I completely expected to like the Annex by Epic, the new brewpub in Sugarhouse opened by Epic Brewing Company. In a city of good beer, Epic Brewing came in and did something different and good. In a city of good brewpubs, I expected Epic to do something different and good.
Instead, we experienced inconsistent food and sporadic service.
I'll go back to see if Sunday supper was an anomaly, but my first meal there was an Epic fail.
After the first introduction every encounter with our server started with her apology. Most of her delays were attributed to “our computer acting up,” but I don't see how a computer glitch can account for a longstanding empty glass or for cold risotto or for seriously undercooked lamb (and I like it rare.) These and other unpleasantness were due to simple ineptness and lack of practice. I don't think the chef was in the kitchen, but a good server can often make up for cooking mistakes.
And a decent server should always make up for mechanical error: Fake it, people. Get a pencil and paper and do some addition and figure it out with the machine later.
At the very least, charges could have been removed. But—funny thing. After we had paid our bill, the hostess came over to our table, evidently aware of our unhappiness. She said she was sorry that things had been a bit rocky, but offered the explanation that “we've only been open 12 days.”
Many of you know my thinking about this: If a restaurant isn't ready to open, it shouldn't open. If it can't perform to its full intention, it shouldn't charge full prices. There's no excuse for “getting the kinks out” on a paying public.
And she apologized—again—for the infamous computer glitch, which apparently righted itself just long enough to print out our bill. “I'd have been happy to take the risotto off your bill, but the computer wouldn't let me,” she explained.