Today's most interesting comments were actually by Eating Our Words bloggers, and they were on a Where Are We Eating? post. I know. Weird. Anyway, Christine Ha's comment concerned the frustrating service she received at Catalina Coffee, while Nick Hall wrote in with a heartwarming tale about the very same place. Christine's story:
I ordered a vanilla latte and was given a mocha latte instead. When I politely corrected the employee working the espresso bar of my order, the cashier came over and told me that I was wrong and that I really ordered a mocha latte. In my head, I was thinking, I know what I ordered. But she didn't say anything and just told the espresso guy to remake my order, but she said it very condescendingly without apology. My point is, even if I was wrong (and I know I wasn't), was it really worth all the fuss over a cup of coffee? It's not like I am sending a $25 steak back to the kitchen. Then when I left, it turned out they had still made my drink wrong. Still bitter (no pun intended) to this day. After sending a complaint, the manager was very apologetic about it, so I've forgiven the business but not necessarily the two d-bag employees. So unfortunate because I know their coffee is good, and their service **can** be good. I try to tell myself maybe those 2 just burnt their mouths on some bad lattes that day.
Weird. I've never had anything but friendly service, there. They snagged me as a customer for life during one of our more recent snow days. My wife had sent me to get coffee and pastries to enjoy while the kids made snow angels and generally cavorted in the blizzard. I grabbed a couple of cups and a bag full of croissant, but when I went to pay, I was informed that, due to the weather, their credit card machine was down.
I didn't have cash. They told me not to worry about it. For the coffee, that's a nice gesture, but also totally understandable; can't exactly re-sell a cup of coffee. The pastries, however, were still in the process of being bagged. They could just as easily have returned them to the case, and sent me on my way with free coffee. That would have been cool enough. They insisted that I take the pastries. I assured them I would return in a few days, with cash, and pay for everything. They assured me that wasn't necessary.
I came back a few days later, cash in hand, and tried to pay for them. Max, the owner, was at the helm that day. I told him the whole story, and he refused to let me pay for the stuff they'd given me. He told me he'd rather have me as a customer in the future, and that I should just consider it a gift. Blew me away. It also worked.
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What about the rest of you? What kind of service did YOU get at Catalina?