Thursday, November 15, 2012

Media event advice......

Look, this blog is tiny - it probably has a hand-full of readers, mostly friends and a a few locals who are interested in food of the brunch/egg variety!

I really don't expect to be invited to every new restaurant opening or special event - it's not like I weald some local power over Ottawa to somehow get them to go to places to eat.

So, when I do get invited to an opening AND I'm not working AND I have nothing better to do I'll pop along and snap a pic or two and probably FB, Instagram or maybe even blog about it.

The other evening I got an email from the events/PR firm Knock-On-Wood to attend a media tour of the new Real Sports Bar on George Street  11am -1pm, I was free then (planned on seeing Skyfall at 1pm) and had an hour to have a look-see at what a modern sports bar looked like - I'm not really into sports so I doubt I'd be a regular customer here unless they showed the Rugby Six Nations and World Cup on their giant screen!

Anyway my son and I pop along and we find the place and it looks like they are still working on the place - the doors are propped open with boxes, the entrance way is cluttered with building 'stuff' and as we enter I asked if we had the right place/right time. "Oh, yes!" said a girl/waitress/pr girl - who knows - that was about it on the greeting side of the equation!!

Inside was no better, the builders were in the process of finishing off the front seating area but still had power tools and hardware all over the place, the floors were covered with plaster dust and work boot footprints, there was still a elevation platform in the bar and we just sort of stood with the few others there not really knowing what to do - or what to make of the situation.

We sat down after about 5 minutes and waited. We waited. No food was offered, no drink was offered, no greeting was offered. I was hungry and thirsty especially with the promise of food to photograph and sample!

After 15 minutes we left - they were just giving out bottles of water! Bottles of water! 

I've been to a lot of events and launch parties - I've even hosted a few myself - I know things go wrong but the skill from a PR/events/communications company perspective is how you deal with the 'bumps' - no one dealt with these bumps from what we experienced and it left a bit of a sour taste.

We made the effort to come down, paid for parking and then was just left feeling as if we came on the wrong day!

Events people - I don't expect invites but when I get them and I attend - I want to be greeted, offered a drink and maybe some literature and if there is a 'situation' you need to admit it - and then tell me what is going on and what the alternative plan is - if it was my event - I would be saying to people, "hey, the builders are a bit late finishing, you are welcome to wait for 15-20 minutes until we can start or here is a voucher to come back for a complimentary 'whatever' once we open."

Reputation is everything in this small town, isn't it?

A round-up of recent brunchiness.....

OK, so a bit of a round up of recent places we've been as I've been very tardy on the blogging front and I'm sure I've lost readers, but as Joy says on The View, "so what, who cares?"

We have returned to the Back Lane Cafe a couple times, mainly to check out what their new star chef has done to the menu (Michael Hay is their new Head Chef). He doesn't disappoint! The first time we sampled his brunch menu they had a starter of toast and pate and a quails egg that was just sublime! We'd go back more if there were not other places to try out and old faves to return to - balance, balance!

So we found a new place to brunch that we like a lot, it's called Izakaya and it's in the old Daddy's Crab Shack on Elgin Street. Parking can sometimes be a challenge but it's worth it! This place is a Asian fusion place but we all love the brunch menu and the spicy options for a Sunday lunchtime treat!

Curried shrimp benny from Izakaya

Ginger creme brulee also Izakaya

We've Dim Summed quite a bit and although we have been to Chu Shing and experienced the 'hive' we have also actually lined up (yes we waited for this place, it's that good) for a small dim sum place called Hung Sum. It's not pretty but the food is a couple notches above the bigger places I think/We think.

With a few regular returns to the Fontenelle on Montreal Road.......Oh and the Hintonburg PH has jumped up a few notches in our estimations too - the food here used to be so-so and the service was ho-hum - I think we went back on Father's Day and we've been back a couple times since and both the food and the service are very good. They also have some great art on the walls from the likes of local artists; Martelock, Adornato and Andrea Stokes to name but three, so you have something cool to look at and discuss whilst eating delicious food!