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Monday, January 11, 2010

Jungle bungle

No secret that I am a fan of the pastries and cakes done at Patisserie Jungle Cafe in Houston's Bellaire Chinatown district, despite some who chide the cakes for being somewhat muted in flavor. Geared for Asian palates, cakes here tend to be subtler in flavor, less bombastically sweet, and leverage a range of textures in most preparations. Not to mention the jewel-like decoration and inventive packaging - our most recent visit unearthed colorful macarons packed in individual plastic bubbles like gems.

Much as I would like to continue to heap platitudes upon Jungle Cafe, though, the place has a policy that irks me (and I am sure others) to no end: they don't serve tap water. I was flatly told that the only option was to buy bottled water. I asked if I could have a tea, only without the tea - the answer was no. Even though I was in the process of purchasing two cakes and coffees already.

This gouging behavior has absolutely no basis in logic. I can understand being directed to a water fountain, or being told that due to rising costs, they'd have to charge a nominal fee for the water cup, but draconian enforcement of bottled water, either for profit, or in blatant disregard of environmental consequences, is stupid. I hope this was simply the misguided interpretation of an underling, but if not, I shall know better now to either make my purchases to go, or walk in the store carrying my own water.

Certainly, forcing the purchase of bottled water is one of those policies that can completely sour the experience of dining at a restaurant, along the lines of unnecessary forced valet, and sneaky gratuity upcharging. What other experiences have you had that annoy you as a restaurant patron?

1 comment:

  1. I dislike being seated at one of the worst seats in a nice restaurant simply because my husband and I look young. We are dressed appropriately, usually call for reservations and tip very well.