Choose from the following options. Is Boca Grande:
a) a coffee place
b) an ice-cream place
c) a restaurant
d) all the above and more?
The correct answer is (d) and you do not win anything. You do get to read the rest of the piece.
We went to Boca Grande without any idea of the kind of food that the place serves. When we entered, there were chairs outside and there was a section inside as well. Having investigated the place, we decided to sit inside partaking of the cool unnatural air-conditioned air. There were comfortable looking chairs hugging the wall, with low tables that would’ve made eating difficult, so we went for the regular chair-table instead.
The chair sloped backwards and was uncomfortable, which is not how you want to be when you’re eating a meal. There was a nice flat-screen TV mounted on a wall with an IPL cricket match playing. Music was piped through the speakers drowning out any other noise. There were also some games and a couple of comics–one table was seriously playing jenga, clattering blocks on the glass-top table. Another couple was cozying up, clearly not interested in playing games.
The menu, one piece (w)only, was a series of loose, cardboard with different options. Your basic meal groups like soups, salads, main course, pizza, ice-cream, juice and coffee, and desserts. (Remember the answer to the question at the beginning?)
We decided to go with the soup and then go for an entree. I chose the chicken broccoli something soup and my mystery partner (MP) decided to get a little risque and went with the tomato and basil soup. I thought my soup was okay but MP she liked hers.
The entree for me was stuffed chicken breast with BG’s chef’s special sauce. MP went with the cottage cheese lasagna. My entree was a disaster: the chicken was overcooked and dry, the chef’s special sauce had ketchup in it, which was a big turnoff, and was garnished with peas. The mashed potatoes were okay. MP thought her dish was okay.
After we finished dinner we wondered whether to eat dessert at another place or to try the ice-cream at BG. We went with the latter and the ice-cream was not bad all things considered.
Now to the service. The waiters seemed to be floating around but we couldn’t get their attention when we wanted something. We’ll put that down to the place being relatively new. They also forgot to serve us the breadsticks, which would’ve been really nice at the beginning when we were hungry. The tables were close to each other and the music drowned out any chance of a conversation. Did I mention the uncomfortable chairs? To be fair, one person, who was the owner or the manager, took our ice-cream order and seemed to know what he was doing.
The good thing about BG is that the food is quite reasonably prized for Bangalore’s standards. Also, the place seems like it would attract a youngish crowd though there were one or two ancient couples, i.e. in their 30s.
When we finally got our bill, we had the dreaded “service charge” on the list. When we asked what the service charge was, the waiter first told us that it was the tip, and then came back a minute later to say that it included a tip but it also included VAT and phantom charges tax. I just made that last one up. Then, he said to us, “You guys here for the first time? How did you like it?”
“Fine.” (Read my body language.)
It was not the best experience but apparently we were mistaken. The next day, the food decided to cause what can only be termed as “havoc” with our bodies. For me it was a two-day festival and since we hadn’t eaten out anywhere else, I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions as to what happened.
It sure was no grand(e) experience.