Our 17th Spot:
542 Ramona Street Palo Alto, CA 94301
I was already kind of in an attitude before I walked in. I had phone calls between the staff from this spot, back + forth, over a month prior. First off, they originally booked my party on the month before when I requested. Then called me frantically, looking for us on that day. I called back, notifying them it was THIS month we reserved. After that confusion, I had calls + emails from the Manager there, that I felt were excessive. Confirming the number of our party…having to preorder… It was just a lot of communication that I think was unnecessary. Get what you need from me, and MOVE. ON.
When we walked in on time, our table wasn’t even ready. We had to awkwardly stand around for at least 5-minutes while they hurriedly prepared for our meal. NOT something someone with OCD wants to see. ‘Uh, did you even wipe our table down good?’
It’s a small place. More of a café, than a Tea House. This spot was recommended to me, which is how it ended up on our Tour. 25 people tops, would fit in there. And, that would be quite a squeeze. It had a few tea cups + saucers in curios and along the walls, some for sale. But, don’t expect ANY type of shabby chic or antique feel in this place. A fireplace + a few books…some art on the wall, and that’s about all the décor they had. My girls were pretty disappointed that our cups were all blue… No mismatched cutesy vintage floral.
After we were seated, it took them FIFTEEN MINUTES before anyone paid attention to us. Yes, I was counting. Our server finally brought out some little plates of loose leaf tea, to tell us about the ONLY 3 types of tea our party of 6 was allowed to order. That was nice.
Of the “130+ fine teas” their website says they have, we were only allowed to try 3. Three. If we wanted to try more, we were charged. CHARGED!!?! We chose their Wild Berry Tisane, Earl Grey Finest, and Vanilla Black Tea. All smelled amazing! Taste, different story… The Vanilla Black was wonderfully fragrant; but when you drank it, was sooo blaaaand!! We thought maybe it wasn’t steeped long enough, but no. My Mom called that one “Lipton.” Earl Grey smelled like a spa and tasted like a spa! That one was my favorite. And I had to confess to my Earl Grey GF, that of all the Spots we’ve been to, this was the first that I tried the earl grey. (Well! There were only 3 to try from!? And mine blew!) Again, since there weren’t many tea flavors to try, I did make an effort to try em all. I had the Berry one last. I’m not a fruity tea drinker, but this one wasn’t half bad.
(Notice the giant hole in the doily they used on our table? Smh.)
On their menu, they call this their Garden Salad. You pay an extra 3 dollars for this. What it really is, is a box of spring mix with a few slices of apple on top and what they think is salad dressing but what I’m calling is: snot. This was horrible. My 8yo son could’ve made a better “salad” (sure) than this. My SIL told one of our other girlfriends, “The trick is to see if you can keep all your lettuce on the plate.” Omg, who does this??
After they set the 3-Tier down, they walked away. No plates or anything. I had to get up + ask for them!? Like we could fit anything on these rinky-dink salad plates anyway. I didn’t get a good shot of the tier…not that I necessarily wanted to. (See, I told you. Bad attitude.) I just think after going through all those phone calls + questions, and for having to pay as much as we did- that we would have better than we did. That’s where the ugly attitude is coming from. So, I’m sorry to my readers for this lousy blog post. I just felt bad taking my girls to this place. Especially for having my Mom join us, and she’s here from out of town.
Between the 6 of us, we were given only 3 each of 2 different Savories. That means = if you want to try them both, you have to cut them in half. WHICH they are already small to begin with. And don’t get me started on WHY they served a stinkin EGGROLL with high tea. So, here are the 2 Savories: a Mushroom Tart and (yes) an Eggroll. And these are the portions I was able to consume.
From the BITES I was able to have… The Mushroom was rather mushy, and the Eggroll was good. (Only because I’m strange in the way that I actually like your typical generic Chinese buffet eggroll. Which is what this was.)
Again, because we were asked to preorder our meal weeks before we were going to have it and had to settle on the same of 3 sandwiches to share between 6 different people with different taste buds and different food limitations (really rolling my eyes here now)… We were stuck with Turkey Cranberry, Chicken Apple Pecan, and Shrimp with Dill and Avocado tea sandwiches. They were open face, small, and not worth the money you’re paying for them.
Turkey = bland.
Chicken = mayonnaise-y, and smothered with chunks of stuff; very little chicken. My girls liked this one tho.
Shrimp = this one was yummy. Still coulda used some salt. And, it wasn’t 2 bite-friendly. You had to stick the whole thing in your mouth, or it would fall all over the place. Not cute for high tea. The shrimp was cooked perfectly tho. Okay, I’ll give them that.
Their scone fixings made me MAD. We’ve had some pretty messed up situations with the scone fixings from previous Spots, but NOTHING like this. Put them in tiny containers…don’t give them to us…give us bad tasting ones…OKAY. But this poor excuse of a (I can’t even think of a word) is disrespectful, if I may say so myself. My Earl Grey GF was just so disgusted, as she’s of the kind that doesn’t like food that touch (Yes, there are ones out there like that and they deserve to be respected for their preference.). Granted, it tasted good together. However, I would have liked the opportunity to taste them individually. And, AND- we had to share just 2 of these between siiiiiiiiiix people!! Come on!
Scones were really good. Pecan, we think. The server didn’t even know what they were!? I asked what kind, and she looked at them for a good 45-seconds before uncertainly blurting out “Pecan…?” But, they were nice + crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. P.S. I would’ve loved to try their crumpets…if I was allowed to. #FixedPreorderedMenu
Their Desserts were nothing to rave about. Standard Petit Fours and Mini Eclairs (most likely from Costco).
To be fair, this place wasn’t quite a Tea House. But, they did serve high tea and offered many teas so it fit in the criteria of our Tea Tour. It was just way too expensive for what they serve you. I’m down to pay for high tea, always. But at least let us try more of your teas; Add salt to your tea sandwiches; Give us more savories; and please oh PLEASE different containers for your scone fixings!! They didn’t offer us water, and they didn’t come around + ask if we needed our teapots refilled. First time ever– I was super thirsty at a tea party.