Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pekoe Tea Lounge


Every time I pass by Pekoe Tea Lounge on the corner of West Broadway and Laurel street, the words "home made gourmet pies" scream to me. Literally. Every. Single. Time. So after literally half a year of contemplating whether I should make the visit, I finally decided to make a move and juggled a few things around my schedule.

When I walked in, it was fairly awkward because the cashier and manager were standing behind the counter but no one greeted me. The staff were not even talking to each other, just literally staring at me. So after greeting the staff myself, I ordered a cup of hot chocolate and a slice of pie. When I finished ordering, the barista mumbled "it will take a while because I have to…", have to what?! 

I disregarded what she said and stood by the counter for around ten minutes until I realized I should take a seat instead. I wish the barista or manager welcomed me to take a seat, but I did not think the staff delivers food to the table. It was more awkward too because no one was preparing my food during the time I was standing, so I felt like an idiot standing there.


BELGIAN CLASSIC DARK HOT CHOCOLATE, LARGE ($4.85).
Rating: 1/5.
The hot chocolate is disappointingly served warm rather than hot, which resulted in a very mild flavour because there was a pool of chocolate sitting at the bottom of the cup. Since Pekoe Tea Lounge is known for their tea offerings, I recommend sticking to only tea. The hot chocolate tastes a lot better than Baguette and Co's however, but is not comparable to Bernard Noir Chocolate's at all.

ORGANIC BLUEBERRY PIE ($6.95).
Rating: 1/5.
As the barista was about to drop off the pie, she was kind enough to ask if I wanted the slice heated. I appreciate her asking because I prefer having my pie warm rather than fridge cold. The barista also came back with the pie very shortly, as in one minute later. At the time I was thinking whoa, does Pekoe Tea Lounge have a crazy industrial oven? It is a possibility considering the cafe offers gourmet pies.

But, I was wrong. The pie was zapped in the microwave and arrived fridge cold. Since the crust was already soggy, I did not mind if it got soggier and brought up the pie to see if I can get it reheated. The manager zapped it for two minutes and the outer portion of the pie was hot, but the centre was still fridge cold. Great…

Asides from the fridge cold temperature and soggy crust, the blueberry pie is very gourmet, from the plentiful amount of blueberries to the thick filling. The pie however, literally tastes like a handful of blueberries. There is no zest and the pie tastes very bland. On top of that, the crust is very soggy from the microwave and the slice of pie is still cold. Sogginess aside, the crust has a dry buttery flavour and does not taste too heavy.

I did not want to revisit because of the mediocre hot chocolate and poor pie, not to mention that it is awkward when no one greets you… but at the same time, I did not want to have a post with only a few items. I also never gave Pekoe a chance to see if perhaps that pies can be heated in an oven or if the place offers ice cream.

BELLRICH CARAMEL MOCHA, LARGE ($5.75).
Rating: 1/5.
Foam art fail? Or am I missing something? I did not learn from my previous visit and passed on ordering tea (only because I prefer sticking to traditional high quality tea). So similar to the hot chocolate from my previous visit, the drink is served warm rather than hot. There is a mild coffee flavour along with a hint of caramel, but the flavours are not strong enough.

ORGANIC APPLE PIE ($6.95).
Rating: 1/5.
The second time around, the pie was not better. Pies cannot be heated in an oven too, only the microwave. Delivered by the manager, the apple pie arrived like this. I forgot what the manager said, but it was something along the lines of mumbling, "it opened". The slices of apple have a nice bite and are neither mushy nor too hard, and there is a controlled level of sweetness. I am not a huge cinnamon fan too, but the pie tastes bland and needed more cinnamon. The pie also tastes very dry.

The pie does not look that bad though, after turning it around. Sorta. I think the exposition worked out in my favour too because the crust is not soggy. Although the pie is still fridge cold… Since the crust is not soggy this time, there is a "hard" butteriness, but tastes average at best.

VANILLA ICE CREAM ($0.75).
The ice cream arrived separately which is something else that worked out in my favour, since I would not want cold ice cream with a cold pie. The vanilla ice cream tastes generic, slightly sweet with an artificial flavour. I am happy Pekoe does not use Bryer's too since I really dislike their vanilla ice cream.

Despite that Pekoe is known for their tea selection, I came for their "gourmet pies" and left very disappointed on both occasions. The prices for their pies are similar to Aprhodite's, Acme Cafe and The Pie Shoppe, but without the quality. With a place operated by indifferent staff and serving below average pies, why revisit?

POSITIVES
- For those who want tea

NEGATIVES
- Indifferent staff
- Pies are not gourmet
- Drinks are not hot enough

Food: 1/5
Service: N/A

PEKOE TEA LOUNGE
895 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1J9
Telephone (778) 371-8343
www.pekoetealounge.com
Pekoe Tea Lounge on Urbanspoon

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