Friday, December 29, 2006

The Fitz, Fitzroy

The Fitz is on the fritz. At least that's my impression after this morning's visit to The Fitz Cafe, 347 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Tel +61 3 9417 5794. Despite being a stylish and buzzy venue, there were too many cock-ups with the service and food.


First, some positives. The coffee was good. The bacon was done just right. The spinach was soft and tasty. The hollandaise was fine. And, as mentioned above, the venue is great: plenty of outside tables under a nice big tree; and a slick (if slightly grungy) interior with sheer black curtains, oversized wicker lamp-shades; and a well-worn polished concrete floor.

But things went wrong. Too many things.

I ordered the Fitz Breakfast with one substitution: spinach instead of tomato. Not a complicated order. When it arrived, I was presented with the Veggie Breakfast, with chili jam, no hollandaise, and no tomato.

After a moment of confusion, I explained that this wasn't what I ordered. Rather than ask what I did order, the waitress disappeared to "check". She returned to say that this was indeed my order, of a veggie breakfast with spinach, and no tomato.

I said that I ordered the Fitz Breakfast with spinach, not the Veggie Breakfast. She disappeared again to rectify the situation. It only occurred to me later that the Veggie Breakfast already includes spinach, so it would be impossible and illogical to "add" spinach.

Eventually, my Fritz Breakfast arrived, except that there was some unwanted chili jam, and still no hollandaise. I asked for the hollandaise. My waitress disappeared again to fetch a side of hollandaise. Before leaving, she also asked if I want cracked pepper, to which I said "yes". The hollandaise arrived, but the pepper grinder never made an appearance.

I started to eat. The eggs were underpoached, with raw whites spilling out like frog spawn. The mushrooms were wet and leathery, and tasted like crap. I pushed them to one side. The chili jam tasted like molasses.

The final straw was the bill. I was charged full price for a Veggie Breakfast, plus an extra $2 for the Spinach (which is already part of the Veggie Breakfast, even though that's not what I ordered). So, rather than charge me standard price (treating the substitution of equally-priced extras as price-neutral), they figured out a way to charge me extra, so as to arrive at the highest possible price. This approach to billing is a great way to annoy the customer, and it worked a treat today. I complained, the bill was corrected, and I left. I won't be back.

11/20 "on the fritz"


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the awful experience. It's horrid to think that so many places get away with crap cooking and service just because their clientele don't know any better or they just can't be bothered complaining, not to mention the places that seem to get by on funky decor alone...

29/12/06 20:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're not the first to experience a substandard breakfast at the fitz, I too have had problems with their service and ordering errors.

31/12/06 12:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You talk about whinging Poms, you Antipodeans don't know when you are well off. Try licking a road for breakfast.

4/1/07 03:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its staggering that people willingly pay good money to eat this crap. Up there with the worst in Fitzroy.

23/1/07 13:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is really sad that you all had such poor experiences! I'm actually quite the fan of the Fitz -- their fruit salads are to die for, as simple as they are, and their coffee isnt that bad either. My friend ordered a Fitz breakfast and it looked amazing -- I sampled some of the gigantic mushroom that was on his plate and, being a bit of a fan for random vegetables/fungi, found it to be deliciously tender and flavoursome. I love the outdoor atmosphere too -- nothing like sitting under the big tree with the sun on your shoulders!! Makes a lovely morning breakfast :-)

14/9/07 14:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worst Hollandaise I've ever tasted!!

30/4/08 18:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

coffee is decent but the food is below average. this place was great in the late 90's early 00's but needs an overhaul.

22/12/09 12:51  
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