Brasil Switching to Not "Full Table Service" But "Something Like It"

Categories: Restaurant News

brasilcafe.jpg
Photo by Jeff Balke
Brasil could be switching to full table service today in response to years of "lingering" customers at tables.
Dan Fergus, the man who owns Montrose haunt Brasil, has had a lot of complaints lobbed at him over the years. Most of them involve paying customers attempting to linger at their tables during or after a meal, which has gotten more than a few people kicked out or simply bitched out.

"The owner has bitched at me several times because I wasn't consuming food fast enough or playing cards with a friend," wrote one Internet denizen four years ago on Citysearch. "I used to spend gobs of money there, but it's now on my boycott list."

"The owner told me to move inside because people that order food want to sit outside (I was drinking a latte that I had ordered five minutes earlier)," wrote a Yelp user about Brasil last year. "It's funny how one annoying/rude encounter can spoil a place for you..."

Complaints about service at Brasil continue through today. Whether or not these issues are the cause -- and it's hard to believe they're not related -- Brasil today confirmed that it's switching to full table service. Sort of.

Brasil Breakfast 001.jpg
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
Brasil has never done service well, but it does do breakfast very well.
Although Fergus was not available for comment when I called this morning, a manager named Brandon confirmed that Brasil would be switching to "not full table service" but "something like it."

"You can choose what you want to do," the manager said, sounding flustered and annoyed with the question before quickly getting off the phone. In short, it was the same type of conversation I typically have with the counter service at Brasil (which is as notorious as Fergus, thanks to the employees' often snippy attitudes).

So will Brasil now have full table service or not? That's a question that's still up in the air, although what's certain is that waitstaff is not the answer to Brasil's issues.

Brasil is a coffee shop first and foremost, where people linger -- happily -- over cups of coffee, scones, cookies, beer and wine on the two beautiful patios or in the cool, quiet confines of the main cafe. They also order food if you let them stay long enough, because the food is really quite good. They bring their friends and come for evening music performances and pack the house on weekend mornings when the line for breakfast is so long, you can finish The New York Times while you wait.

Brasil is doing all of that right. What it's not doing right is consistently alienating its regular customer base.



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Location Info

Brasil

2604 Dunlavy, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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15 comments
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Winelush
Winelush

I went there for breakfast, loved it, had my computer out, was told I had to leave, taking up valuable space I believe was the quote, the other computer, study, linger people weren't turned out.  Never returned.  When friends say lets get coffee at Brasil, I flat out refuse to go.  I have a $2000 a month food/coffee/cocktail habit.  They will never nor any establishment he has an investment with or even a friendship that I'm made aware of will EVER receive a penny from my fingers.

Furious Jam
Furious Jam

I've never experienced anything but good vibes at Brasil.  But then again, I've never sat there nursing a cup of coffee for an hour during a peak time.

Jane Doe
Jane Doe

I once was reprimanded by the owner for consistently ordering an appetizer to go. He told me that the item too inexpensive and he was losing money on my order and I couldn't order it anymore. If you priced it too low, how is that the customer's fault?

Wyatt
Wyatt

WHOLE FOODS IS CORPORATE!

wait, what are we talking about

H_e_x
H_e_x

This won't end well.And If Fergus is who I think he is, then I think I know why he was so curt and abrupt on the phone.

hquinta
hquinta

This place is terribly overrated. I've visited Brasil a few times and each time I've walked away with nothing but ambivalence towards what I've eaten. It is neither terrible nor excellent. Simply middle of the road. The quintessential "meh". As for the service, it's been average and I didn't experience any of the snooty Montrosian attitude that runs rampant through the surrounding area. Then again, I visited for breakfast around 9:30 AM on each of my visits when I'm sure such douchebaggery is still asleep. Table service at a place like this doesn't really matter as most people are there to see or be seen. It's no shock that people linger because no matter where they go...there they are.

touche
touche

I have never had a bad experience with the waitstaff/employees at Brasil, where I have gone at least once a week for about 2 years.Things get understandably hectic during peak hours, but if you are patient with the employees the experience is great regardless of a few quirky personalities here and there. It doesn't affect the service or food, once you are through the line.

Brasil is Agora on steroids, so to compare the attitudes of their staff is not really practical given what they have to juggle.

Oh and the food is fantastic at Brasil regardless of what your opinion is of staff lifestyle choices. If it isn't for you, that's fine, but if you got a so-so salad I would suggest giving something else a try.

Diego22
Diego22

I'm hardly a fan of Brasil (except for the building itself) for the reasons that have been discussed, but I think it's reasonable to expect that the guests aren't hanging out playing backgammon, doing Bible studies, writing term papers, or whatever else, while not ordering much beyond a coffee and a cookie.

That said, I'm amazed if the place has generated enough business to make table-turning an issue. But maybe I'm wrong, and lots of people are still flocking there, unable to find an unoccupied table of some sort.

Evan
Evan

Interesting. I have been there several times and never witnessed that sort of attitude about lingering or any sort of snippiness outside of the usual Montrosian attitude. Then again, I'm usually there for food rather than drinks, so it could be that. Maybe they just need a sign that says something like: "This area is for eating. This area is for drinking and just lounging around. Please don't make us be a dick to you."

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

I have heard SO MANY stories about the hipper-than-thou attitude there but I, too, have never experienced it personally.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

I'm going to save my next visit for when I'm a really shitty mood and won't mind bitching right back. Then I'll go across the street to Agora, where they are awesome and let you linger 4EVER.

Corey
Corey

May I please get the so and so salad, along with a side order of attitude and disdain? Oh sorry I thought this was a restaurant, my apologies for obviously inconveniencing you with my order. I'll just leave then on my fixed gear bicycle if that's alright with you oh great hipster aka pseudo food service worker...

Jeff
Jeff

I have no tolerance for that sort of attitude and the food isn't good enough at Brasil for me to overlook it.

TL
TL

I don't care much for the food or the attitude of this establishment. Even though they are a block away, I still won't frequent them.

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