Thursday, 9 December 2010

Cafe Rouge

My wife Lois blogs about food, ( gluten free food to be precise. Recently she’s taken to the road or more exactly to restaurants armed with a new phone.

For the last year or so she has been very wary about eating anywhere away from home because it only takes a tiny amount of gluten to cause a couple of days of symptoms.

This picture was taken at Café Rouge in Worcester, her blog gives the details but the upshot is we will probably go there again. This is something of a turnaround because we ate in Café Rouge a long time back and had a bad time. The waiters were rude, the food took a very long time to come and wasn’t worth the wait. It felt like they were trying to replicate the worst of classic French café dining. Arrogant, tardy waiters may be essential to a holiday experience, giving the English something to moan about when they get back home, but it doesn’t work in Birmingham. There are too many other great places to eat, so we never went back to Café Rouge. Advertisers and management consultants take note; one rude waiter might lose you a thousand pounds worth of business over the years. Multiply the thousand we might have spent by all the other people who may have been similarly offended, and it comes to quite a dent in any business model.

So why did we go back? Because Lois came across a feature about a gluten free menu somewhere on the web and felt honour bound to try it, complete with new phone and ready to blog.

Of course our pleasant experience may be down to just one nice waitress in that particular branch of the chain, it’s not proper market research we are talking about here. We are not collecting statistics and we are probably biased.

What is fascinating is that Lois's blog post about Café Rouge has had more hits than anything she has ever posted and for a brief period yesterday had her up as far as the second page of hits on a Google search on Café Rouge. Why are so many people searching on Café Rouge? Perhaps it’s because it’s the Christmas season and lots of people are looking for places to eat.

My impression was equally favourable, speaking as someone who has no specific dietary problems apart from hating cucumber. I’m happy to report that there was no cucumber in anything I ordered. This is slightly surprising, because it seems to get added to a lot of things for no good reason that I can discern. Maybe that’s a seasonal effect as well. It’s a bit cold for growing cucumbers at the moment.

The picture (taken with my iphone) shows Lois composing her blog on an HTC Desire Z, an Android phone. The little keyboard works well, but she still hasn’t cracked how to get material from there to her blog in one seamless move. I’m sticking with Apple.

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