally wide open, most seem to be this blend of "It is all about me, but I reallllllllly want you to be reading. Please. And if you really like me, hire me as a writer for money."
Having read some really great journals, blogs can either be really great or like a very, very detailed Day Planner. My favorite journals are Joe Orton's diary and Barbellion's Diary of a Disappointed Man.
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 10:12 pm
I never noticed kids in restaurants before I had kids, as a patron or as a server. But now that I have kids, when I dine out with them, I live in fear that they might be disturbing someone else's dining -needlessly so, as there is no caveat that accompanies public dining that you should be able to eat undisturbed by your fellow diners. I don't consider myself laid back but I don't consider some kids' yelling and screaming to be more irritating than some douche trying to impress his date by acting like a douche (feigning shock at their bland common interests, etc.) or some loser trying to namedrop so loudly that you don't have to eavesdrop.

When I eat at a restaurant, I figure I'm putting myself out there, among the other patrons and 90% of any given clientèle are people I'd like to see gunned down by stormtroopers. Usually, I give kids in the room the benefit of the doubt and am more likely to hate on somebody minding their own business, whether it be a middle age woman in Ann Taylor, talking on a cell phone, or a guy in a polo shirt and baseball cap thinking about cruising Young Avenue Deli during feeding-time, neither of which are crying because they don't want to finish their vegetables. All the stupid people were kids once, but they were pretty much indistinguishable from the decent ones during the bulk of their formative days.
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 10:51 pm
blogs can either be really great or like a very, very detailed Day Planner.

Well, maybe the DWM blog is supposed to be funny and I just don't get it. They may be perfectly great kids, but I don't understand why you'd want to tell the world about taking your kids places where they generally run you ragged, climb over and under tables, throw things, complain, etc.

And sambeaux, I totally agree with you that grownups can be just as irritating, and often are. In fact, I posted earlier in this thread that when we went to Cafe Eclectic it wasn't the kids there that bothered me, but my foul mouthed dinner partner did because there were kids there.
Having three kids myself, I'm certainly willing to cut the little ones some slack because anything you do in public with them can be wildly unpredictable. Still, they need to know how to sit and eat without disturbing others - that there ARE rules of public behavior.
Posted: Jun 26, 2008 11:06 pm
i hate kids.
Posted: Jun 27, 2008 9:41 am
I interviewed Stacey and the kids for a spot in Memphis magazine a year or so ago about the Dining With Monkeys blog she does. They are cool kids

Mary Helen, who are you kidding? I've heard you bitch about the behavior of those kids during that interview on more than one occasion. Whose ass are you kissing?
Posted: Jun 27, 2008 10:10 am
I am biased and have much more tolerance for the wild behavior of kids I know and love than kids I don't. However, it is an entirely different eating out experience with kids anytime. Bottom line, it makes for boring reading no matter how exciting it might seem to the mother/writer.
Posted: Jun 27, 2008 11:19 am
i have five kids by six moms (phat gov't asst. check every month. woohoo!). they have really beautiful names. tonuja, shunki, dokey wayne, cheetah lips, and prince wulgram. i encourage them to raise hell ANYTIME we're in public. i've thought about making my own blog called "inhaling grease with animals." it won't be boring or diary/babybookish. it'll be completely offensive and a hoot to boot. you'll be glued to yer monitor when you read about a dirty diaper leaking some number 2 on someone's supersized number 3 w/ no pickles and onions.
Posted: Jun 27, 2008 11:36 am
jb I'm shocked....

no pickles and onions?
Posted: Jun 27, 2008 10:03 pm
I doubt that. Nice annonymous post, by the way. I dont kiss ass, and you dont have any nuts. guess we're even?
Posted: Jul 16, 2008 3:52 pm
You doubt it? Maybe you just kiss ass so much you can't remember? You spin faster than a goner record. Got to love the nuts bit though. How anonymous could I be if you got that one?
Posted: Jul 16, 2008 8:13 pm
i make the best coffee in Memphis!
Posted: Jul 28, 2008 10:17 pm
Service sucks!! But damn, they're on to something really good if they could just get rid of the retards...
Posted: Jul 29, 2008 12:32 am
I have no clue who you are, and I don't care. BUT, whatever personal beef you might have with me, whoever you are, whyncha talk to me and not take it out on someone's CHILDREN? Geez. These kids are just trying to eat a damn hot dog and pizza slice in peace and you go apeshit on them.

Tony! When are you working next? Im gonna stop by and grab some joe. You make a mean latte, buddy!
Posted: Jul 29, 2008 5:27 pm
i make the best coffee in Memphis!

No you don't.
Posted: Jul 29, 2008 10:31 pm
So, I found out by accident that my cousin is managing this place. I saw him when we were in town for the wedding and just remembered to post something.

If anyone wants to give him some feedback his name is Mike. I'm sure he'd appreciate some compliments too......
Posted: Jul 29, 2008 10:35 pm

bad combination
Posted: Jul 29, 2008 11:41 pm
Had coffee this morning... PERFECT. They even brought my dog a water bowl. Service was great, I think they might be reading this??? Well, they should. It's a great place and I support it. The service was really suckin' for awhile, but I think someone might actually be taking charge now...GOOD JOB!!!
Posted: Jul 30, 2008 1:46 am
fuck you, Robin. you aint tasted my shit!
Rents due!
Posted: Jul 30, 2008 1:56 am
fuck you, Robin. you aint tasted my shit!
Rents due!

Fuck you, Tony! You ain't made shit out of my stash. It can't be that great. I RULE! (and would probably hire you as a barista, soon as the venture capitalist money rolls in; I know you know whats up with a coffee drink).

Rent be paid, man. Utills, too. Ain't sweatin' it. Unless I'm up there...

Posted: Jul 30, 2008 5:11 pm

and yeah MaryHelen i work friday thru tuesday nights.
yup yup
Posted: Jul 30, 2008 11:08 pm
i hate kids.
Does Ollie know about this?
Posted: Jul 31, 2008 8:32 pm
i have five kids by six moms

That reminds me of a news report about a six-car accident with five passengers...
Posted: Nov 10, 2008 8:38 am
Pam and I finally went this weekend.
She wanted hummus and was told they were out. She then asked for cole slaw and was told they were out of that, too.
She finally managed to order stuff they did have. She ordered a salad with no cooked ingredients, I ordered a turkey dog.
Over half an hour later, no food.
We asked the server about the status, and she didn't know. We asked when we might receive our food, and she said "I have no idea."
At that point, we walked out.

Yes, it was busy, but I overheard another employee tell a customer, "Yeah, Saturdays are usually like this."
So if it's normally that busy, how do they a) not manage to handle the business and b) how do they run out of things like cole slaw?

That's the first time we've walked out on a place in 6 1/2 years of eating out in this town. And Pam worked in the biz for years, so we tend cut a fair amount of slack.
Posted: Nov 10, 2008 9:31 am
Ha. I was just about to post an opposite sentiment.

They are now open on Sundays and we went yesterday. The waffle was excellent and my wife was talking about how good the omelette was for hours after.

Now, living down the street we've eaten there a handful of times and had more of the kind of experience you described, mainly on Saturdays when they seem to busy to handle the crowd. Yesterday they were not busy and we had a good waitress so I think that helped.

Inconsistent for sure. I wish they could fix that!
Posted: Nov 10, 2008 9:38 am
God love her, that waitress with the bleach blonde, possibly permed hair is a bit of a ding bat. And I always seem to get her as my server.
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