A couple of weeks ago I visited Icehouse, a Tex-Mex Southern restaurant on Roy near St. Laurent, and although I was salivating for more of their delicious food, the service left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Icehouse is a no-brainer for anyone looking to enjoy some great food, inspired by the most comfortable of southern standards. That night we tried the lobster wrap and the fried chicken tacos, both were out of this world and I’ve heard rumors the beef tacos are just as good. Their homemade bourbon lemonade left me wanting more, which I’m sure I’ll have next time (I stuck to beer – bourbon makes me saucy and I know my limits). The menu is concise but there’s more than enough choice for repeat visits. The food came quickly enough, which was pleasant. It was also pleasant to have caught a glimpse of the kitchen staff diligently preparing the food. They seemed concentrated and proud of what they were doing.
Where things went south at Icehouse, was the service. Upon arriving, I waited ten minutes at the entrance while two employees chatted near the cash. When I finally managed to make eye contact with a waitress behind the bar, she beckoned to me to come in and dismissively told me to sit where I like.
I took a seat along the bar wall and waited another ten minutes for someone to come over and ask me if I wanted something to start. I can understand if the restaurant seats 100 people and there are only a certain number of wait staff, but Icehouse can’t comfortably seat more than 20-25 people and there appeared to be enough wait staff for at least that. Over the course of the night a couple of waitresses walked back and forth, one a little angrier looking than the other. They completely ignored us until we had to turn around and yell to them that we either wanted another drink or, in the end, wanted to settle up.
I love the rustic décor, the familial way people gather on the edges of the benches to join their friends and laugh and have fun. It really is a great environment and I’m glad I finally tried it. The restaurant would be perfect if the staff communicated with each other a little more and paid a little more attention to the door. I will be going back again because everyone deserves a second shot and a second helping of their fine food.