Sunday, February 28, 2010

Confessions of a bruncher.

I recently relocated to North Melbourne and have already found my nook for the essential morning double espresso (there ain't a X in eSpresso). It's called Schön, which apparently means 'beautiful' in German, and is an excessively awkward hospitality training cafe with a customer, staff ratio of roughly 1:5. This place has prompted me to list the most ridiculous, infuriating or hilarious instances I have witnessed while brunching, lunching or dining. I'm getting my hospitality snob hat on in a big way.

1. At Mitte, a breakfast/lunch cafe in North Fitzroy, my boyfriend and I had the most eccentric waiter one could imagine. I'm not sure if he just had a real passion for his job, or was bored shitless. As we walked in the door he pointed direct at us, flamboyantly crying 'I'm going to sort the both of you out! Come with me.' And with the curling of an index finger, he invisibly yanked us to the only free table. Watching him deal with other customers was the most squirmishly amusing thing I have done in a long time. The highlight was undoubtably his clearing of an outside table. Upon picking up half full water glasses he flung the contents over the bruncher's heads onto the road in a ballet like swoosh. Unfortunately for the balding gentleman at the table, his aim was not-so-good.

The aforementioned waiter was pretty much this dude, but with cups of water in his hands, shooting the water onto the ground over the top of a very surprised, balding 40 year-old-man.

He also continued to call my boyfriend 'fancy' with a high-pitched posh/pseudo-eighteenth century English accent. It was weird.

2. Every time i go into the aforementioned 'Schön' there seems to be five people doing the same job. They have a little coffee terminal set up out the front, which makes it easy to pick up the ol' coffee and muffin deal ($4!!!) on my way into the world. Yesterday morning there was: three people at the coffee machine, one person bagging muffins, one person standing at the door occasionally rearranging the newspapers and one person hovering over the till. There was NO ONE in the actual restaurant. Zero. I know it's a training facility, but seriously, I would feel too intimidated and watched to want to sit down. I'd have 10 eyes on me at all times. AH. Not only were there five people within a metre of my person, none of them knew how to do anything- and i see the same people there every day.
The first time, I taught this 45 year old student to use the Eftpos machine. It's just not that difficult.
Second time i did a taste test so they knew what flavour the cookie was. apparently of the ten people in the vicinity, no one knew.
I shouldn't bitch, it is cheap, it is close and they are training, but hospitality isn't that confusing. It just isn't.

3. I've only been to Lorne once. The plan was to buy alcohol, get as crunk as possible in 12 hours and drive back the next day to work at 6 pm. An integral part of this plan was to find the greasiest food and strongest coffee for the next morning. Undoubtedly we failed. I believe the delicately named cafe was called the Arab. According to the owner the only solution to the equation Great Ocean Road + pit stop cafe can only = a word which conjures the word 'terrorist' into your average Australian mind (not I dear sir, not I). Anywho. Coffee? Weak as hot milk, but with bubbles I could pop it and get a moment of bubble wrap joy. For the record, when I think of an Eggs Benedict, i like to conjure mountains of creamy hollandaise, burst-in-the-middle poached eggs and crispy english muffins, but no. A meagre tablespoon of hollandaise, closer-to-boiled eggs and soggy toast. WHY MUST THEY TORTURE MY HUNGOVER, GREASE NEEDY STOMACH, not to mention the ramifications for the rest of my body!

God, one year in Melbourne and I'm already under the impression I have foodie status.

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