Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Ossawippi Express Dining Cars, Orillia Ontario - fast track to oblivion?

Brian and I had been to the Ossawippi about a year ago, but it's getting a little seedy these days. It is old railroad cars that have been converted into a restaurant. The cars are actually on a railway track. You enter one car and are taken to the car you will eat in. Decor is quaint (but a bit rough around the edges now, in need of a facelift), with old luggage on the brass luggage rails, posters on the walls and so on.

The velvet chairs are threadbare. It would like fine in dim candlelight at night, but at lunchtime, which is when we went, with full sun streaming in the car windows, all its flaws are glaringly visible. We were the only customers in our car, in fact, the only ones in the whole restaurant. Not a good sign....

Our server almost immediately committed what for me is an unforgiveable error. He picked up my water glass by the lip of the glass! That is not okay! Everyone knows they need to pick it up by the stem or by the underneath part of the glass. The server's fingers should never touch where a customer drinks from. Second problem -- my cup had lipstick on the rim, which I didn't notice til my coffee was poured.

Okay, food arrrived. I didn't see our server arrive with it, and he suddenly bumped into my arm and shoulder from behind as he hastily shoved the plate in front of me, then reached over the table past me (still in my face!) to put Brian's plate in front of him. I was so startled I jumped and gave a little scream. He didn't bother to apologize for knocking into me. How unprofessional and rude is that??

The Ossawippi was on a fast track to nowhere in my books!

I had the Conductor's Special, chicken and asparagus on bread dipped in egg and fried, with caesar salad. It was tasty, my only complaint is that the lettuce was a bit old and there was too much dressing on the salad. Dessert was an expensive ($6.50) Profiteroles Caramel (vanilla ice cream in puff pastry with caramel sauce). The ice cream had melted so it was actually puff pastry in whitish-brown swirl sauce. Not impressive, especially for $6.50.

Overall it wasn't a good experience. I rate this 2 out of 5 teacups. 2 tea cup rating for tea room reviews

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