Monday, July 07, 2008

the bad egg

It wasn’t so much an egg, though we will get to that, rather a nasty wedge of avocado.

I am very fussy at the best of times but avocadoes bring out the worst in me. I border on phobic when it comes to blighted fruit. A black bit on an avocado, stringiness or downright past its use by date in my book means it is not acceptable to end up on a customer’s plate. When you are paying for a side order, there is an expectation that every mouthful is edible. This was not.

The slim quarter of the avocado sat innocuously enough with its pit side down. There was a pesky spot a couple of centimetres wide which I considers cutting around. Turning the fruit over for a closer inspection I found the discolouration had riddled its way right through with a dark blemish engulfing at least a quarter of the slice. The flesh around the area was old, watery and unappealing.

I caught the waiter’s eye and pointed to it saying “any chance of another piece of avocado?” There was no hesitation on her part and though she didn’t whisk the fruit away, she did head off to the kitchen in search of a replacement. During those 4 minutes I made some decent headway through my breakfast. The hash brown tasted old and tired. A home made offering, not one of those dreaded processed bricks but pre-fried possibly days ago and on its last legs none the less. The eggs while poached sufficiently, had curious whites. One was scraggy like a sea creature and the other had been sliced off in chunks leaving a rhomboid shape of just a couple of centimetres of egg white around the yolk. I much prefer to eat the yolk so I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything but visually it didn’t look right and I wondered just how bad the offending parts had been for them to be removed in such a way.

This place is known for it’s homemade bread. After a wheat-free week I was looking forward to some good quality, crunchy toast. Yet even the amputated poached eggs carried enough water to rob the toast of its crispness. In fact it was so disappointing I may have well eaten a couple of slices of the tasteless gluten-free bread for all the flavour and texture it had to offer.

The coffee was drinkable but bland and not exactly what I’d ordered. I sipped it for a while none the less.

I dread writing a bad review of a neighbourhood restaurant. The last time I did the café closed shortly after. No not from the power of my words alone of course but we are a fickle bunch and move our loyalty elsewhere even from a favourite if it fails to perform. Just a couple of weeks ago I had a similar meal with a fellow blogger. We all enjoyed each mouthful of our different breakfasts but Black Ruby – you are officially on notice. We’ve put up with the vagaries of your odd flavour pairings in your savoury menu for years. You are a little quirky but the spirit of the place has kept pulling your though. But when breakfast goes bad – the locals start walking and as we know you have families to support we’d really like you get your act together and stay.

First the dried out black bean sausage. Now this. You can have an off day with the hash browns, the odd misshapened egg is allowable but soggy toast and a rotten avocado – come on you can do better than this.

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Blogger Ed said...

I know what you mean about bad reviews of locals. I've been told (at home) very firmly not to as we have to walk past these places everyday. Maybe we need to do swaps - you do my bad ones and I'll do yours.

11:02 am  
Blogger Lucy said...

I would say that's pretty damn awful, acually.

An avocado should be a thing of delight; and should, one would imagine, be quite easy to get right.

Shame. Soggy toast...horrid after a week without the stuff!

11:20 am  
Blogger Pinky said...

Ew. Poor you. Just thinking about poxy brown avocado turns my stomach.

12:08 pm  
Blogger Johanna said...

that's a shame to hear. It is such a comfort to have some good regular haunts about that have a consistent quality because you don't want to be always heading in to a place feeling like you are taking a ticket in tatts! And I did enjoy black ruby but good toast is important esp after abstinence!

2:50 pm  
Blogger Thermomixer said...

Thanks for being honest, and through your links being able to show us how bad things were. Have they changed ownership/staff? A friend took me there 18 months ago for a meal & it was acceptable. Wouldn't rave, but not that bad.

4:27 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Like Ed, I'm hesitant to post bad reviews - especially of something in my neighbourhood (and yes a location swap would be a great idea). But the problem is I have said publicly that this is a "good" place to eat and it comes down to my reputation or theirs.

However all I want them to do is pull up their socks, not got out of business.

And as a long time lover of the spud and avocado on my breakfast plate I'm no longer tolerating ones that don't pass muster. There is more skill in creating a hashbrown than most people think but it is just lazy prep work sending out an off avocado.

7:49 am  
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12:53 am  

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