Went in for a coffee and a muffin. Had two of the snarkiest, rudest waitresses I have ever met. I work retail, I get that it's tiring smiling all day, but these girls didn't have a smile between them and actually looked really pissed off to be serving us.
Muffin was dry and gritty and had a piece of plastic in it. The coffee was ok, nothing special. Angry Waitress #2 took our plates before we were finished and asked if we were done after taking them - what?
We got up and left after this because evidently customers are not welcome here. Not sure why they were chasing people out the door as there were heaps of empty tables. Ruined what was supposed to be a fun coffee date, thanks guys. Never coming back here. Many other local coffee shops within a 1 block radius with nicer food and nicer staff who don't make you feel unwelcome.
I'm a big fan of Joe's Garage - in Christchurch and the one in Wellington. I went to the Upper Riccarton Joe's this morning for breakfast and had the scrambled eggs on toast with bacon - what I always have, I'm a creature of habit.
The place was humming busy, got there about quart' to ten. Sat and ordered coffee which duly come out - all good so far.
I ordered my usual and when it came out, my first thoughts were 'oh that's not much'. The serving size had shrunk somewhat. I ate food but didn't need the second piece of toast; there was no bacon and egg left to go with it.
I looked around and noticed the dishes with scrambled eggs on were particularly light.
I mentioned this as I paid the bill - reasonable priced as usual, and to be fair the chap on the till acknowledged my complaint and gave me a free coffee voucher.
But I still went home and made toast and a cuppa - not brave enough to be disappointed again by ordering more food at the restaurant.
You're better than this Joe.
Went for a farewell lunch with colleagues from work - against my better judgement, having read the reviews, but we thought we'd give it a shot. Had a limited timeframe but most places can manage lunch within an hour or so. Arrived just after 1, took a wee while to attract someone's attention and give our orders - probably about 1:15 or just after.
At 1:40 we were starting to wonder why they hadn't even managed to produce 4 soft drinks, when our waitress came over, full of apologies, and explained she hadn't put our order in. She offered free drinks which wasn't all that appeasing given the cost of postmix. If we'd ordered wine all round that might have been a more impressive suggestion.
I would have just left but we didn't have enough time to get food anywhere else. I really had to get back so she suggested they package mine as a takeaway, and promised they would rush it. I got mine about 1:50. The waitress was clearly mortified, apologised several times, but unfortunately her mistake really did stuff up our lunch and deducting soft drinks didn't make up for it.
The food? I ordered 'Teddy Best' from the burger section - "chicken breast fillet, caramelised onions, tomato, rocket, with seeded mustard mayo on toasted ciabatta." I also requested swiss cheese. I took away an open sandwich rather than a burger, so a bit of a sloppy mess by the time I got back to the office. The single slice of slightly soggy white bread at the bottom definitely wasn't toasted and may or may not have been ciabatta. Ciabatta is normally a fairly flat loaf, split sideways and crusty. The bread was topped with mayonnaise, a slice of (unmelted) processed cheese, salad and a piece of ok grilled chicken. Caramelised onions were probably the highlight.
I appreciate everyone makes mistakes but sounds like we're not the only ones who have been disappointed and the food really wasn't worth the effort.
Finally - it was quite cold. About 12 degrees out and one of the bifolds was open. We might have asked them to close it if we'd been able to get anyone's attention.
I was surprised to see the negative comments below as Joes Garage has become on of my favourite local haunts. However I've only ever been for Brunch.
The service has been excellent on the few times I've been, greeted at the door and seated, then drinks order taken straight away and menus provided. The pikelets with bacon and banana have become my favourite brunch dish but my companions have had the big breakfast and the burrito both of which looked excellent.
The staff are very friendly and attentive and the food I thought was excellent value for money. Great atmosphere, the only negative I would say is the choice of metal chairs on polished concrete. It makes a hell of a noise when someone scrapes their chair!
First visit to Joes Garage and was disappointed. Firstly we had to find our own seats as we were not greeted or seated by anyone. Once we got waitresses attention she was friendly and promptly got us menus. We ordered drinks, coffee and soft drink, which came out quickly. The coffee was good. Our meals took around 30 minutes to arrive. We both got the autobahn which sounded nice in the description. When they were brought to the table I felt really underwhelmed by what I saw. Some chips, a piece of schnitzel and a jug of gravy. Nothing green. No colour. No garnish. The lemon wedges in the description were absent. The nicely seasoned chips were the highlight of the meal. The schnitzel was ok, my daughters was nearly cold. The gravy was lumpy and cold!!!!!! Yuck. For an $18 meal I actually felt a little ripped off. The place itself is quite funky. I really liked the decor etc. I wont return unfortunately. If they could pick up their game with regards to the meals I think this place would rock.
We left Joes Garage feeling ripped off, and very unimpressed with the service and the food we received. The 3 of us came here for dinner, I ordered the salad and what a disaster it turned out to be, large old lettuce leaves and with an egg on top,nothing else. I sat with it for ages and only had one mouthful and decided that the lettuce was so old and stodgy that I could not stomach it , the waitress kept walking past and trying to avoid us it seemed and didn't ask how our meals were going. I ended up calling her over and letting her know that the salad was in eatable, she agreed and went to the manager, and said that they would give me my coke for no charge but not the meal. There was also no offer to make anything else either. The others in the group had the chicken burger and for the size that you get for the money is really not worth it at all, dry cold burger buns are not a good look. The service was lacking entirely and there was no offer for any more drinks. Will not be returning or recommending.
Went for dinner for the first time here tonight what a HUGE disappointment! We had "garlic bread" = bread roll (crusty) cut in half with garlic butter on side - so so average and waited 40 minutes for that to arrive ended up asking where it was?! We had "salads" = mesculin two bits of tomatoe and half a chicken breast plonked on top and a very small portion for $18 each, my twelve year old could serve a better salad! The service was super slow - but also very friendly - would not recommend and will definitely not be back a real leg down :o(
After recently moving back to Chch we wanted to celebrate with a special night out. It’s a shame we went to Joe’s Garage because they managed to make it particularly average.
We arrived and the waiters were really friendly and seated us quickly. They came and took our order and from there the experience went downhill quickly. We ordered two mains, Pork Belly and a Crumbed Chicken with vegetables, and were waiting for quite a long time for them to arrive. One meal arrived and then there was a large delay before my Pork arrived.
The vegetables were overcooked, dry and rubbery which made me think they had just been reheated. The rest of the chicken dish was great but it was so let down by the vegetables. Now as for the pork belly…. if you’re going to serve pork belly on the menu, you need to make sure that you can cook crackling perfectly as that is such a crucial element of the dish. When I took my first bite it became apparent that a) I may require dental work after this dinner and b) the cook clearly doesn’t know how to make crackling. It was rock hard. Not snap crackly, but quite literally just a porky inedible rock. This is bad, but definitely a recoverable situation. I advised the waiter and showed him that the crackling wouldn’t even break with the strength of my man hands. He was great and told us he would take it to the Chef/Owner. We watched the chef/owner try to break it with his hands but he couldn’t. They took the rock crackling away, which I presumed meant that they were going to replace it with some good crackling. When they came to clear our plates I questioned what was happening with the crackling so the wait staff went to the kitchen and bought out some passable crackling. Then the kitchen staff were clearly upset that someone would dare question their cooking ability and the bad looks started.
Well that was the theme for the rest of the night… when we went up to pay we got more glares and sneers from the kitchen and not an apology in sight. Customer service isn’t that hard to master, in fact I’m sure it’s a lot easier than cooking crackling, but Joe’s Garage doesn’t seem to think that it is a necessary part of dining out. As a result, we will never be going back for breakfast, lunch or dinner and advising others not to as well.
Went to Joe's Garage last Monday for lunch as it was my Dad's birthday and we wanted something quick and local. We were seated quickly and orders were taken. I saw a specials board after our orders were taken but this had not been mentioned to us by the waiter. Coffee and soft drink arrived within 10 minutes and then there was a wait. It was a long wait, we kept waiting and looking around. It seemed like there were a lot of people waiting. Asked a waitress for water, she told me to get it myself from under the TV so I did. Still waiting, empty coffee cup taken away after about 20 minutes. Kept looking at my watch as we were both getting hungry. Really wanted to get up and leave but since it was my Dad's birthday I really thought I should feed him. It took 55 minutes for our meals to arrive from the time our orders were taken.
It was not worth the wait, Dad had Autobahn which was crumbed beef schnitzel. The meal came with chips, gravy and lemon wedges and that was it - no salad or veges at all, not even parsley. There was a skin on top of the gravy as it had obviously been reheated, Dad just put it to the side as he's not the type to complain. He said the meat was eatable but nothing to rave about. I had the Beef Burger, when it came out Dad joked that I was given a kid's meal. The burger was small - I needed to put my glasses on. It was a slider burger size. I was disappointed at the $17.00 price for this. Also the lettuce was the white hard bit so I didn't enjoy that either. After we finished eating no one cleared our tables or asked how our meals were, there was absolutely no service. Usually I would have convinced Dad to have dessert and coffee but I was not staying there a minute longer not that any of the wait staff offered us dessert or coffee. Went to the counter and paid - cashier took my money and that was it, no thank you.
First and last time I will be dining at Joe's Garage. The place is a joke especially when their website says " Joe’s menu has been designed around the GO FAST philosophy of serving a great tasting meal without the wait"
Poor service, a long wait and below average food is not going to get me in again.
Went to Joe's Garage for a late lunch last weekend and enjoyed the experience. Located in Upper Riccarton this modern building is tastefully decorated in the Joe's livery. Business was still brisk even though the lunchtime trade was coming to an end but we managed to a spot to eat without a booking. I had the Autoban which was a crumbed beef schnitzel with streaky bacon and fries. Very tasty and a good sized serving. The two ladies had the Teddy Best which was a chicken fillet on toasted ciabatta and accompanied with greens. Both enjoyed their meals. A piece of carrot cake and coffee to finish what was a very pleasant weekend dining experience. Service was prompt and efficient. We will return.
1st visit: I had the chicken salad which was one of the best salads I have ever had. Huge chunks of chicken with a delicious spice, yum yogurt dressing, mandarin, tomato and lettuce salad. Interestingly brilliant! My friend had the french toast which she thoroughly enjoyed and we finished with a piece of succulent mud cake - yum! We were served by who I could assume was the owner, tall blonde lady who was friendly and chatty and looked after us very well. Also, as Joe's is known for - great coffee.
2nd visit: Couldn't resist the chicken salad again but unfortunately it was no where near as good, so much lettuce - it looked like I had eaten none of it, even though I had eaten at least half! Barely any good bits. :( food was prompt which was good on a quick lunch break. However no one came back to check on us or our food, or offer us coffee... or cake...
3rd visit: Late lunch. Decided to try something else. Went for the chicken burger which was yum. Friend ordered the open sandwich, no mustard dressing - aioli instead, no onions... and a side of fries because her meal did not come with any. When our meals were delivered, I asked for gravy for my fries. Received an eye-roll as it seemed this had really ruined the day for a young blonde girl with tattoos. My friends meal did not come out as she had asked and no fries... No one came and checked on us or our food... we waited, so we could ask about the fries. Gravy and fries still awol... Friend had to get up to check on fries after finishing her sandwich, they had been forgotten, and apparently gravy just needed to be heated. Gravy never came and I don't believe they ever had the intention of getting us any either. Guy was apologetic and took fries off the bill, I don't think he realized he had messed up her whole order with her sandwich though... didn't end up saying anything anyway because no one came back to check on us!
Disappointing after such a great first experience, I now no longer have a burning desire to come back and probably wont.
I recently visited this branch for a team lunch. The food was pretty good for most of our group and came out quite quickly. Unfortunately despite making a booking for 10 people the table was not ready for when we arrived. Being a Tuesday booking you would have thought that food stocks would be full, alas no they had run out of beef patties which was very disappointing as this was what a number of people were going to order. We not not advised of this until a few minutes after being seated and drink orders were taken. They had also run out of a number of syrups for milkshakes. Comments were made on the decor and atmosphere being cool and the service was quirky.
I've eaten here a few times now, due to other people's choice, but can't say I'm a fan myself, mainly due to the exorbitant prices ($12 for 2 eggs on toast!?! seriously!) and the fact they DON'T do poached eggs. What kind of breakfast place doesn't have poached eggs? I will admit the food is tasty in general (when they haven't overcooked the scrambled eggs), just not good value.
The metal toy car theme they have going is cute, but make sure you sit as far from the toy box as possible. The noise of metal cars being scraped along concrete is extremely grating, worse than fingers on a blackboard. Can't believe they haven't ditched the toy box yet!
I also don't really like how the tables are too close together, and sitting at the high tables on the bar stools is very uncomfortable. (both in terms of physical comfort, and the fact you might end up sharing it with strangers.. awkward) It's not worth going if you can't manage to get a proper table.
Excellent late afternoon early evening meal with my family. Table service was friendly and accommodating for young children. Food is as you would expect, good basic food but presented nicely in a timely fashion.
Went to Joe's for a lazy Sunday dinner not far from home. The food is basic but ours was tasty, promptly delivered and reasonably priced. I had a fat spicy bratwurst in a crispy warm roll, with red onion, mustard, and a side of meaty field mushrooms. Very good. My husband's burger was fine though he'd have preferred it to be larger. The accompanying chips were bog-standard chippie fries - I think a little effort here would be worthwhile given the number of meals that have chips on the side. He enjoyed his very pink and sweet thick shake... in the mood for comfort food I think. My house red, a Spanish blend, was a good quaffer; unfortunately it was served in a stemless wineglass, which lowers the tone a little for me. Overall, if you simply want a quick unfussy meal and/or have unsophisticated tastes to cater for, Joe's fits the bill in all senses.
The decor at Joe's is so cool. On the occasions I have taken my kids in for the amazing chips (and whatever they sprinkle on the chips is to die for YUUUMMMMOOO!!!), they sit and check out the Tonka's and door handles. They are in lad heaven;) They have also solidified their favourite flavour of milkshake too. We recently dined in with adults and kids (18 in total) and had a fantastic night. Staff were prompt and dealt with such a large group, full of busy children, with ease and smiles. There were many different meals ordered, and all enjoyed. We all sat and shared our opinions... pastas loved, burgers inhaled, Pork belly devoured. Meal sizes are well proportioned and leave you feeling like experiencing a dessert, rather than stuffed. Not sure what it was called, but the icecream dessert with a shot of espresso makes my mouth water just recalling it!! When it was time to leave, payment with such a large group can sometimes provide a challenge for staff, but it was handled again with ease. We all left keen to come back, kids and all:)
5 of us entered restaurant for the first time, it was busy - so we sat outside and were told to wait for a table to come up - when it does, they would advise us. We waited 20mins, saw people leaving and tables getting taken by others who were clearly arriving after us.
After deciding what to eat we made our way to the counter to order, firstly - no poached eggs..........wasnt aware there was a place around that didnt serve poached eggs these days, but just the standard fried or poached available.
2nd problem we came across - i myself had my food served by the waitress which was brilliant, took about 15mins to arrive after ordering, not bad since they were busy. problem was, i waited for my fellow friends meals to come out, but they just didnt come!!! we waited and waited. it was about 20minutes after me that the 2nd meals came out, followed by about another 10minutes for the final 2 meals. it meant a very awkward eating session for me - while i had hungry friends watching me eat, while i felt bad eating. Why couldnt the meals all come out at once? considering there were plenty of meals heading out of the kitchen after our first meal was served. 30mins between meals arriving at a table isnt ideal or acceptable.
which made this more frustrating was they had alot of staff working - where majority of them were standing around talking amongst each other. only about 2/3 were actually working. very frustrating.
last complaint was the fried eggs that arrived at the table were extremely undercooked, alot of slimy white egg on the top, which is basically from undercooking the egg. put me off the meal to be honest. otherwise the salmon and bread was nice.
dont think ill be coming back again - wasnt the best experiance and alot worse than i was expecting.
Where do you go for a fairly filling dinner that's easily under $20 per person if you're not in the mood for anything Asian, and you're a bit tired of pizza? Yes, that's probably one of the noises I made the night my cousin and I headed out. Unfortunately, I can't add Joe's Garage to my list of solutions. Our evening wasn't bad or ruined, but I can't help feel we would have been far better off cooking at home.
The upper Riccarton branch is pleasantly casual enough, if a bit "standard," but fortunately the staff were all fairly nice. The caesar salad my cousin ordered looked fairly decent, but although the croutons were home made, they were a bit too large and crunchy, and my cousin is fairly fond of her gums so had to leave a fair bit behind. My mushroom, spinach and caramelised onion spaghetti was bearable, but was a bit bland even with the shaker parm and chilli, and the onion was certainly no where need caramelised. As a result I needed to reach for the salt shaker quite a bit! The one thing that was pretty good was my "killer" smoothie, but it was basically like drinking bubbles! Otherwise this was by far the nicest part of the meal although certainly wouldn't be a reason to return.
I don't mean to sound nasty, but this is the sort of place you'd go if you are not a particularly good cook, and just wanted some food that comes on an actual plate. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but as a raving foodie I would not be thrilled to be brought back.
If youn like having a good spagetti and meat balls dont comehere!!!!!
I ordered the spag and meat balls in a tom sauce..I recived 6 tiny little so called meat balls. The taste was discusting.. the tasted like a dirty old bull with tough grissly bits and have been in the fridge for a month. The chef would not even try it after firmly stating how bad they were.
A total let.
Will never return
Went at 10pm on Saturday 17 December. There was a blackboard sign outside the restaurant and a number of groups inside, so one would assume it was still open for business. We were a group of four looking for hot drinks. Received no welcome upon entering, rather annoyed looks from the staff inside. A tall, presumably bar manager approached us and asked us what were wanted and we told him and after looking at his watch and several umms and ahhs, "I suppose we could do another one (drink)". We went to the bar and all the staff were busy serving/preparing drinks for the various groups still drinking, so I'm not sure why he was so concerned about serving us. We checked out the menus and then the bar manager approached us from behind and asked "have you ordered?" in a very non-friendly manner. It was obvious that we couldn't order, as all the staff were already busy. He then interrupted one of his young male staff and made him take our order. They had no chai left to make chai tea, and no white chocolate to make the white chocolate on the menu. We changed our order accordingly and sat at a table (hadn't been wiped from previous guests). The young guy who brought our drinks was fantastic and made nice conversation. We finished our drinks because the bar manager, chef and staff/customers were drinking which we thought was a sign that the night is over! When we went to pay the young staff behind the counter were very lovely, explaining the food menu and restaurant concept to us. What we also found disgusting was a huge tub of chicken breasts defrosting behind the bar in full view.
Wasn't a really pleasant environment to go for an evening coffee, didn't feel welcome at all. Perhaps better for large groups.
I think it's such a shame that the manager was so rude and arrogant which sets a very bad example for the other staff, who were really good.
My friend and I went here for a light lunch 16th Dec. We were greeted promptly, with a smile, and offered a couple of seating options - they were busy. Nice ambience.
Coffee was 'sold' to us and it arrived inside 10 minutes. My flat white had a good flavour but the milk, while a good temperature, was not stretched properly. Just a coffee with hot milk.
I went to the bar to order two Chicken Teddies. These took more than 20 minutes....but, they were busy.
Presentation was good. The chicken was small but tender. Served on two small pieces of ciabatta, a handfull of that dreadful Mesculin leaf (I would never call it lettuce), two slices of tomato and red onion. Overall it was pleasent, but quite small for the price.
Please buy Cos, Coral or even good old Iceberg lettuce. Something you can eat!
Great staff training here. They are smart, chatty, and smile. I will go back, for something different. Good luck.
Another Michael Hill winner I guess.
Opening night Thursday Dec 1 2011- missed it
Friday Dec 2---3 x blokes looking for beer and a munch---First Joes Garage experience---has the feel of a posh blokes bar with a tradey look..great use of construction materials to create that "in-destructable venue.. The mission begins to work my way through every menu item-Priced to suit the discerning diner ... big tick here- Well presented and exceptional service-Had the meatloaf and vege combo-- could of eaten the "..." out of a low flying duck that night so challenged the Chef to add some excitement to a menu item, (as dessert) and Voila!!! the Staff and Chef rose to the challenge and created the ultimate with a smile and a handshake...-- Big Kevs Fries upsized...(You gotta try these but not for the faint hearted)...Matre'd and Staff all smiles and personality... keep it up team..
Saturday Dec 3-Round 2- 2 x diners for quiet meal after lengthy and testing meeting.... went for the Prawn and Pasta spicey deal and mocha coffee... Yeeeummmm.......Chicken Burger for the guest tick the box on both....UPDATE: Big kevs fries are on the rise with those that need to know are enjoying... "sshhhh keep it a secret guys""... again great service and meal and presentation and conversation and staff and ambience and .....hmmmm... and clean toilets and....
More refined dining evening
I didn’t care in which direction the car was travelling as long as it led me to Joe’s Garage in Leslie Street, Upper Riccarton. The newest of the suburban drop-in centres for the middle classes boasts a successful intermarriage of design & style alongside a captivating multifariousness of Kiwiana-type building materials. What on earth does this mean I hear you silently ask yourselves?
Before you step inside this brand new JG mushroom you will be struck by the not unappealing exterior use of buffed exposed aggregate, concrete and good old Kiwi corrugated iron cladding on a fair to middling architectural interpretation of post-earthquake modernism.
Inside, you should be(and probably will be) greeted by the nearest to a Maitre D that a café can have - now there’s a sense of style if ever there was - ushered to a table and quickly attended to. How can I make a statement like that? The café was very busy when I arrived and the staff were clearly being put to the test, remembering that the place opened just 4 days ago. But, yes but, there was evidence of a group of trained professionals who knew what to do and when to do it. There were many smiles and some refreshing turns of phrase, quick reactions to additional requests and prompt delivery of the purchased goods.
My coffee arrived within 5 minutes (not that I was timing), my Sunday morning indulgence of streaky bacon, free range grilled eggs, tomato, mushrooms, Joe’s hash, toast and cheese kransky sausages was a blessed medley of those things we who overindulge the night before need as a matter of course and there was, thank you Oh Lord of Food, coarse-ground pepper on the table. What’s more, dear friends, I was able to secretly read that vile publication (won’t mention name as don’t want to be sued)masquerading as a newspaper, that comes out on the Sabbath…….be assured I donned a hair shirt and self-flagellated for 30 minutes on arriving home to atone for my sins.
There is every reason for you all to get your wonderful selves to JG Upper Riccarton as it’s the latest addition to casual, fast food in town but it also offers the truly entertaining spectacle of a 16 metre counter behind which the chef/cook grafts away, frenetically churning out the eggs, bacon and everything else, the gleaming espresso machine whirrs with the sophistication of Italian industrial fashion and the staff have somewhere to call their own!
An open-to-view kitchen then, the everpresence of evocative natural finishes such as polished concrete flooring, exposed, recycled red brick feature walling, rough finished concrete interior planter/room dividers and even the new Christchurch chic, lightly lacquered plywood with its fascinating patterns and grain……at the risk of going too far!
Go further and appreciate the gloss finished chairs in three colours – apple green, charcoal grey and pure white – pick the colour that best represents your life at the moment.
Kiwi rustic elegance is everpresent but so is the practical. Aluminium overhead louvres and safety glass panels in the north courtyard offer welcome protection from the wicked witches, the dastardly duo of the North-west wind and the cancer causing UV ray. Add a smattering of those old Cantab favourites, wooden venetian blinds and you have either a confusing mish-mash of far too many different styles and materials or a well measured, innovative, eye-pleasing emergent urban commercial artform. Make your own assessment & while you’re taking in the sights, utilizing your now common-in-Christchurch, all-encompassing building & construction expertise coupled with interior design expertise, please do enjoy some good old backyard Kiwi fare……with a few uplifting touches – perfectly drinkable coffee and eminently edible food. Just remember, all the while, that this is a café……..