Demitasse (downtown)

 1320 Blanshard Street, Victoria, B.C. (250) 386-4442
UPDATE - May 2008
Demistasse has been under new management for awhile. I'm told they have improved on their predecessor reputation and is worthy of a visit.
Also, a couple of people have gotten in touch with me asking that I clarify that the Oak Bay Demitasse is not related to the Downtown store of the same name. Seemingly a bit of a long story, but bottom line, they are different owners and are unrelated.

A bit of a Victoria institution, really, I had fairly high expectations for Demitasse. Their two Victoria locations have been operating on and off for over a decade - they must be doing something right. Right??

Hmmm . . . not so much today.

I'll begin by differentiating the service from the food. The server was friendly, attentive and I have no complaints whatsoever about her performance. The rest of the operation, however, caused us to pause in confusion and disappointment multiple times.

We ordered soup and sandwiches. We waited 25 min to receive our soup and sandwiches. We were sitting in front of the kitchen, as we watched, waiting to be fed. The problem was obvious. Three people in the kitchen: one dishwasher who wandered around aimlessly looking for something to do; a second cook who stood staring at his first cook waiting for something to do; and the first cook who attempted to single handedly operate her kitchen - and failing. There was absolutely no delegation of tasks and as a result everyone in the restaurant waited for their food.

Upon receiving our food, we realized that truly, no one was in-charge here. While our sandwiches passed muster, the soup, a veggie bean barley was a stinker due to the total omission of seasoning. Where was the head chef?? No one tasted this soup!!

The format for Demitasse has worked for them for a long, long time - while still busy, the concept has passed it's prime. Once upon time and in the absence of much brunchy competition, Demitasse's menu provided Victorians with something they couldn't get elsewhere. Now, it seems like a lunch place that's trying half-heartedly to do breakfast. There is not enough variety on the menu and a huge amount of repetition.  

Bottom-line: they need to review the menu and get some management.

Our recommendation: minimize the breakfast menu and expand the lunch options. 

 Reviewed: January 2, 2005