I want to preface this post by saying that last fall, I ate lunch at Creation Cafe. The service was great, and my food was fresh and flavorful; there was nothing to complain about. That’s why I chose to eat there again, just four months later. Unfortunately, my second experience wasn’t so great.
Twice a year, a slew of Indianapolis restaurants host an event called Devour Downtown. It gives people the chance to try the restaurants that they might not normally be able to afford, as each restaurant offers a special three course menu at a discounted price. I’ve participated in Devour Downtown two times before and had a great experience, so when I saw that it was going on again, I immediately scanned this year’s restaurant list and decided to make reservations for myself and Jordan, my sisters, and my sister’s boyfriend at Creation Cafe. Since I’d eaten there once before, I was certain that everything would be great. I probably talked it up way too much, but I was excited for our night out.
We arrived a little after 7:30, and were seated immediately. We took our time scanning the menu, hoping to order our drinks or an appetizer soon. After a five minute wait, a waiter came over to take our drink order, but he wasn’t actually our waiter. Our server was busy at the moment, and this other guy was helping him out. He brought out our drinks within a few minutes, and we thanked him, expecting to see our actual waiter soon. Enter another wait — this time, probably ten minutes.
When our waiter finally came over to our table, he didn’t introduce himself, welcome us to the restaurant, ask if we had any questions, or apologize for the wait. He basically said, “Ready to order now?” in a tone that implied that we were the ones who were making him wait. It was no big deal at that point, as we were just ready to get our food. Shortly after putting in our order, our waiter came back to let us know that the dish my sister ordered (stuffed poblano peppers) was no longer available. Since that was the only vegetarian option on the Devour Downtown menu, he let her choose something from the regular menu at no extra charge. Again, no big deal, we were just ready to eat.
Enter, the longest wait ever. After waiting at least 40 minutes (I had enough time to drink two big glasses of water and get up to go to the bathroom twice) our food had yet to arrive. We couldn’t do much about it, though, because our waiter hadn’t been back to the table to ask us how were doing, or ask us if we wanted anything else to drink. We were getting cranky.
Finally, our food arrived. Mine was lukewarm, the sandwich buns were soggy, and my sister was given a bowl of soup instead of the bowl of chili that she ordered (an hour ago). At this point, I found myself apologizing to my family for the restaurant that I had talked up so much.
When we finished eating (I didn’t eat much of mine), we anxiously awaited the bill. It was almost 9:30 at this point, and we were all tired and ready to leave. After flagging down our waiter, we got the checks, and then we waited another good five minutes for him to take our debit cards. My sister and I had still not gotten our dessert — the third course — at this point, and I didn’t even want to ask for it because I knew it’d take forever. We decided on a slice of cake to go, and got out of there as fast as we could.
But… before leaving the restaurant, we had the chance to see a waitress serving a table two orders of stuffed poblano peppers — the exact same thing that my sister had originally ordered. The couple arrived at the restaurant way after us, so I know that they still had peppers available when Molly ordered hers. Weird.
I thought the miserable experience was behind us when we got home, but when I tried a bite of my cake, I realized that it was stale. In the trash it went.
Needless to say, Creation Cafe won’t be seeing our business anytime soon. Our waiter never came back to ask us how anything was, and he never apologized for the things that went wrong. The food was nothing spectacular.