Barmarche, Aug. 21, 2005

14 Spring Street

We got to see our good friends Sue Anne and Doug this weekend for the first time in what felt like ages. Brunch seemed to be the natural setting for a catch-up.

Doug's first pick, Bistro Margaux (or was it Margot or Margo?) was shuddered to both the dismay of Doug and myself. But with many other places in the nabe including Porcupine, Public and others that don't necessarily start with a P, we moved on. Doug's second choice was Barmarche, a very cute corner spot that looked excellent from the getgo. Danna was immediately drawn to the image in the far end of the room and in her best Veruca Salt impression, asked to have one immediately. I really found this to be a comfortable place - something I would be a proud owner first.

We got a table right away. The caution flag was drawn when both of the waitresses came by, one after another, to ask us for our drink orders. We ordered two watermelon lemonades and two ice coffees.

The second waitress (who the first one was probably covering for) became our waitress. The caution flag was officially raised when SueAnne's coffee became a bit chunky after adding the cream to it. Yes, it was curdled, and something fierce. The liquified sugar, however, was a nice touch and the waitress, upon hearing of the problem, apologized and quickly made off for a fresh coffee and milk. She handled that part well.

Eventually the waitress comes back to take our orders but before we get a chance, she announces that (at 12:30 on a Sunday) they are out of bacon.

Um. Come again?

Caution level has now risen to heights so high, we are unsure if it will ever recede.

How in the hell is it possible to run out of bacon? I just don't understand. Try as I might, I can't. If you are low on bacon after Saturday brunch you probably should be able to tell that you will be running out by that evening and certainly by the following morning. Go to Whole Foods. They close at 10pm - so go late and buy a ton of bacon for the following morning.

There is no reason I shouldn't be able to get bacon at ANY restaurant in this entire country on a Sunday morning. It's absurd.

So right then and there my ability to add to my on-going search for the perfect Chicken Club sandwich was defeated.

Doug ordered an omelet, Sue Anne had the Monterey Eggs, Danna had the French Toast with a provisional side of bacon. I ended up ordering my sandwich on the presumption that they would have gotten bacon by then. If they hadn't, I'd order something else. Sue Anne and I both ordered a side of the garlic herb fries (which are, as it turns out, the only remaing dish from the locale's previous incarnation, Cafe Leibowitz) - I asked for a side of their pesto mayo to go with it.

So about 20 minutes later our waitress with the frizzy red hair asks us, "So how was everything?"

The table fell silent. This, among other things, must be the reason the place wasn't hopping busy on a Sunday during brunch hours.

We just looked at her and kind of said "I guess alright". She then headed to the kitchen to see what was up. Another couple of minutes passed and we were finally brought 4/6 of our food. Danna's French toast and my fries were delayed.

Eventually Danna's delicious looking french toast arrived with my fries sometime after that. The fries were very good, dipped in the pesto mayo made them even better. But my grilled chicken sandwich with avocado, lettuce, tomato and cheap ass bacon from the bodega around the corner was pretty bad. The sandwich was made, sans bacon, well before the bacon arrived. I could tell because the bread was hard as a rock (post-toasting), the lettuce was wilted and the avocado was losing firmness by the second. Doesn't even rank in my ongoing list of favorite chicken sandwiches. The fries, however, may make an appearance on a future list.

I only sampled a bit of Sue Anne's eggs, which were pretty good. Doug's omelet looked average, and as I mentioned before, Danna's french toast looked good, covered with strawberries.

I can forgive some of the mistakes, like the milk (it was hot out) and the way that situation was handled was relatively professionally. But the bacon...the inexcusable. I've nearly written off the restaurant for that remarkably poor kitchen management. The day with great friends, thankfully, was not ruined. It was a pleasure to see these guys again and glad to see them doing well. Barmarche should be half as lucky. Its too bad too, because the place is really, really comfortable. Some new staff and perhaps better management will see me return to a restaurant that deserves it.


Post a Comment

<< Home