Bridges on First Restaurant, Calgary, AB – Trouble, trouble, and more trouble

A less than perfect dining experience

A less than perfect dining experience

I hate complainers.  But, hoo boy, did we run into a heap of trouble when we dined at Bridges on First in Calgary this week.

We gathered at the cozy, pub style restaurant in Calgary’s inner city just north of downtown for a family visit.  I like to give eateries and their staff as much leeway as possible, trying to keep on the ‘high road’ and allowing the occasional mistakes to be overlooked.  But our restaurant experience this particular evening was almost a ‘how not-to’ skit for hospitality industry service.

Our server was personable and friendly, but was entirely unfamiliar with the menu.

What’s the soup of the day?, one of our party queried.  “I’m not sure; I’ll have to check”, he answered.

After taking the required pre-dinner drink orders, he began taking our food orders.

I requested the House Smoked and Braised Short Rib main ($26), and he said, “I think that main has been ‘deep-sixed’; hang on and I’ll check.”  He returned a moment later to confirm that main dish was no longer offered.

So I ordered the Crispy Pork Belly Poutine ($12), and it was really disappointing.

Crispy Pork Belly Poutine ($12)

Crispy Pork Belly Poutine ($12).  There IS pork belly in there, you just have to look for the minuscule pieces

A hearty dish of fries with brown gravy, some kind of cheese (not the traditional ‘squeaky’ when you bite them curds you get in authentic poutine), and minuscule shreds of pork belly that I could barely see in the restaurant’s dim light.  It could have been poutine with less than 1 oz. of bacon bits for all I could tell.

Others in our party fared somewhat better.  Ingrid ordered Fish and Chips ($17.50), which contained excellent fish, but arrived dark brown and overcooked.

The beer selection was decent, according to those who imbibed.

After delivering most of our entrees, he had to be reminded he still hadn’t delivered one of the guest’s glass of wine.

When it came time to pay the bill, our server brought hand held credit card machine to our table where I paid with my credit card, then never came back to tear off and give me my receipt.  He left the machine at our table, never retrieving the machine or the merchant’s copy of the bill.  Odd to have such a poorly trained server.

Bridges on First, 25-1st Avenue NE, Calgary, AB., Tel.: 403-460-0530.  Not recommended.




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