Sunday, 4 March 2012

Friday - Lunch at Joseph Pearce 5/10

When Joe and I first started doing the blog, it was off the back of a string of terrible restaurant experiences.  Believe it or not, virtually every time we went out for dinner we had some sort of disaster - bad food, rude service, drunken people pretending to work for Michelin starred establishments......

However, since we started writing up our food escapades there have been minimal issues.  Of course there's always going to be the occasional dish we don't like, a hiccup here, a snappy waitress there, but overall we've had a pretty good run of things.

This wasn't going to last though, was it.  I'll preface this with saying lunch at Joseph Pearce wasn't terrible at all: the food was perfectly nice.  But they really p*ssed me off and I can't not be honest about it.

I spent the weekend in Edinburgh doing lots of wedding things, such as dress buying (great success!) and choosing a photographer.  After finally finding a dress that I loved, my mother, brother Michael, sister in law Kerstin and baby Tom met for lunch at Joseph Pearce on Elm Row.

We had picked it as we wanted to try somewhere new, and by all accounts it was a child-friendly, laid back cafe/bar which seemed to get pretty good write-ups.  It was also very convenient, as we had an appointment on Abercromby Place at 2.00pm.  We arrived at about one o'clock, Friday lunch time, and were given our choice of tables.  There was an area decked out for children, but we sat in the main dining area as that was already fairly busy.  Joseph Pearce does have some lovely touches.  The menus are contained in old childrens' books - I think mine was bound in a Winnie The Pooh story, which was really cute.  There's lots of space, so even in the main dining area there was space for a pram and a high chair.

My mum and I ordered some wine (to celebrate the new dress, obvs), and Michael and Kerstin joined us a few minutes later.  We were all planning on having lunch, and had about an hour, which is usually plenty of time during a week day lunch hour.  But therein lay the challenge for Joseph Pearce.   Everything was slow.  They were fine taking orders, although our waiter did seem to be a little unsure of what they had on offer (Kerstin asked for a sparkling elderflower drink - it took 10 minutes to tell her they had a bottle of elderflower wine, or could do cordial with sparkling water).  But it was the half an hour it took them to bring food which really did me in.  We didn't order anything complicated - the menu has lovely but simple options, and it wasn't busy - so it simply baffles me how it could take so long to do the food, especially as I asked after 20 minutes how long it would be and was told, "a couple of minutes".

Perhaps I misjudged it as a place to go.  I'm sure it would be perfectly fine for a very lazy Sunday brunch with the papers.  And the food was nice - mum and I had a BLT which came on rye bread with white truffle mayonnaise, while Michael had the brunch dish (brioche with tomatoes, mushrooms and eggs) and Tom had cheese on toast.  The BLT was pretty tasty, although slightly overloaded with mayonnaise, while the brunch looked good.  But to coin a terrible cliche, the service was so slow it could have been horizontal, and for that they remain unforgiven.

BLT on rye
Joseph Pearce brunch

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