For the second time this month, we took a visitor to visit the Island. Our friend, Sandy, had never been and was looking forward to it. Off we go on the 10:40 a.m. Ferry with anticipation and giggles. We drove around and went back to the restaurant we ate at the first time. We should have learned.
We arrived and, after watching a lady scanning her computer for a few minutes, Don asked her if they were open. She was standing possibly 2 feet away from him. We were seated out on the deck and believe me when I tell you, this restaurant has the best view on the Island for any restaurant. That is the only good thing that happens here, watching the Ferries, sail boats, and planes coming and going. Stunning!
After a very long time to even have our drink order taken, we watched the server go first to a table that came in 10 minutes after we were seated. People at several other tables went out and got their own water. Then, many minutes later, they get up and go in to get their cutlery. Now, some time later, a young man hops up and goes to get their beer order. Still no action with us. Finally, the server comes over and takes our drink order: 1 glass of white wine, and 1 n/a beer. Sandy asked to taste a wine as she wasn’t sure she would like it and she didn’t so she ordered another selection. After 45 minutes, I went in and asked for her wine. I was told “in a minute”. I said no, now please. He poured it and off I go.
Still no food. After one hour and 20 minutes, I asked the server if we were going to get our food today. He threw me a look and went in. About 5 minutes later it comes out. It was prepared many minutes before, fish was not stellar and the fries were almost ‘dead’. Sandy’s order was barely okay and Don didn’t eat his. All the while, another table (one I rescued off the lower section on the sand and brought up to an empty table on the deck) waited forever for their drink order and by the time we left, they still hadn’t seen any food.
Now, don’t get me wrong when I tell you I do like music…sometimes during a meal. Sitting on the deck with two local ladies, each playing a flute, was the most horrible experience ever. The harmony was not there and every time they hit a wrong note it was nothing but a shrill. Harmony? Didn’t exist. They had a huge bucket on a table by the patio door asking for tips. They salted the bucket first because no one had even donated a penny. I asked the server, quietly, if they HAD to continue playing and he said yes. I mentioned they were off key and not playing the same song at the same time. His response? So, don’t tip them. Trust me, we weren’t even thinking of doing there.
If they need a strong suggestion.. here goes. Take those ugly and old lace tablecloths off inside the dining space, clean the carpet and brighten the colours, making it lighter and appealing. What they now have was really good back in the 1920’s. Hire servers who actually want to be there and know how to serve your customers. If they don’t want to be there, kick them out the door as they are killing your business. Get a Chef who doesn’t take almost 2 hours to put some very simple food out.
I am sorry, we came back as my husband thought you could use a second chance. Please do yourselves a favour and call Robert Irvine to some and save your business. We will definitely not be back, view or no view.
One Response to Surf Lodge Ltd. – Gabriola Island, B.C.
Agreed. What a crying shame… such potential for a restaurant to make a big impact on Gabriola island. I’m afraid that without a major overhaul, this place is looking to go belly up.