Responses to Kell Bell's Review

Respond to Review of Candle Cafe
by Kell Bell

Review: I had heard so many good things about Candle Cafe, but I wasn't impressed my first time there. I don't think I'll be back - given the fact that there are so many other great vegan restaurants in NY. The place is busy, and the seating is very close to each other. The place was smaller than I expected and definitely a 'cafe' and not a restaurant. The split pea soup we ordered needed salt, and the little pieces of pita or flat bread on the side were tasteless. Not a good way to start out our lunch. Our entrees were definitely lacking something, and neither of us finished our meals. The service was as lackluster as the food...disinterested and too busy to care. Prices run about $14 for a sandwich - which I think is pricey considering that it's a cafe and not a real dining restaurant. I'm bewildered by all the great reviews this place gets.


Posted by kindlizard on Friday, February 22, 2013
you knock all the great places... how much space in NYC should there be? Some cities have all one big table!! You'd really hate that. Being busy is a blessing; you know your food is fresh, doesn't have time to go bad, and you are in NYC!!! You want a room w a view, a room alone, in quiet? Wrong town.
Posted by kindlizard on Friday, February 22, 2013
You do knock it for being busy and cramped. Again, not the burbs, NYC is a premium of space especially so, you don't know what you're talking about in that regard. Also, I can see how the Candle CAFE could fool you into believing it would not be a CAFE experience, which you also knock it for being. Many cafes employ an all-hands on deck approach where water is filled by back waiters and so forth. Having read all your reviews it is TASTE I think you lack most however and think if it came to you likely would your appreciation of this and some other pretty good spots. There are some flaws to this CAFE, but not anything you mentioned.
Kell Bell
Posted by Kell Bell on Friday, February 22, 2013
Dear Kindlizard,

Thanks for the response to my review.

If you care to re-read my review of Candle Cafe, you'll see that I am not knocking the fact that it is busy or that tables are very close together. I am merely making an observation of the environment and surroundings. However, what I am knocking is the tasteless food. Split pea soup is one of the easiest vegan dishes you can make. I've had it in countless restaurants - all better than the Candle Café. Our entrees were bland, unoriginal, and after a couple bites, quite boring. It's rare that we ever leave food uneaten on our plate, but it happened at this place. Maybe they were training a new chef, maybe they had a mishap with the seitan, maybe I have just high standards, or maybe, just maybe, I'm opinionated. But isn't that what writing a restaurant review is all about?

I used to work and live in Manhattan so you shouldn't make judgments about people you don't know. I know a little about cramped quarters... a 375 sq. ft. apartment is luxuriously spacious in NYC. I also managed a busy casual dining/catering joint, so I know all about customer turnover and how it relates to food freshness. However, being busy is no excuse for poor service. We saw our server at Candle only once when she hurriedly took our order. Runners served our food, and a busboy filled our water glasses and cleared our table. We had to flag down another server down to ask for our check. She was clearly in the weeds. Maybe our server was new, maybe they were under-staffed that day, or maybe... you know what, I'm through with making excuses for them. I really wanted to like this place, but the bottom line is that the food wasn't tasty. That's my review, and I'm sticking to it.
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