Vegetarian Let Down.
I had such high hopes for this place and I was severely let down on several occasions. First off, it was really over priced for the portions you got. They try to use organic ingredients when they can which is a good thing. I don't mind paying a bit more for that, but the quality was just not there.
The thing that really turned me off about this place was the service. It was horrible. Plain and simple. Every time I've been there the wait staff seemed more into themselves than the customers. Getting the check seemed to be almost impossible and they had such attitude right from the start. Not pleasant.
The atmosphere was fair. Local artists are displayed, but it was way too busy and the management seemed to be trying just a bit too hard. The one thing that is exceptional about this place is the outdoor patio seating.
If you're a vegetarian looking for a place that caters just to you, then I guess you might be able to put up with going here, but it will wear thin. Being a vegetarian, I've been to much better.
Hostile to Families. My husband, our 5-year-old son and I had just put in our dinner order when my husband excused himself to go the rest room. My son expressed that he was hungry and so I took out a small baggie of, as it happens, organic snack to tide him over until the meal arrived. A woman, who may have been the manager, came over and stared at the bag as if I had put a pile of dung onto the table. When I asked her if there was a problem, she stated that they never, ever permit outside food into the restaurant. My son looked like he was about to cry and I asked her to explain this to him. She stated that I was the adult and then continued to say that they were a full service restaurant with a children?s menu. I explained to her that we were aware of that and had in fact ordered a meal for him from that menu but my son was hungry now and the snack was to tide him over until the meal arrived. At that point she abruptly walked off. My husband returned and then the women who had seated us approached our table, telling us that she had been instructed to continue to take up the issue. At this point my son was in tears and we decided to leave. Our family is from NYC and we dine out quite frequently and in finer establishments than this one. No one has ever objected to an outside snack given to a small child while waiting to be served. I also need to add that throughout the exchange, the staff at ION never offered to bring a piece of bread or something else to the table to ease the situation. We really felt that they did not want us there. We did have a lovely dinner that night at another establishment a few blocks away on Main Street. However, it has taken several days to convince my sensitive child that he didn't do anything wrong. (5/23/08)
worst service, horrible food.
I made my meat-and-potatoes loving boyfriend take me to this place because I love healthy food - I am a self-proclaimed brown rice guru and this place came highly recommended. After driving and hour to get to this place - it's not near where I live but wanted to try it, we wandered the streets looking for the place. Once we found the "restaurant" - it was located in the back of a mini-mall - the first thing I noticed was the horrible smell. We were seated in a freezing cold room and then ignored for 10 minutes. By my estimations the restaurant was about 40% full and they had anywhere from 4 to 6 waitresses. After finally taking our order a number of interesting things happened:
1. I asked for soy milk in my chai - I don't consume dairy - they served it with regular milk
2. I am allergic to nutmeg so I asked if the soup contained nutmeg, she said she would find out. 10 minutes after my boyfriend finished his miso soup she came to the table to tell me the soup did have nutmeg. I asked for a bowl of brown rice with tahini sauce on the side instead (in addition to the sauteed veggies I had already ordered but not received)
3. 3 seconds later, luke-warm rice arrives at the table - I ask for the tahini again
4. 5 minutes later my boyfriend's salad comes.
5. 10 minutes later - SERIOUSLY - my veggies arrive and I ask for the tahini AGAIN
6. 10 minutes later - my boyfriend goes to the kitchen and asks for the tahini
7. 5 minutes later the tahini arrives in time for my last bite of food
Bar none, this is the worst experience I have had at a restaurant in years. Furthermore, the food was awful. It's restaurants like this that give healthy food a bad rap - there is no reason that healthy food should be so bad or come with such awful service.
My advice to anyone considering this place is to avoid it at all costs. My advice to the restaurant management if they're reading this is to fire your incapable waitstaff and get a chef who knows how to cook.
Good food, service was from out of this world, perhaps Mars.....
This is an all-vegetarian restaurant, with a heavy tilt towards organic/vegan foods. If that floats your boat you'll probably go here because it's one of the few choices in the area. That's what I did, as all-vegetarian restaurants aren't that common.
We were seated promptly despite it being a Friday night. This was a good thing. The waitress, however, was a bit different than the Maitre'd. She often disappeared for long stretches of time, and it took us quite a while to get our order in. Once I'd finished a pint I asked for a second; after fifteen minutes I'd nearly finished my food and told her that I'd cancel the pint as I'd nearly finished my meal. She breezed right past that comment. Later, when we asked about dessert she said she'd checked and they were out of the particular beer (the one I'd canceled).
Food was good, not spectacular, but the prices were higher than average. The check helpfully had the amount to tip - set at 20%. Not worth it.
We ordered an appetizer of dim sum, and it was quite good.The tofu cutlets were served up with green beans and mashed potatoes, like a traditional "American" meal. A veggie burger was obviously home-made, but stuck together well and came with sweet potato fries. The thai dish - something with noodles and peanut sauce - came with almonds and was what you'd expect.
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