Citizen Eatery, Austin, TX

While the food at this place wasn’t bad, the service sucked. There are clear structural issues with this restaurant that go beyond just having a bad waiter (actually our waiter was really good despite the circumstances). This is one of the rare reviews that I write that is pretty negative overall. Victoria and I wanted to try something different and I have been looking to eat a more plant-based diet, so Citizen Eatery seemed like the perfect place. It wasn’t terribly far from our apartment and they serve vegetarian and vegan food. It seemed like a cool place to try, so we headed there.

We went inside and waited to be seated. We decided to go closer to their bar area.

Being that it was brunch time, we wanted to order some coffee. This is where we knew the service was going to suck. It took forever for someone to finally come up and ask us about drinks. You could tell the wait staff was scrambling and honestly you could tell they were overworked. Our server apologized and took our drink order. We sat there and kept waiting for our coffee to come out and looked at the menus for what we wanted to eat. Luckily, they had decent wifi while we waited.

Probably about 10-15 minutes later, no coffee came out and someone came our server came to take our food order. We asked about the coffee and he had to check on it. They were supposedly just brewing some fresh stuff. With no coffee, we gave our food orders. It took at least another 20 minutes for our food to arrive with no coffee. Shortly after we finally got our coffee. It literally took between 30-45 minutes to get our drinks and food! I got a vegan burger. I will say the food was good, but the wait was horrible.

Now like I said, our server was doing the best he could. You could clearly tell he was trying his hardest and he apologized many times realizing how bad the service was. He even gave us a cookie and comped us for the coffee.

From how I see it, this restaurant is poorly managed from the backend. It’s clear the servers were all working very hard to deliver what they could. It seems like most of the screwups happened in the kitchen and you could tell it was putting the servers between a rock and a hard place. The servers seemed to be scrambling as they appeared to be stretched thin in terms of staffing and the obvious screwups from the kitchen didn’t make their jobs any easier. I will say the food was good, but if it’s going to take 30-45 minutes to get it, I really think they need to have coffee ready so you can at least sit there and drink it while you wait.

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