- There’s one thing I look forward to almost every time I go out to eat. Sometimes I start thinking about it well before I sit down at the table, sometimes even before I get to the restaurant. I always, especially at lunch, look forward having a really good, ice cold glass (or 3, if there are free refills!) of iced tea at my meal. If I go to a new place it’s the first thing I think about before any entrée, “I wonder how the iced tea is.” Unfortunately at many places the iced tea can go horribly wrong. It can be left to neglect, like it’s the result of some forgetful server having not taken the tea out of the big silver kettle the night before (Eww…) or the result of the well meaning server that brews the tea then continually puts ice in the jug every time a few glasses are poured, which results in something that becomes no longer iced tea, but more resembles what comes out of your kitchen faucet when your neighborhood is under a boil order, and more tastes like, well, water. If I wanted tea that tastes like water I’d have saved my $2…and ordered water!
Now that I’ve finished my rant on my high expectations of restaurant iced tea I can get on with this review. Because everything else about my experience at Bambino’s Italian Café for lunch last week was great – except an experience with tea that left a bad taste with me.
Let’s start with what was good. We had a great appetizer, the ricotta artichoke dip. Served with yummy toasted bread, it wasn’t exactly what I expected but I still enjoyed it. The sandwiches we ordered were also great, toasted subs served with a side of pasta salad. My chicken artichoke sub was full of huge artichokes and lots of tender chicken, and my friend, who ordered the Salciccia with Italian sausage and melted provel cheese topped with marinara sauce. This was my first visit to Bambino’s new location, and it’s cute and quaint, but it is missing the hole-in-the-wall/hangout charm of the original location, where I spent many nights hanging out at the bar, drinking wine, waiting for my friend Carly to get off work; back when the ‘Bam was still a new entry in CoMO’s eatery scene. So I felt a little nostalgic thinking that that place is no more while I sat in the sparkly new ‘Bam. All in all the food and atmosphere was nice, and since we used a groupon for the appetizer we ate for around $10 each, which was affordable.
So now, let’s get back to the tea. Here’s what happened. The waitress brought me something that more closely resembled water than tea, and I asked if I could have a different glass.
Waitress: “Don’t you want to try it first?”
Me:”No, I’d like a new glass.”
Waitress: “Well this is the way we brew it every day, so it would just look the same.” I couldn’t believe she was trying to pass this stuff off as tea. Did they wave the tea bags over the pitcher of water even?
Me: “Ummm…well, I guess Diet Coke then.”
After 2 Diet Cokes and about halfway through our sandwiches I saw more than one server coming around to other tables with these absolutely perfectly hued, wonderful-looking glasses of iced tea! How did that happen? Why when I asked for a new one was I told no? Why is it when I asked the server if they’d be brewing more she basically blew me off? I don’t know. All I know is that what she gave me was not iced tea, and looked nothing like what they were serving 20 minutes later.
I did get my actual iced tea to go as I was leaving, but wasn’t real happy with how my waitress handled the situation. Yeah, I know, it’s just iced tea, but as I stated above, it’s pretty important to my lunchtime experience. I know it’s not that important to everyone, but to me, it can make a good meal great.