Thursday, June 29, 2006


I miss ROM.

If i "will" it strong enough, will it live again?

I hope so, because he goes the "willing"


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sooooooooo how can you screw up making a pancake?

Eat at any restaurant in the Crowne Plaza in Edmonton...

So, we (my mom, my hubby and I) flew into Edmonton last Monday, toured around a bit and then the next morning we went for breakfast at the hotel. I ordered pancakes and so did my mom, after taking half an hour to make our pancakes they came to the table cold and rubbery (the pancakes...and the waitress). Fairly disgusted by that, we decided to have the buffet instead.

The eggs had the consistency of silly putty and tasted like they were sitting from the previous day (and judging from the thriving business they were doing in the restaurant-we were the only customers, I don't doubt it). The rest of the food wasn't much better. The waitress came over and asked if we were enjoying the buffet, and my mom told the waitress that the only good thing about the entire meal was the coffee. Not being the brightest light on the tree, she took this as a compliment and said 'I made it, thank you.'

After asking to talk to the manager about the food (and getting our entire meal for free...even though there was nothing wrong with my hubby's meal), the waitress came over and apologized by saying 'I know the food is terrible, I can give you a form to fill out to officially complain. The manager knows the food is bad but it's the kitchen's fault.' (Ummm, if the food is terrible and the waitress AND manager know this, why doesn't the manager...manage...and fix the problem?) Aaaaaaaaanyways, we decided to go and try the revolving restaurant that night for dinner.

It's a very fancy hotel, so we figured 'how bad could it be?' We started out with a litre of wine, salad, soup, etc., which was quite nice and then it went downhill from there... My hubby ordered the muskox, yes muskox, and my mom and I ordered the prime rib. Again, there was nothing wrong with my hubby's meal. Mine and my mom's meals however were a different story.

Prime rib is supposed to just be served with a little au jus, well, at this hotel they took au jus a little too seriously. The prime rib was slathered in gravy, all over the meat and pooling underneath as well. Mmmm slathered and pooled gravy. Nowhere on the menu, however, did it mention that it was going to be served that way. Obviously we complained and asked for a new order with the gravy on the side. The next order came out and mine was really undercooked to the point that it was fairly bright red in the middle and my mom's was tougher than shoe leather.

Now on to round three, we asked to speak to the manager (different restaurant so we had a different manager). We asked for yet another kick at the cat and the manager went into the kitchen and came back to say that they didn't have any other orders of prime rib that were cooked to 'medium', it's not like we asked for something exotic. He told us that if we wanted anything else it would be on the house, but we were so disgusted by the meals at that point that we didn't want anything other than another soup. They brought that out, but in their cheapness, they gave us a cup of soup instead of the bowl that we had previously. Even though there was nothing wrong with my hubby's meal, again, they didn't give us a bill. They must have lost at least $200-$250 on our three meals (not to mention the ones they brought out that were undercooked).

Now, fast forward to Thursday. That was the day that my in-laws came in from Toronto and my aunt and uncle from Vancouver flew in for the graduation. My aunt and uncle flew in and got settled at the hotel around 8:30pm and we decided to all go out to the bar in the hotel for drinks to celebrate a little. Honestly, how could anyone screw up something at a bar, we thought. We sat at the bar and I swear I could feel myself aging as we waited for our drinks.

It's not like we ordered anything exotic, four soft drinks, a coffee, a glass of wine, a beer and a gin and tonic. The waitress came around and said that we'd have to wait for a bit for the drinks as the bartender had to leave for a few minutes and run an errand. What? A bartending emergency!? When the drinks finally came, we asked the waitress for a spoon for the coffee, but that never came. My mother-in-law put milk in the coffee and had to swish the cup around in order to mix the coffee. My aunt and uncle who didn't eat on the plane (it's only an hour and a half flight from Vancouver to Edmonton), decided to have bruschetta. It took them 20 minutes to make the bruschetta, and when we complained about how long it took, the waitress asked if we wanted it 'to go'. Yes, nothing more classy than eating cold bruschetta in your hotel room. Mmmm, sign me up!

When the bill came, they forgot my mom's glass of wine and gave the bruschetta for free. So now we were *REALLY* not looking forward to the graduation gala that was going to be held on Saturday (and a meet and greet on Friday night).

Surprisingly the meet and greet on Friday night went well, they had all sorts of finger foods (veggies and dip, chips, hot hors d'ouevers, etc.) The only downside about that was that at both events on Friday and Saturday, they had a cash bar. Considering how much the tuition fees and fees for the meals, etc., you'd think the university could swallow the price of the drinks. But nooooooo, that would be too easy...and classy. $6.00 for a mixed drink and $2.50 for a soft drink. It kind of took away from the class of the event, but oh well, what can you was Edmonton. :P

We had to order our meals prior to arriving in Edmonton and asked for 8 fish or vegetarian, but the emphasis was on fish. When the meal came, we were given chicken, because everyone knows of the infamous chickenfish. We told the waiter that we ordered the fish but he said the only thing that was left was 3 orders of the vegetarian meal, so we either had to take this or not eat (not in those words, but it may as well have).

We called the manager over and told him what happened and he said that they didn't get any 'special request' dinners. Fish is a 'special request'? Anyways, he started getting snarky with us when we were actually being quite pleasant. We asked him to see if there was anything they could do and if they could prepare the fish for us. He went back to the kitchen and then came back to say that there were 8 vegetarian orders ready to go. Now, someone's lying...what do they have 3 or 8? The manager asked us if we wanted the vegetarian meals, but we didn't want those. Sorry, we paid $50 for the dinner, and we didn't want a bunch of veggies in a pastry shell. Blech. He said that he could make the fish meal for us but it would take at least half an hour. So, we would have to sit like idiots while everyone else in the room (600+) was eating and wait for 30 minutes, at least, and wait.

My brother-in-law, fed up with all of this, went ballistic on the guy. He said 'instead of telling us how long it's going to take, just get into the kitchen, get the chef to cook the food and worry about serving the meal.' The manager replied 'sir, please don't be abrupt with me.' Umm, he wasn't. He was actually holding back...for him. I, on the other hand, was tired of the b.s. all week and let the guy have it a bit. :P I told him 'How can you mess this up? It's an easy request we had. You certainly didn't make a mistake when it came to cashing the cheque to pay for the meal.' The meal finally came and it was cold and rubbery. Blah.

My brother-in-law asked for the manager's card and said he would be writing to the manager of the hotel about our bad experience there. When my brother-in-law gave the manager his card, his eyes went wide and he left the table in a hurry. (My brother-in-law is in the press, and could easily tarnish the hotel's reputation.) He wouldn't, at least I don't think he would, but who knows. Given the horrible experiences we had, I wouldn't put it past him.