well, we found another of the "not so much" places on saturday. ugh.
during our drive down to auntie random's house last week, we made a "date" to have tea together, just the two of us. we decided to try a place we hadn't been to before, and so i called on thursday and made a reservation at tea rose garden in pasadena. the menu looked yummy, and we looked forward to trying out the goodies described online.
when we got there, the place was pretty packed. it's not a very big place, and there were at least two large parties that i could see, complete with running, screaming children. that's a bummer, although we don't necessarily require a library-quiet room to enjoy our tea. we made our way through the obstacle course of children and tables and finally found an employee to check in with.
i said "hi, we have an 11:30 reservation for two, under wan."
the employee looked at the book, looked back at me, looked back at the book, looked back at me.
"are you nadine?"
"um, no. wan."
more confused, bewildered looks, and then another employee joined the party.
"hi, you're kaitlyn?"
the teen and i exchanged a confused/exasperated look of our own.
mumbling between the two of them, flipping pages back and forth, the two conferred again.
"what time was your reservation for?"
i exaggerated my enunciation. "eeeleven thirrrrty."
another employee came to see what was going on. how many people does it take to seat a table of two?
"give us just one minute."
by this time, the teen had already said "let's go, mom, chado's just up the street." but inexplicably, i was feeling like a glutton for punishment and wanted to see where this was going. we watched them disappear into a back room and come out with a small round table, presumably to squeeze us in - somewhere. but there was nowhere to put us - the small tea room was already crowded, and the other half of the space was occupied by their floral shop. nice.
i flagged down a passing employee who'd been part of the hubbub. "hey, if you guys lost our reservation and are just going to squeeze us in next to that large group, we're not interested."
"oh, no, no, it'll be fine. just give us one moment to set up for you."
normally not being one to put up with shitty customer service (like this was - no one had bothered to apologize or even acknowledge the problem), i let them seat us - precisely where we didn't want to be. they shoehorned us in a tiny ass spot between the fake fountain and the baby shower group. yup, the one with the screaming, running children. but we were hungry, dammit, and too lazy to leave and walk up the street. so we sat, and the poor guy who obviously drew the shortest straw came over and was actually very pleasant and apologetic, which helped a little.
as two unruly children bumped my chair and ran around the next table, i leaned over and said to the teen, "the food better be darn good. it's the only thing they have left to redeem themselves." she nodded in agreement.
we placed our order:
- teas: vanilla and caramel apple
- sandwiches: cranberry chicken salad, cucumber, and flower and cream cheese for the teen, chicken almond, cucumber, and spicy salmon for me
- plain and maple nut scones
the older generation often complains about today's society lacking manners and basic common sense, but i often come across examples of folks who are way too old to be acting the way they do. the teen wanted me to elbow her next time she did it, but i couldn't. and again, for no particular reason, i couldn't bring myself to bring her rudeness to her attention. what the hell was wrong with me? i chalk it up to being hungry and just wanting to enjoy my one-on-one date with the teen.
our salad came (it was okay, nothing special), and then the rest of our tea goodies arrived on silver tiered trays. the sandwiches were all yummy, the scones were the size of my head (but on the dry side), the "devonshire cream" seemed like plain ol' sweetened whipped cream, and the tea time bites were just little bits of different desserts. i was also pleased to note that the lumps of sugar i'd hoped to find at the peninsula were served here. maybe it's all in my head, but they just taste better.
overall, it was just a'ight. nothing spectacular, and the service improved greatly once we were seated. but with the plethora of choices we have around here for afternoon tea, we agreed that it was our first and last time there. too bad for you, tea rose garden. suck you later.