It was a beautiful Sunday, and what better way to enjoy it than taking a stroll around our neighbourhood with our baby and dog (otherwise known as ‘the firstborn’), and a late brunch at a local restaurant? We like to save Provence for special occasions, so we decided to go to the Hurricane Grill, since our memories of previous summer experiences had waned enough for us to decide it warranted another chance. Those of you who have been to the Hurricane Grill for brunch before will know what I am talking about; the easy “Super Breakfast” that seemed oh-so-difficult for them to make judging by the amount of time it took to reach our tables was going to get a second chance (actually probably closer to the eighth chance, I am nothing if not thorough).

We arrived at 2 pm, well after the brunch rush and placed our order immediately. To make a long story short, we left the restaurant just after 2:45 pm, empty stomachs in tow.

For those of you who may know me, I am an eternal optimist, and particularly so in this case of returning to a restaurant which previously only yielded mild disappointment. Indeed, my intense desire to find a casual yet tasty breakfast joint in my neighbourhood goaded me to this moment. I must say that I should not have listened to the voice inside of me saying “maybe they’ve changed”, as I only left this restaurant feeling animosity, anger and intense hunger.

The true disappointment arrived as we decided we couldn’t wait any longer and the manager approached us and started apologizing in a very quiet voice – so as not to alert the other customers of the experience that was sure to befall them in short order. He apologized for the long wait, stated that they were very busy earlier and they have a small kitchen so it is difficult to keep up. He then proceeded to tell us that he wanted to ‘comp’ our meals for us, but since we were leaving he couldn’t. He suggested that the next time we come in that we look for him and if he was around he would ‘help us out’. No gift card to send away with us to ensure we would actually come back? What a glaring omission. I was too disappointed to let him know that I had a brilliant idea for him – if the kitchen is ‘too small’ to keep up with the customers’ orders, it would be wise to consider downsizing the menu so that the kitchen staff can manage simpler orders. But wait – didn’t we just order the simplest item on the menu (bacon, eggs, hash browns and toast)? It must also be noted that the Hurricane Grill does not allow substitutions for this menu item, which should theoretically make it even easier to ‘churn out’ in mass quantities. Alas, even the pigeon-holing of their most popular and undoubtedly easiest to prepare menu item could not save them from a disgustingly long wait for what we all know is at best mediocre food.

So please don’t patronize me with your “I’m not trying to make excuses but…”- if you start a sentence with this phrase it doesn’t take an idiot to realize that you are about to make at least one excuse.

My husband ran into Urban Fare on our way back home and proceeded to make me the exact same breakfast – only better – in less than a quarter of the time that we were waiting at the Hurricane Grill. So it really isn’t that hard to make bacon and eggs!

And for all of you savvy eaters out there in Yaletown—please do me one of two favours. Either stay completely away from the Hurricane Grill in hopes that we might get what we wish for in a casual and inexpensive brunch option in its place, or do not be shy in voicing your complaints to the decision-makers at this restaurant. I have definitely given this restaurant more than its fair share of chances, but maybe one day I will hear that it has really changed and might take one last gamble on it (there’s that eternal optimist again). But until then, if you see me sitting on their patio, please try and shake some sense into me. I only hope that my ‘Mum Dumbs’ will forsake me the next time I consider returning to the Hurricane Grill, because I have no desire to ever return there again.