123 Watchung Ave
Montclair, NJ 07043
This is a Girl-only review, since the Boy is back home in North Carolina! While the Boy was hard at work, I visited Bluestone Cafe in Montclair, NJ with some friends.
When we arrived, the cafe was crowded with other late-morning brunchers, every table was full but we were told the wait would only be about ten minutes. We tried to get out of the doorway to wait, but the hostess informed us that she had no intention of holding a table for us if we weren't waiting right there. One friend stayed to hover and make other diners uncomfortable, while the rest of us slipped outside.
In a few minutes, there was a table for us, and we went back inside. As we entered, the same hostess told us that she didn't have anything for our party and we'd have to wait. I guess she'd forgotten that she'd already been short with us, and wanted to make sure she didn't miss anyone.
Menus were coffee-stained and battered trifold paper, listing sandwiches and omelettes, with a lovely assortment of fillings like brie and eggplant. But our waitress made it clear that there could be no substitutions. For example, a cheese omelette and brie on a sandwich were both on the menu, but a brie omelette was not possible, and our waitress was annoyed we'd wasted her precious time by asking such an idiotic question.
My request for no whipped cream on my waffle visibly annoyed our waitress. My companion's request for one egg instead of two in a breakfast combination received another eyeroll and the information that there would be no reduction in the price for less food.
The cafe smelled of coffee, in a lovely way, which made it odd that the waitress did not ask for a drink order, either when we were first seated or when she took our food order. We caught her attention as she turned to go, and wasted still more of her time ordering coffees.
The pleasure of dining out comes from a combination of food and ambiance, but the rude staff colored my enjoyment of both the food and the indie coffeeshop setting. The fresh fruit was actually fresh, breakfast food did not have diner grease, everything was tasty, which was good because no one came by to ask how things were. I guess I've become spoiled by North Carolina prices and forgotten about the Montclair markup, I found $8 for a sandwich a bit steep.
Although it was no longer crowded when we finished eating, the waitstaff's brusque manner made sure we didn't linger over coffee. Perhaps they have a clever plan to reduce crowds by making customers so uncomfortable they hurry home and never return?
PS: When I visited Urbanspoon for the spoonback code, I noticed that the majority of the other reviewers found the servers rude. In a way I'm glad, because I sometimes wonder if maybe my feelings about a restaurant are biased by one person having a bit of a rough day, but it seems clear that the Bluestone waitstaff have a lot of rough days.