That being said, a few activities had remained unattained from the previous day, so we set out to accomplish them all with the help of a very compact, strict schedule
The guide allowed attendees to gather before taking us through the back doors and leading the way between gigantic beer tanks and over colourless puddles of stickiness. He wore steel-toed boots himself, and while most of the participants were casually dressed in polos and sandals, it should have been recommended to wear closed-toe footwear to prevent unforeseen injuries
Overheard was that the brewery worked with local farmers so used barley could be fed to livestock, meaning that no matter would be wasted.
It was claimed that the original building had been renovated/structured for manufacturing purposes and could withstand up to one million pounds (or roughly 450 tonnes).
For younger visitors though, the complete enclosure and ornament overload may prove a tad frightful.
The hostess informed us that all tables on their rooftop patio were occupied, but that we could lounge about the bar area until a vacancy appeared. We seated ourselves on the high stools of the sports bar area without much intention to pick drinks before sustenance. Several minutes later, the hostess approached us and directed us up the stairs towards the patio. Her instructions included checking in with the "patio hostess".
Since further words of passive agressiveness flowed in a continuous stream into our eardrums, we later moved to a smaller table in the centre of the floor. Equipped with an umbrella, it allowed patrons a clear view of the wondrous waterfront without the painful glare of the setting sun. The table was sealed in such a way that its synthetic surface gave off the illusion of slate-toned wood, when in reality it was merely plastic.
Three waitresses assumed responsibility for customers seated along the west side (facing Owen), centre column, and east edge respectively. Before our table change, a woman with medium blonde waves and hoop earrings handled the restaurant's introductions. She appeared experienced in her field by ways of responses, but lacked technique in handling lame jokes. There was an absence of passion in her actions and tone of voice, but swift she was in completing the tasks at hand.
We were greeted with the most extreme example of imprudence following the shift: a lean girl with pin-straight hair took drink orders with none of the speediness of the previous waitress, yet all of the half-heartedness. But to make matters worse, she was forgetful and oblivious to her surroundings. On countless occasions, the hostess was spotted assisting with ketchup requests and table-wiping since the waitresses were much too absorbed in their own world.
Most bartenders were quite hasty with their beverages, whipping the soda stream cords around carelessly and tossing in rough measurements of syrups. Occasionally, some of the waitresses would even slip into the bartending and hose fizzy liquid into a questionably clean glass.
A truly shocking difference could be observed in Hooligans' hastiness versus the refined artistry of MeNami.
By the time these beverages had been received, a solid hour had passed since the moment we sauntered through the doors of the restaurant. Our lack of appetite gradually grew with time, and when Honey Garlic Chicken Wings and Guac & Chips finally announced their arrival, another 30 minutes had likely passed.
Neither was I impressed with the Chicken Wings' sticky sauce and meager pieces of celery. Then again, I've never been a fan of chicken wings <Horseshoe> to begin with.
The amount of burger orders should have been sufficient in alluding to the quality of Hooligans' Grilled Mahi Mahi. Two pieces of the tiniest tanned white fish rested atop mango salsa at the corner of the plate, away from the Sweet Potato Fries and barely-charred vegetable skewer. The salsa was crafted from relatively fresh ingredients, making it great as a refreshing palette cleanser, while the fries remained crisp for some duration of time before deflating into sogginess.
As shameful as it was, the chunks of Mahi Mahi were the most depressing specimens of seafood I witnessed that evening. Defrosting procedures and pan-tossing behind it, the supposed highlight of the dish coincided with its least appealing element. I was unimpressed to the point where reluctance surfaced at the thought of grabbing a forkful.
My imagination had clearly gotten the best of me during the ordering process, for I honestly belileved I would be served two Portobello mushrooms as buns when I asked for the Grilled Portobello & Brie Grilled Sandwich. Careless errors aside, my expectations remained utterly shattered when only a few morsels of the velvety cheese could be found sandwiched between a heaping handful of deep-fried onions and bitter arugula.
Lightly toasting the sesame bun redeemed appearance points, but a vegetarian burger with a side of essentially raw veggie skewers catapulted all last hopes into a deep, deep ditch.
Quite frankly, I couldn't wait to bid farewell to our thoughtless nitwit of a waitress. She was slow, inobservant, and, most annoyingly of all, imprudent. It appeared that whatever experience she had gained beforehand never fully transitioned into her brain.
At the same time, however, I was hesistant at leaving the mesmerizing view of Allandale Waterfront. Temperatures were mild, and sunlight was aplenty.
The individual pie was bore a strong resemblance to New York Cheesecake merged with an enlarged Reese Piece. In fact, Reese Pieces topped off the rich, silky pie, along with a generous drizzle of peanut butter sauce.
Wonderfully nutty and flavourful, the dessert was a peanut lover's dream. It was undoubtedly creamier than our regular picks (think Uncle Tetsu), but still very much enjoyable on a full stomach.
But beware: there is not a single bathroom on the upper two floors. Two single stalls with ridiculously heavy doors are the only apparent spots for relief on the first floor. The ceiling was tall and facilities updated, but maintenance was severely lacking.
A squashed insect on the stall walls remained untouched from the previous day, while paper towels overflowed in the corner. Several specks of dust were also apparent near the sink.
It's a tourist neighbourhood after all, so I guess the best way to ameliorate the experience is through deep breathing and taking it easy.