One afternoon back in late November, I had a late lunch at Stonegrill @ the MET, which is located below the food court at Metrotown in Burnaby. One reason I was drawn to Stonegrill was the fact that since around mid-November when I walked by the area, I noticed they had the message “All-day combo specials for Christmas” written on their board at the front. Each time I walked by, I saw the same message. So, that one afternoon in November, I actually went in.
But that message was all forgotten when I sat down and went through the menu. I first ordered a Coke as my beverage and the server then left me alone to figure out which food item I wanted. I decided I would have a burger, so I ordered their Zesty Curry Lamb Burger. It came with a side of potato wedges, waffle fries, or organic garden salad. Alternatively, for a few more dollars, you could have yam wedges (+ C$2), Caesar salad (+ C$2), daily soup (+ C$3), poutine (+ C$2), or pulled pork poutine (+ C$4). I chose the Organic Garden Salad.
Unlike the last time I was there, the service on this visit was fast. The staff was friendly. I got my meal fairly quickly, so that was wonderful. If there’s anything to nitpick on at this point, it was that I noticed the three service staff on duty at that time, who were all Asian, spoke with each other in Mandarin. Personally, I think it’s annoying that they’re not using English while working in a non-Chinese restaurant, but that’s just a personal thing, a minor thing, so no big deal.
Now, the service was great because the server did check in with me a couple of times to see how things were and also to see if I needed a refill for my Coke (I didn’t). As for the food, the bun looked puny but actually the lamb patty was thick and huge, and was tasty. Overall, a delicious burger. The salad, which is pretty difficult for any food establishment to screw up, was good.
When I got the bill and thought more about it, that was when I decided that perhaps I had given the staff too much credit for their service. I was charged only for the burger:
The burger cost C$14.00, and the Coke was supposed to be C$2.75, but the bill was for only C$14.00. I didn’t ask about it, but I just paid and left the standard tip. However, having had some time to reflect on it, what was the reason I went to Stonegrill this time?
Right. It was because of the sign at the front which read, “All-day combo specials for Christmas.” At no point did the first server tell me anything about their specials when she first seated me. You would think that the server would let the diner/customer know about their holiday specials. I didn’t think about it at the time when I was given the menu. I just arbitrarily made up my mind to have a burger.
Perhaps, then, the reason I wasn’t charged for the pop had something to do with the fact they were having this combo special, something that I knew nothing about. I didn’t know what the specials were, what items were affected, etc. I just knew I had free pop. Nothing in the restaurant indicated any specials – it was only the sign at the front when I first walked in.
For that, I would have to downgrade the service from good to mediocre. The servers are supposed to let you know what the specials are, and since that wasn’t communicated during this visit, then their job wasn’t done properly. Never mind the Mandarin-speaking thing – this oversight by the first server was more significant.
When: Tuesday, November 26, 2014
What: Zesty Curry Lamb Burger with Organic Garden Salad; Coke
Where: Stonegrill @ the MET, 4820 Kingsway #259, Burnaby, BC (inside Metrotown Mall)
EDIT: I later found out that the combo specials applied only to groups of at least two people, so it was a moot point in my case. What happened was several weeks later – which was actually a week before Christmas – I stopped by Stonegrill again and I flipped through the menu which was set on the counter/display table at the entrance, trying to see if anything would appeal to me. Nothing did, so I didn’t go in, but I did see a coloured flyer right next to the menu which outlined the specials for groups for the months of November and December. The combo specials were referring to large quantities of food to be shared by multiple diners, not multiple food items for a single diner.