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Monday, 16 March 2009

Mace's Crossing

Quite Cross
By Liliane Clever
Junto Staff Writer
I love onion soup. So on a recent evening, when a friend suggested we have onion soup at Mace's Crossing, I was all for it. Mace's Crossing is a bar/restaurant (pub?) located in a cute, small two-story brick building defiantly nestled against high rises at 17th and Cherry.

My first impression, when we entered, was that it looked a bit run down. Not wanting to spoil the fun, I did not say anything. The restaurant inside is even smaller than it appears from the outside. The first floor was kind of busy, so we decided to go upstairs for a quieter table with a view next to the windows. We climbed the steep narrow carpet covered stairs which have seen better days.

The upstairs dining room was completely empty, and the waitress appeared startled to see us. She let us pick a corner table by the windows. We checked that they were serving onion soup, and asked to see the wine list. The waitress pointed to a small card on the table. The card featured a very limited list of wine and beers with no prices.

We asked about the possibility of getting a bottle of wine, but changed our mind when the waitress became frazzled. We settled for two glasses of Yellow Tail white instead. And, yes, we ordered the onion soup with French bread and butter on the side.

At the mere mention of French bread, the waitress became almost frantic. "We do not have any French bread. Just the bread that is in the soup."

By then, it was obvious that we had over estimated what Mace's Crossing had to offer. So, we settled for 'rolls' and butter instead. The onion soups came almost instantly - - not necessary a good sign – along with one long roll of bread each and butter in small plastic containers. The soup, topped with a thin layer of melted cheese, was extremely watery and fairly tasteless. The rolls had been fresh on a different day.

My friend and I were in a good mood and determined to enjoy ourselves. So, when the waitress asked us if everything was OK, we said 'Yes', for lack of anything else to say. She left, looking relieved. No other customer ever joined us. We had the place to ourselves and could carry on our lively conversation.

By the time we ordered coffee, I wanted decaf but they did not have any. I knew at that point that Mace's Crossing was definitely OFF my list of places to go or recommend. On our way out, we passed by the upstairs kitchen, and I made sure to avert my eyes. It was too late anyway. I could only wish that the next 24 hours would not become problematic.

Outside, a group of prospective customers, Germans I think, were looking at the menu and asked us about the place. We told them to stay away from the onion soup.

The next day, I decided to run a Google search on Mace's Crossing to see what kind of reviews they had been given. Overall, the reviews were unfavorable, and some were downright nasty. The only consistent point was that the bartender was really cool. Come to think of it, he greeted us with a big smile when we came in. But we decided to go upstairs and dealt the frightened waitress instead. Not sure what is going on here. Maybe she is simply tired of having to wait on unsatisfied customers.