Sunday, July 19, 2009

RetRoWhat? Retro Cafe, Brunswick Street

You decide to spend your Sunday breakfast at Retro Cafe on Brunswick Street. You find a park right outside. Win a point.

Your coffee takes quite a while to arrive. Lose a point.

Your coffee tastes good. Win a point.

Your coffee is only a smidgen above lukewarm. Lose a point.

Your waiter seems friendly. Win a point.

Your waiter doesn't write anything down. Lose a point.

You explain that you are vegan, and immediately your waiter launches into a never-ending circular sentence while not looking at you and says that's perfectly fine but you should know that heaps of stuff is not like gluten free. Lose a point.

You tell her you are not gluten free. She looks a little confused. Lose a point.

She can tell you straight off that the mushrooms are soaked in butter before they are cooked. Win a point.

She goes to check if the hash browns are egg and dairy free and returns with a notepad. The hash browns are ok and she writes your order down, and everything seems cool. Win a point.

You wait and wait and wait. You finish your coffee and read the whole paper. Lose a point.

You ask another waiter if your breakfasts are on their way. Lose a point.

The second waiter takes a long time, but she does eventually bring your breakfast. Win a point.

With two poached eggs on top. Lose a point.

The first waiter returns, apologises, and says that the least they can do is not charge you for your coffees. Win a point.

She asks if you'd like new coffees. Win a point.

She says "Now both your coffees are regular milk, right?". Lose a point.

Your breakfast is actually pretty good. Homemade baked beans with cannellini beans and a light, fresh tomato sauce, hot and crispy hash browns, lots of fresh tasty spinach, a generous serve of avocado and seasoned tomatoes on (slightly under-toasted) muffins. You enjoy it. A lot. Win a point.

You forget to take photos because you're really darn hungry. Lose a point.

Your second coffees never arrive. Lose a point.

Lately I feel like may of my eatering out experiences have been marred by poor service, poor food or just general ickiness. Is anyone else getting the same?


Fitzroyalty said...

Sounds like the usual Retro service to me! A friend recently told me a similar story. After my own poor experiences it's been put on my 'only if everything else is closed and I'm desperate' list.

Vicki said...

I have been getting increasingly annoyed with eating out. My partner is constantly being given cheese when he specifically asks for dairy free food & I am just finding a lot of average found around. I also rarely get even an apology when people try to force animal products on me. I don't understand why everything thinks it is so hard - I am no chef & I can make tasty vegan food at home.

Hua said...

Hi Rachel,

I agree with you too. Lately the service at restaurants has declined. Waiters haven't been as friendly and have messed up my order a couple of times. I'm Hua, the director of Wellsphere's HealthBlogger Network, a network of over 2,000 of the best health writers on the web (including doctors, nurses, healthy living professionals, and expert patients). I think your blog would be a great addition to the Network, and I'd like to invite you to learn more about it and apply to join at Once approved by our Chief Medical Officer, your posts will be republished on Wellsphere where they will be available to over 5 million monthly visitors who come to the site looking for health information and support. There’s no cost and no extra work for you! The HealthBlogger page ( provides details about participation, but if you have any questions please feel free to email me at


Polka Dot Rabbit said...

I've been to Retro twice and the service was so appalling there will never be a third time.

Rose said...

LOL your posts make me laugh. People just dont get it do they.