by Alison G. on
I was nervous about going to Top Flr. Not just due to the pretentious name (as my friend Callie said, "Uh, can I buy a vowel?") and location, but the menu was kind of intimidating as well. I like to eat, and I like to eat lots of things, but I guess in the grand scheme of things I'm somewhat picky. I boned up on the menu online and thought I had a plan of attack. I was going to go all-sides and get their legendary mac & cheese, some brussels sprouts (see! I eat those!) and some cauliflower. Much to my dismay, the latter two were no longer on the menu. They were replaced by some kind of bean salad (not so much into the beans) and broccoli rabe (not into greens, either!). I tried to not let it get me down. After all, they had drinks! I ordered a Loretta Lynn, which was delicious. A fancier, girlier take on a classic G&T, it was strong and priced well. One was plenty for me, and that's saying something. The server went on and on about how good their macaroni was, so I asked him if I could just get a really big bowl of it for my dinner. He said, "I think you need a salad." I get what he meant, but you just don't say that to a fat woman. It's bad form. I did get a salad, but it turns out that the macaroni alone would have been plenty of food. At $6 for a side, it is about the price of a whole meal somewhere else (not somewhere good, but you know what I mean) and I felt like the waiter was really trying to upsell us. Now here is the part where I remind everyone for the zillionth time that I used to wait tables. I get it. I get that you want to have a bigger check because it spells bigger tips. I get that in a fancy restaurant, you can see young/cheap people coming and you dread waiting on them. But--come on. We were a party of 8 who had reserved our table 3 weeks in advance. It was a Tuesday night, and we were one of 3 tables in the whole restaurant. My friends and I are ALL good tippers (over 20%), we ALL ordered drinks, and we ALL ordered dessert. He was going to make plenty of money off of us (and not much off of anyone else given the "crowd"), so I don't get where the attitude came from. In addition to the salad comment, he was rude about the cheeses on my friend's cheese plate ("OBVIOUSLY this is gorgonzola"), and about most people's orders ("I'll have the scallops" "*sigh* And what side?"). It's times like those that I want to go, "Hey Pretentious Tudesalot, don't you wait tables for a living?" Like I said, we are not all really scallop on sweet potato people, or honey lavender dressing people. but who is? I don't know a single person who cooks that way in their home, so I'm sure they're aiming for more of a Nice Night Out than a Regular Dinner type restaurant. What makes me remember a night out is how I was treated, and I am not in love with how I was treated at Top Flr. When the check came, my total was over $30 for just me. It is EXTREMELY rare for me to spend that type of money on myself, and I felt a little ripped off. I treated people nicer than that when they ordered a 2-egg breakfast from me at the roadhouse, and it paid off. I didn't want the server to have correctly pegged us, so I still tipped over 20%. But it was done begrudgingly. All that said, I probably will return. Next time I will have fewer people and I will know what to expect. The trip and the treatment are worth it to get some of that tasty macaroni. Hold the salad.
by Brenda Rettkowski on
The Sugar Cafe is my favorite place to hang out on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It's an internet cafe. The Wi-Fi is free. The food you have to pay for. The food is pricey, if you're comparing the prices to those at WalGreens; but reasonable considering that you're getting free Wi-Fi, a nice place to sit down and you can stay for a few hours. It's a great place to bring your computer and do your favorite thing - whatever that is... post rateclub reviews, touch up your web site or tweak a social networking page. It's normal for there to be 16-20 people sitting typing away on their new Mac laptops or (yuck) PC Laptops. Sometimes you see two or three people chatting about web stuff. I imagine that a lot of the patrons are associated with the Academy of Arts University which occupies several buildings on that block of Post Street. A wonderful student gallery is located directly across the street. I like the fact that they play the music soft enough so that it's not distracting - yet loud enough so that if someone is having a conversation beside you - you don't notice it. Usually they play music like DeadMau5 (sort of like rave music). That's something I like because I hate listening to popular music of the 70s and 80s. I uploaded a few images taken at the Sugar Cafe. See my profile. That's me and a friend in the upstairs section which is usually roped off. Sometimes they don't let anyone up there. Sometimes they do. They have to know they can trust you. At night the establishment is a bar and the music is different. They close at 2:00 AM. I never hang there at night because I don't drink. I don't know what it's like at night - but I do know that occasionally the entire place gets rented out to a single party. I gave four stars instead of five because sometimes either the Wi-Fi is down - or because they are playing music I don't like. Usually it's okay though. If you're BART-ing to The City just to go there, it's a good idea to call in advance and confirm the internet connection. Another thing that isn't so great - if you don't bring your own laptop you have to pay to use one of the desktop computers by the door. I'm fine with that - but sometimes those PCs won't connect to the network.