August 5, 2010
I really miss the previous owner of Alegno. I think her name is Samantha but I can’t remember; she left to open a Yoga studio about 8 years ago. She was kind, charming, funny, and always made everyone feel special – a stark contrast to the current tyrant that owns the place. I have been going to Alegno for about 12 years and keep going now because their pizza is pretty good; I wish I could say the same for the customer service or the current owner’s general demeanour. Samantha sold the restaurant to one of her wait staff (who we disliked all the way back then), and things have gotten progressively worse.
The current owner is often rude but we overlook it because the location is convenient and the food is pretty good (cooked daily by the original Indian chef for at least the last 12 years). Last night was a perfect example for really bad customer service. I, fortunately or unfortunately, have been born with a very acute sense of smell. If something has something I dislike in it or smells off, I can normally smell it a mile away. So when our pizza arrived at the table, I immediately smelled the unmistakable funk of a cloth that had stayed damp too long – you know the ‘wet dog’ smell. Everyone at our table smelled the same thing.
I smelled the plate and the pizza but couldn’t tell which one was the culprit. So our host came over and asked extremely loudly, “What are you smelling?” I quietly replied that maybe a cloth that the chef used to wipe the rim or help plate the pizza may be smelly from remaining damp too long. “We don’t use any cloths here.”
“Okay, I’m not sure what it is, but I smell a damp cloth. you may want to just check…”
She cuts me off with, “maybe it’s you…it’s really hot outside…have you been walking around a lot today?” I politely told he that I was sure that it wasn’t me and sarcastically added “but thanks for asking”. “You’re welcome” was the casual reply.
And just in case you think that this is an isolated incident, here is another gem from earlier that evening. After sitting a person down with an obvious disability (she was using two canes and limping), our resident idiot-host points at her legs and asks extremely loudly “So, what’s wrong with you?” The woman was very taken aback and tried to deflect by changing the subject, but jackass was at it again in an extremely loud voice – “Is it an infection?” and various other very uncomfortable and plainly rude questions. I have many such examples and may post them as comments to this post. This would all be funny in that Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” way, but the food is not that good to endure this again…for at least some time.