I think the level of service you received is woeful, but why on god's very wet and green earth did you allow the neglect to to transpire for so long? After 15 minutes -- tops! -- I would have been poking my head into the kitchen or wait station and made my presence, and need for a cuppa Joe, known.
Why sit and stew? Why not stand and deliver?
This is frighteningly similar to my ex's goodbye letter.
I admire your patience. I gave up on Septieme ten years ago. The only difference was the walls were black and there was a staff person there, smoking a cigarette, reading the Stranger! When I asked for a menu I was told by her that she was on her break. As much as I loved the biscuits & gravy, I left and never returned.
I gave up on Septieme when they ran out of bread during their breakfast service. 'No toast!' they announced.
Huh, now I know restaurants don't usually use grocery stores for supplies, but wouldn't any half-reasonable manager send someone down to QFC with $20 for some bread to make customers happy?
Sure, you could get up and complain about no refills, but then you have to deal with attitude and/or the possibility they're going to screw with your food.
@1: that is between me and my god.and has something to do with my mother, i bet.
If it's any consolation, the last time I was at Septieme, I left the aftermath of my food poisoning in their bathroom. I HAD to because I expelled so much bodily fluid that the toilet did not flush. I felt bad at the time because the food poisoning came not from them but from the Indian restaurant down the street where I had not enjoyed a meal the night before. But now I feel like it was vindication for all of the poor service the establishment was yet to deliver to its patrons.
They have good oatmeal.
That's about it.
This happens all the fucking time there. We waited 15 minutes for the waiter to come bring us our check after we finished. He clearly saw us waiting for him, but he went around and made sure all the empty tables had fresh silverware. Then he was fiddling with something at the bar. Then who the fuck knows what he was doing.
We finally gave a low estimate as to what we thought the meal cost, sans tip, dropped it on the table and never went back.
Seriously FUCK Septieme's service. And not in the way they'd enjoy.
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Ah, the hipster waitstaff freeze-out. Its expression is most pronounced among those who don't really think of themselves as waiters. Tends to be far worse when the restaurant is slow than when it's hopping. The staff get personally invested in whatever they're doing that isn't work (reading a book, smoking a cigarette out back, chatting with the kitchen staff, whatever) and can't tear themselves away for one measly customer.
Must be why I stopped going to that place.
When Septieme first arrived on the hill it was fancy and romantic. The food was good. Alas it was only a slow-but-steady decline from the inception. Maybe that's how Ernie Steel (or whatever was there before) started out too...
I gave up going to Septieme some years ago, some years after Kurt sold it and it started its slide, after I met the current editor of this paper there for a drink and the bartender served me a Manhattan made with dry vermouth. That's only dumb, not a crime against health or anything, but I took it as an augury. I do miss the steak sandwich, though.
Septieme is shit. From soles to hat that place is shit.
As is the case for Judy Fu's Snappy Dragon, I do not understand why people go to Cafe Septieme. The Zagat listing for it mentions the staff's "ennui" specifically. Ennui is code for "European service," i.e. no service. The best that people can muster about Cafe Septieme as a compliment is "good oatmeal" or "good wienerschnitzel" or "good biscuits and gravy." I mean, my God, Cafe Septieme's only claim to fame is as a destination restaurant for wienerschnitzel, biscuits and gravy, and oatmeal?!?
I went there once in 1996, and I vowed then never to go back. You all do the same. Relax: you can get good wienerschnitzel and biscuits and gravy at the Cheesecake Factory.
I love your choice of movie clip, Adrian!
@1 - You ask why he didn't go up and say something. The answer: because he shouldn't have to.
I went there for the first time a few years ago with my roommate for his birthday. The server girl (literally) tossed the menus on our table as she passed and told us she'd be back in a minute to get our orders. She rushed me through picking something when she came back even though I'd only had about two minutes to look at the damn thing. My burger was nearly cold 45 minutes later when it arrived.
Later, my roommate kept going back for bfast based solely on the flimsy "Their oatmeal is really good" excuse. He dragged me along a few months ago. The service was strangly efficient but my order was so far off the mark, I couldn't believe it. I ordered and omelette and ended up with pancakes and hashbrowns. Seriously, how do you confuse the two?
@15 - it was Andy's Diner, and although the food was a bit simpler (think $3 breakfast), it arrived on time, and you would never see the bottom of your coffee cup. The waiters were surly, the customers were surly, and the booths were baby blue vinyl. They didn't serve booze, if you wanted that, you'd go eat at Ernie Steele's. You could smoke at either.
Broadway has been changing for a long time. Everyone around here blames the condos, but believe me, that's just the latest round.
Septieme was crap when it was in Belltown, and when they moved up here, it didn't get any better. Go figure.
Oh, Andy's Diner. If you were paying $3 for your breakfast, you must have been having the steak or something. You used to be able to sit in there for six hours with a dollar. The burgers were a dollar, too, and worth every penny. And the guy sitting next to you at the counter took a shot at Kennedy, and wanted to tell you about it. Great place.
I'm have had some really great food at Septieme, the most memorable was a plate of pasta with some kind of truffle oil sauce with artichokes or something. It was heavenly. But yeah, the service can be spotty. I've never had anything as bad as what y'all are describing, though.
It's not a hipster thing. They hired someone there recently who has no idea what he's doing. He's so slow it seems he must be on tranquilizers of some sort, or anti-psychotic meds. I'm sure he's nice. But he seems so distracted from life that service there, when he is the only waitstaff, is an afterthought.
Last time I was at Septieme it was fine.
Septieme HAS slipped; the new owner is a douche...but the key to a successful visit to Septieme is to sit in Rodney's section because Rodney is divine!
i went once recently with a friend, and same thing. only folks in there and I almost sprained my neck from constantly turning around looking for a waiter!
Well, any restaurant whose name is consistently mispronounced and spelled minus accent (Septième = Alt + 138) deserves to go down. I remember their heavenly fresh-baked biscuits but otherwise the food and service were merely whelming. And did management ever donate a gift certificate for any local fundraiser?
Rodney is the single reason to go to Septieme. The other key is to sit at the bar. You can still be ignored there, but they don't get away with it for as long.
Re: running out of toast - running out of a staple ingredient isn't that uncommon in restaurants. But yes, the immediate response should be to send someone to the store to fix the problem.
Andy's was awesome. There was only one thing I could eat on their menu (cheese omelet), but it was under $2 and I was super broke when I moved to this city, so I was there a lot.
Septieme has definitely gone downhill - but the last time I received service so terrible I walked out? Was at Cafe Presse. Septieme has had poor service (other than Rodney) since they moved to the Hill; CP started great but has hired some really crappy servers for their evening shifts.
ps Night of the Comet is faaaaaaaabulous!
On my final visit to Septieme I ordered a "boneless chicken breast" stuffed with cheese. However what I received appeared to be a thigh or some other part, without any cheese, and ON A BONE.
I pointed this out to our server who said, "Well, it's only one bone." Wow.
The mushy frozen broccoli that accompanied it looked as unappetizing, so I said I didn't want it. Then it was a real hassle to get it taken off the check. Unbelievable.
You should be posting this on Yelp instead; the best review on that site is this one-liner:
"I feel sorry for the ingredients that end their lives by being cooked in this place."
My absolute rule anywhere is that if I don't get a visit from a waitperson within 5 minutes after being seated, I'm gone. Its only going to get worse...
We must have had the same waiter today. Tall, dark, moronic - someone must have told him once that he was cute, and his brain must have shorted out. This guy was incomparably stupid and rude.
First, he argued with me about tea, belligerently INSISTING that they ONLY had FLAVORED teas. I kept saying "black tea" and he kept saying "BLACK CURRANT URL GRAY LIKE BLACK CURRANT DUUUHHHH???" drool drool drool. I said "just get me plain tea like Lipton's, plain, just... TEA tea, you know, plain black tea" and figured it was almost embarrassingly obvious. Oh, but wait.
Next, he argued against the existence of hot cocoa. He admitted that he COULD get steamed milk. He admitted that they DID have chocolate syrup. But he kept hammering on his lead-eating belief that they ONLY HAD MOCHAS, that he ONLY had the ability to put chocolate syrup into COFFEE and milk, not steamed milk. Doohhhh, drool drool drool.
He SLOWLY brought my girlfriend her glass of Shiraz, and shuffled in circles for a bit, then brought her daughter the giant slice of Black Forest cake. And then proceeded to IGNORE our orders for the damned cocoa and tea.
He shuffled about, round-shoulded and hangdog, until we called him over. "Wull, ya coulda been more SPUH CIFFIC about thuh TEEE."
Turns out he believes there's a flavor called BREAKFAST. "Breakfast" tea, which he ARGUED ABOUT when I guessed wildly "English Breakfast" -- he sputtered "Nuuuuuuhhhhh IRISH Brekfust!!!!" doohhhh drool drool drool.
Rude bastard. I will say this for him, he hit some new level of rudeness and idiocy in a very short time. After growling that he couldn't make hot cocoa and they didn't have ANY unflavored (only THUH BREKFUST FLAVERED!!! DUUHHH DROOL DROOL DROOL)
A Hispanic co-worker, who I would bet every tip in the restaurant does his work and Mr. Personality's work too, whisked out some fresh, hot, perfect PLAIN tea and the best hot cocoa ever. No problem. No problem except for this hulking moron who should GO AWAY AND NEVER WAIT TABLES ON BROADWAY AGAIN PLEASE.
There was a confusing switcheroo of waiters, and we got a nice guy after the hulking moron shuffled off to gaze at himself in the endless bathroom mirrors of emo hell, so, yes, I left a nice tip. I hope the good waiters got it - and yes, I will write a more articulate version of this to present to Septieme management. There is simply no excuse for that hipster asshole attitude in ANY restaurant, period.
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