We all know to expect snooty service in Paris but I’ve rarely found that and have enjoyed most meals that I’ve had there. So I was a bit gobsmacked by the Jean Marie Le Pen supporters running Buddha Bar in Paris.
The “evening” unfolded like this.
- We’re at Le Web 3 conference in Paris and we want to get some food. We also want to do so near the NetVibes party later on Rue de Rivoli
- Tariq Krim says that it isn’t a good area for food but Buddha Bar is ok.
- Four of us take the tube over, arrive into Buddha Bar and I ask if they have a table for 8 people (the expected number)
- Stormtrooper behind desk snaps “have you a reservation”. No, sorry, we don’t.
- Stormtrooper snaps “for how many?”. We say 8.
- Stormtrooper snaps “how many here now”. Emmm, only 4.
- Stormtrooper snaps “well come back when there are 8”. Oh ok.
- We go to the Bar. Then the beer rip-off story happens.
- Three people cancel on us, so we are now 5 and we go back to desk
- Stormtrooper snaps “yes?”. Emmm, we’d like a table for 5.
- Stormtrooper snaps “have you a reservation”. We were just here 15 minutes ago.
- Stormtrooper snaps “how many here now”. Emmm, 5.
- Stormtrooper picks up walkie-talkie and shouts into it. Someone shouts back.
- Stormtrooper snaps “follow that woman” and turns away from us
- Stormtrooper II shouts into Walkie talkie and points down the stairs
- We descend and encounter Stormtrooper III shouting into a walkie talkie
- She brings us to a table
- That’s it. We never received any other service from them
- After 40 minutes without menus, water, bread or anyone to flag down, we walked out. If I’d had a few drinks on me I’d probably have found it hilarious but as it was actually the worst non-dining experience of my life. You’d be better off in McDonalds.
We walked up Rue de Rivoli and found a nice pub bistro doing steak, frites and wine. A decent solid meal. I only wish I’d written the name of it down.