Dear Founding Farmers,
I really wanted to like you. Like, really really. My friends love you, Yelpers rave about you and your restaurant has a really cool mission. Last week, when a co-worker mentioned she was going to brunch there with her husband, I thought, ‘Hey, why haven’t I been there yet?’ So I rounded up five friends for Sunday brunch. Brunch is, after all, the most important meal of the day (except for maybe dessert).
We followed the hostess up the stairs, giddy and hungry. We were seated in a circular booth in the middle of the room just before 2 p.m. Did you know that you stop serving brunch at 2? Because I didn’t. Want to know why? Because it isn’t posted anywhere on your website, and it’s not entirely crazy to think that a restaurant would serve Sunday brunch until mid-afternoon.
So we had eight minutes to skim the brunch menu. Not a problem though, because a couple of us had already read through the menu online. (Yes, we were that excited.) We quickly placed our orders, happy to get them in before the metaphorical brunch clock struck midnight (or in this case, 2).
We ordered the doughnuts, a recommendation from my co-worker. They were delicious, just so you know. But the menu said they came with a pot of coffee or hot chocolate, and no such pot was ever brought to the table.
A short while later, our food began to come out. Slowly but surely, bits and pieces of our meals came out every couple of minutes until it was mostly all there. Now, when I say mostly, I should probably tell you about my friend Matt’s order, the fried chicken, eggs and waffles, which came out about half an hour after the rest of our meals. No fewer than three people came out over the course of the half hour to apologize for the mistake, but seriously? I mean, how long does it take a professional kitchen to whip up a breakfast order of chicken and waffles? I mean, unless you had to go out to your “modern farmhouse,” slaughter the animal yourself and pluck the thing before bringing it back to make Matt’s breakfast. Then I get how it could take nearly an hour to get the meal out.
My friend Josh ordered eggs benedict. I’m not one for eggs benedict, but his plate looked really good. He asked for a little bit more hollandaise sauce and was instead brought mustard, which definitely didn’t go with his meal. When someone from the kitchen came out to apologize for Matt’s MIA chicken and waffles, Josh asked again about the hollandaise. “Oh, I’m sorry, we’re all out of it.” That’s legit. I mean, we came at the end of brunch hour, and these things happen. But ya shoulda just said that in the first place instead of bringing out spicy mustard and hoping he wouldn’t notice the difference.
But wait, there’s more! Two of us ordered the pastrami hash. I’m a Jewish girl from New York — I do not turn down pastrami. Ever. Especially if it comes with potatoes and eggs. I mean, hello, yum. I was really looking forward to the hash: “Pan Roasted Shredded Leek Hash Browns, Poached Eggs, Beef Pastrami and Tangy Creole Mustard Hollandaise.” But, wouldn’t you know it? No mustard hollandaise on my hash. No big deal, your manager was very polite and quickly brought me a cup of it when she came around to apologize again for Matt’s missing meal. I’ll be honest: The hash rocked. It was really good, even without the mustard hollandaise. In fact, it was so good that I ate nearly all of it without noticing this:
Is that? Oh yes, yes it is. That’s a giant piece of eggshell. Having taught a cooking class to elementary school kids for a year, I’ve cracked a lot of eggs in my day. Never had any eggshell issues, though. I mentioned the eggshell to our waiter, who barely acknowledged me and still charged me full price for my hollandaise-less, eggshelled hash. I mean, really? I waitressed in college and I’m usually a pretty understanding girl, so like, really?
We left shortly thereafter, surprised at the service and disappointed by you as a whole. Between the missing coffee, the case of the missing chicken and waffles (which in the end was comped — which Matt appreciated), the late-to-the-party hollandaise and the definitely-not-invited eggshell, we were let down.
We had a back and forth yesterday on Twitter, which I appreciated:
I don’t know what happens now. Usually, when I’m sad or upset or hurt, writing e-mails helps. So Founding Farmers: I’m sorry, but I’m just not that into you anymore. I’m glad that other friends have had positive experiences, but right now I’m on the side of the naysayers, which is sad, because the food that we did get was so damn tasty.