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Marcello on Commercial Drive

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I think I have to give this restaurant the award for THE WORSE service in the city of Vancouver!

Has anyone else had any experiences to back up my complaints!! We like the food but are very reluctant to go back.....

Thanks!

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Love the pizza, but got a little concerned when we saw the waitress finishing off glasses of beer from a table she had just cleared! Still go back though, something endearing about the place - and there is a big turnover in the wait staff so better luck next time....

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I think I have to give this restaurant the award for THE WORSE service in the city of Vancouver! 

Has anyone else had any experiences to back up my complaints!!  We like the food but are very reluctant to go back.....

Thanks!

What happened?

I've only been there once, and our service was fine. There was a table across from us who had complained about the pizza not being authentic and yelled at the waiter, who said, "The owners are Italian, sir."

I felt bad for him.

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I've been to Marcello's many times. I go for the housemade pastas and pizzas which I love. I do not go for the service (in fact whenever I go with company, I always warn them about the service). Perhaps, because my expectations for service are low I am not disappointed. In any case I enjoy Marcello's and I'll go back.

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teamboot, here's the story..

when we started going to Marcello's (about 4 years ago), we always went to the restaurant to eat even though the service wasn't great. We seemed to get the same waiter each time and swore he must be the owner's son or something. Sometimes we wouldn't even get our wine before our pizza came (and they don't serve their pizzas very fast!) He was just generally rude and very slow, we would be ready to order and he would be standing at the bar flirting with the waitresses!

Each time was the same but we love their food so we kept going back for the torture!

chocklateer, when we go with friends i warn them about the service too!!

So eventually we just switched to take out, sometimes the pizza was a little on the cool side but nothing an oven wouldn't fix! And then, a couple weeks ago we ordered a pizza for take out and when we got it home it wasn't the type we had ordered (it had artichokes which my husband hates and tinned black olives which i hate!!) So we called and the girl apologized, took our name and number, and she said the next time we ordered the pizza it would be complimentary.

So we tried to order the free pizza tonight and the girl we talked to said there was no record of our name or number and she would not give us a credit. It just made me really mad and prompted me to start this topic!

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I've only eaten there a few times and remember the service being just average. The food is good, depending on what time of the day you go. I find that the day cook is better than the evening (pasta was way too salty.)

Even if the food is very good, I find that if the service is bad, I wouldn't go back.

Marcello, therefore, is not usually my first pick for pasta and pizza.

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We have been dragged there probably four times over the last three years, mainly because friends of ours are friends of 'theirs'. Each time the service - despite the seeming VIP status of our hosts, one would think - has been somewhere between negligent and scandalous. Once we waited two hours for our meal to arrive - after having waited forty-five minutes between the delivery of lukewarm beer to actually ordering the food. If it wasn't a group party (that had been reserved two weeks' previously, and also there was a birthday cake coming) we would have just left the ten bucks for the beer and gone anywhere else.

Now, the pizza is very good, when it does come out a) on time and b) the way one ordered it.

But would I willingly choose this place over - well, pretty much any other Italian job in the hood or beyond?

Ummm, no. It just pisses me off too much.

edited for typo - bad me!


Edited by lauraf (log)

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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Go to Lombardo's across the street in the Mercato mall. Same pizza (Marcellos guy and Lombardo's woman used to be married- they split up and she kept Lombardos). Cheaper, good service. It is in the mall, so not as pretty as Marcellos. We get take out often.


The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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the worst service, ever been to the naam?

I'm not sure when the last time was that you went to The Naam, but their service has improved remarkably in the last year or so. Say what you will about the food (opinions vary greatly on that), but the last couple times I've been there the service was friendly and reasonably efficient. Maybe they've had a change in management?

(Apologies for thread hijacking.....)

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Jeffy Boy and I went to Marcello's a few months ago. It was our second visit - first visit was a few years ago. Our service was OK - no real problems. However, a couple at a table close to ours had apparently been waiting forever for their pizza and after being told a few times by their server that 'it wouldn't be much longer', they gave up and left. From some of the comments in this thread, I guess their experience was not so unusual. However, what really caught my attention was the lengthly debate after the couple left, by two servers as to whether or not they needed to reset the table the couple had been sitting at for the last hour. It made for interesting eavesdropping. BTW they did end up resetting the table, but the fact that they even had the debate bothers me.


Support your local farmer

Currently reading:

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Just finished reading:

The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J. B. MacKinnon

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^

:blink:

How can this place still be so busy then? I'm a Lombardo's fan myself but I've been to Marcello's once and had their Calzone. Didn't really have any problems at the time but it sure sounds like have big service issues.

I also can't understand how people can keep going if they KNOW the service is so horribe. I certainly did not notice the food was so good as to offset the service.


"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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About a year ago I walked in around noon on a Saturday and sat at the front counter near the window. The young guy working the counter comes over and I order a Margharetta and a green salad.

After about ten minutes he comes back and plops down....a Margarita! Absolutely no joke, and after a few trips to Italy (and more than a few to Mexico) I know how to pronounce both words. With great emabarrassment he took the drink away and I finally got my pizza (hey, he could at least have offered me the Marg.!).

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I once saw Marcello fire the bar tender. Right in front me. DIrectly.

Why?

Because he gave me a free glass of wine, to try to make feel better about the fact that my pizza was 45 minutes late.

Since then, I always go to Lomabrdos. The service is good, the menu is the same but tastes better (probably the lack of bad vibes), and there's a wee price advatage too.

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A couple of years ago I was there with a group of friends, the actual meal went rather well. Service wasn't outstanding but it wasn't bad. Trouble is when it came time to pay we found out that the didn't take interac. Not a big deal, an inconvenience yes but we shouldn't have assumed that they would take it. We were directed to a cash machine near by. When I got back with cash I went to pay our bill, while I forget the exact amount it was just over a multiple of twenty with tip. Our server took the money only to come back and explain that she wouldn't be able to give us change. Needless to say we flabbergasted. Did they really not have fifteen dollars lying around? Upon announcing this our server just walked off and ignored us. A friend went off and bought some gum across the street and came back with the exact change for our bill. We go to Lombardo's now.


How can you have your pudding if you don't eat your meat?

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I am so happy to hear that other people have had the same problems as us!! Some of your stories are pretty funny! Needless to say, we will be switching to Lombardo's from now on

(and WHY is Marcello's so busy all the time??? i just don't understand!)

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I've always assumed it was from ads in the Vanmag that lured the out-of-neighbourhood visitors who didn't know any other nice restaurants on the Drive.


One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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I am so happy to hear that other people have had the same problems as us!!  Some of your stories are pretty funny!  Needless to say, we will be switching to Lombardo's from now on

(and WHY is Marcello's so busy all the time??? i just don't understand!)

Speaking of Lombardo's - wasn't there a wild rumour flying around in the summer that they were going to open up a second location downtown in the Paramount Complex?

The only reason Marcello's is always busy, IMHO, is because Lombardo's is small, dark, cramped and in a strip mall (and all the seats and tables seem to wobble - drives me nuts!). But I still like Lombardo's better. Their Capriciossa is to die for.


Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach flunked geography.

~ Robert Byrne

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I am so happy to hear that other people have had the same problems as us!!  Some of your stories are pretty funny!  Needless to say, we will be switching to Lombardo's from now on

(and WHY is Marcello's so busy all the time??? i just don't understand!)

Speaking of Lombardo's - wasn't there a wild rumour flying around in the summer that they were going to open up a second location downtown in the Paramount Complex?

The only reason Marcello's is always busy, IMHO, is because Lombardo's is small, dark, cramped and in a strip mall (and all the seats and tables seem to wobble - drives me nuts!). But I still like Lombardo's better. Their Capriciossa is to die for.

Just had lunch at Lombardos. Always good. Run by the ex wife of Marcello, who cheated on his wife, thus the split, and the two restaurants. He is Italian, and a restauranteur, so cheating is probably okay, or is it?

The service is so bad at Marcellos, and they do not even apologize when they screw up. I am going to spare you all the details, but they screwed up our whole meal once, no one apologized, or did anything for us. They actually gave us the we dont like you atitude when it turned into a difficult situation for them.

Why is it busy? Nice room, on the drive, and people in Vancouver seem to not mind bad restaurants. In Montreal, San Fran, or New York, you have to be good or you do not survive,

I wonder if the service is bad because it is not a nice place to work, thus lots of turnover, or unhappy staff working there.

Anyone want to discuss bad places to work, and how it afects the staff, and their lives, and the repreccusions to the food, and service. As a survivor of some real bullshit in some of our better restaurants in this city it is always on my mind.

Some of the "great restauranteurs" of this city are realy quite abusive. They even get nominated to The Premier Crew by VAN MAG.. You have to be serious, and demanding to attain excellence, but being respectful, and fair is always appreciated. I suspect Marcello's staf probably do not go out of their way for the boss, and customers, based on how he treats his staff.

Do we have an appetite to deal with this issue for the benifit of the great people working in this industry, that I call my career, and part of my life.

Boy, do I ramble.

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We have always preferred Lombardo's food, it is far better and the service is always great! The setting is not very good as mentioned, yes it's in a strip mall at 1st and Commercial, but it's fine. I have been dragged to Marcello's a few times and have vowed never to go back, even if George Clooney himself invited me!

Awful service, long waits for food, a nasty little man in a tight white t-shirt and skin tight white pants glaring across the room and mediocre food. Why?

Go to Lombardo's - Try the Pizza Capricciosa or the Pasta Puttanesca or Putinesca depending on which way they spell it...Ex-wives rule!

Cate


Cate Simpson

Les Dames d'Escoffier International

www.ldei.org

www.lesdames.ca

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We have always preferred Lombardo's food, it is far better and the service is always great! The setting is not very good as mentioned, yes it's in a strip mall at 1st and Commercial, but it's fine.  I have been dragged to Marcello's a few times and have vowed never to go back, even if George Clooney himself invited me!

Awful service, long waits for food, a nasty little man in a tight white t-shirt and skin tight white pants glaring across the room and mediocre food. Why?

Go to Lombardo's - Try the Pizza Capricciosa or the Pasta Puttanesca or Putinesca depending on which way they spell it...Ex-wives rule!

Cate

I heard the same story about the cheating husband and the scorned wife getting Lombardo's. Speaking as an Italian female, perhaps that's why I was always drawn over there...

The Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce is very very good - looks to me that they make the spaghetti in house - it's got a great chew to it.


Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach flunked geography.

~ Robert Byrne

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I remember going to Lombardo's back in the day ... i'm talking about the late 80's - probably 1989.

My impression was that the guy making the pizzas (Marcello I presume) was a blunt affect kind of guy. Did not seem friendly ... almost like we were intruding on his turf and he wanted us to scram.

The food was good, the pizzas were delicious. But he seemed very cold and inhospitable. I can only imagine what it would be like to deal with him and work for him.

The vibe comes from the top down.

Notice in the advertising for Marcello's you only see Marcello taking a pizza out of the oven. You don't see Marcello smiling and posing a fresh baked pizza for the camera. I wonder if smiles are few and far between with his establishment?

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Long story short, had lunch at Marcello's, had bad service (absolutely snobby).. and we left a 10% tip. Waitress runs up to me (with my party, me being the last one walking out), complains that I undertipped for her service and that it was going to 'cost' her to serve me because of the tip-outs.

Not wanting to look stupid in front of my friends (even though we had already agreed on the 10% to begin with) , I gave her another five bucks. I still regret that to this day, and have never gone back since.


One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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