Mediocre, expensive food and bad service
Posted on 12 / 16 / 2011
After seeing several great reviews for this vegetarian restaurant, my parents and I decided to give it a try after a hike in the Gatineaus. We were incredibly disappointed with the food, the ambiance and the service.
Let me start by saying that this restaurant is very expensive for the quality of the food -- about as expensive as Chu Chai in Montreal or Zen Kitchen in Ottawa, both of which are much, much better restaurants. The restaurant is also very basic in its decor, and the service was incompetent at best (the server dropped cutlery on the ground several times and then gave it to us anyway).
My mother ordered the salad soup'herbe, my father ordered the thai curry and a root beer, and I had a veggie burger with tomato soup. The soup'herbe salad my mother ordered, which was $14 if memory serves, was a simple green salad with no cashews or avocadoes as it claimed on the menu. It consisted of some drab lettuce and a couple of slices of tomato and cucumber, and it was doused in Kraft salad dressing. Very disappointing.
The thai curry was inedible -- just disgusting. The curry sauce was some kind of viscous, sweet red mess. I tried it, and having been to Thailand, let me just say that there was nothing authentic about this -- I'd bet it came from a powdered curry mix. The rice on the side was stale. The server told my father that the root beer was homemade, but what she brought to the table was a bottle of Stewart's root beer -- definitely not homemade.
The veggie burger I ordered was simply one of those frozen veggie burger patties that you can buy at Provigo/Loblaws. The menu claimed that it had chutney, mayo and various other trimmings on it, but it came plain, and I had to ask for ketchip and mustard. If I hadn't been starving, I wouldn't have touched it. It came with some salad (just lettuce with a little grated carrot) that was doused in oil. The only decent part of the meal was the tomato soup, which was fine; however, I can make the exact same thing at home (there's a great recipe in Vegan With A Vengeance). Also, when the soup was served to me, there was soup running down the sides of the bowl, and the server spilled some on my lap without apologizing.
When we looked inside the restaurant before leaving, we could see that the people doing the cooking in the kitchen were about 18-21 years old. Maybe that explains the low quality of the food.
Unfortunately, we will not be going back to Cafe Soup'Herbe. It was overpriced and mediocre at best.
expensive, low-quality, unimaginative