I came to this cafe on my own, as many patrons seem to do. I took a menu, and spied a sign saying 'please order here' at the counter.
There was one free table in the restaurant, so it was perfect, and I went up to order.
On getting to the little counter, the staff were so busy that for thirty seconds of standing there I was completely ignored. My presence wasn't even acknowledged. And then after thirty seconds, it took a few more before I could order because the girl then had to search for a notepad to write in.
Eventually able to give my order, I told the sandwich that I wanted, and was just telling the drink when this couple walked in and snagged the only free table.
Having completed my order, I made a comment to this member of staff that there was now nowhere to sit (which was their fault because they'd been so slow).
Her English was poor though, and she offered no solution, so I suggested that I sit outside.
(there wasn't much else that I could do)
All of the tables in front of this restaurant were taken, however the place next door had one table free outside, so I sat there. But although they didn't say anything, I could see that this agitated the staff of this place that I was sat in front of their restaurant but ordering from next door. Which made me feel completely uncomfortable.
These restaurants are located in this little garden, so as soon as one became free, I instead moved to one of the public picnic tables, three shops or about 20 yards from the entrance to the cafe that I'd actually ordered from.
I of course couldn't actually see inside Beetroot Stories from here. And the food took so long considering that I'd only ordered a sandwich, that I spent most of this time just wondering if they'd forgotten about me.
When the food did arrive, it tasted quite good, hence why I'm giving them two stars instead of one. But I could barely see what I was eating in this dim light, and they didn't even bring me a napkin to have with this somewhat greasy food. And there obviously were none on this public picnic table.
Had I actually been able to eat in the cafe, I could have awarded four, or even five stars. But the poor service due to the lack of staff meant that I ended up sitting outside in a place where I couldn't even see inside the restaurant.
Of the many vegetarian restaurants that I ate at in Chiang Mai, this certainly turned out to be the one that I enjoyed the least, as I spent most of my time here angry and on edge. It certainly wasn't the nice, relaxing meal that other reviews led me to believe that I'd have.
Cons: Understaffed, Slow service