Well, they didn't say it was shit exactly. 'Disgusting' was the word they used, repeatedly. We'd literally only been open for an hour or two and had sent out a plate of gluten-free waffles to a table of two. I have so much love for this dish. It took a lot of trial and error to find a gluten-free vegan recipe that packed a punch.
When the crew brought back the almost untouched waffles to the kitchen I went out to speak to the customer. They said they took one bite of the ice cream and waffles and couldn't eat anymore. What a start to the day! In all my years of eating out I have never not eaten most of my food. I push really hard to minimise food waste and with thousands of people starving around the world everyday, it is a pet hate of mine to throw away food that's been prepared with so much effort.
Man, it cut deep. I don't expect people are going to love everything they eat at the cafe, but 'disgusting' is a pretty derogatory term to describe food.
I quickly remembered something a wise guy I know from Odd Captain, a cafe across the road from mine, told me weeks ago. He said that I should never aim to please 100% of people because I'll never win. If 90% of people are happy with what you're doing, then that's good enough.
Today I had a look at our most popular dishes across our first four days of operating, and the waffles came in at second place (the creamy avocado dish is number one).
A basic waffle recipe has white flour, eggs, dairy milk, refined sugar, and butter. We do not keep any of those ingredients in The Sweet Meadow pantry. Our recipe uses almond milk, buckwheat flour, coconut sugar, apple cider vinegar, almond meal, coconut oil. Of course it's going to taste different! We are a plant-based, wholefood cafe. If you don't like wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, or seeds then we are not for you. I will never market this cafe as having "something for everybody" - we are here for people that give a shit about their health, the environment, animal welfare, and living sustainably.
To the other 90% of people who have eaten at our cafe and have been happy with their meals, thank you! We appreciate how supportive you have been and look forward to serving up nourishing, healthy food for as long as we can.
On that note, I'm off to make another batch of waffle mix for tomorrow's service. Our last day before our two-day break.