Friday, July 18, 2008

Too Little, Too Late

Okay, okay, I GET it. Everyone will know your food is serious and better than all other food if you serve it in ridiculously small portions on ridiculously oversized dishes. If you hadn't put such a miniscule amount of food in front of me, I may very well have gone to get a soda refill at the soda machine and some ketchup in a little plastic packet.

Give me a break.

I like to eat at all kinds of restaurants and I understand that, occasionally, that will mean dining at a white tablecloth, small portion establishment. At those certain establishments, I expect small, visible portions and service that is, well, at least existent.

Enter Acqua Via in Olympia.

The little sister of established favorite Waterstreet Cafe, Acqua Via opened last year in a former Quizno's space on Capitol Way in Olympia.

My first meal at Acqua Via was a Saturday brunch (which is no longer served). Portions were small but respectable and the service was decent. The food tasted good - good enough for a city that is just starting to understand the cash cow that is the brunch crowd.

I've had a few meals at Acqua Via since then - all of them lunches during work. One was with a group of eight but usually there are two or three of us sitting down to nosh.

The most recent meal compelled me to write this review.

Dear Hubby and I went down to Acqua Via for a nice lunch during work, taking the table that is just around the corner from the main dining area.

And in that simple choice lay our first mistake. It's possible we may have been forgotten once our waters and menus were in front of us. After 20 minutes, I even made a slow saunter past the wait station and cash register on my way to the restroom - no such luck.

When someone did appear to take our orders, we, being former restaurant/food service workers and ever cognisant of the plight of the waitstaff, ordered quickly without asking any silly questions, such as, "how much cheese comes with this appetizer?" Mistake number two.

When the appetizer (essentially a duck pancetta wrapped around two small slices of bread with gorgonzola on the side) arrived at exactly the same time as our meals, our first reaction was, "someone accidentally dropped a few crumbles of cheese while plating someone else's order," which soon turned to, "you have got to be freaking kidding me."

(By the way, you are all now witness to my first photo uploaded to this blog. Joyous celebration ensues!)

So, we eat the cheese. And are, of course, still hungry so we eat our meals.

We finally (after over an hour of sitting at the table, most of it spent waiting for someone to take our order and deliver our food) head over to the cash register to pay and, lo and behold! He speaks! Our waiter, at the time of judgment, actually became conversational and, dare I say it, warm.

I know that prisoners about to face execution can experience the same sort of rebirth - but come on, this is LUNCH we are talking about. You've got to be on the boat the entire trip for it to count.

Alas, dear Hubster and I, as I mentioned earlier, are sympathetic to the cause, and so we tip well. Although we did exact some revenge - 18 percent instead of 20 percent.

That'll teach 'em.

Acqua Via
Not the greatest Web site; hasn't been updated since before the opening. Best used for finding your way to the restaurant.