WTH! Lackadaisical Service & Murky Fees at Peckinpah Take Out

So Unimpressed at
the dazed and confusing take-out
at Peckinpah.
I don’t think I have been this annoyed with a dining experience since my Fresh Bowl take out debacle.  I’m actually surprised in the about 2.5 years I’ve been food blogging that I have only written 9 (including this one) What The HELL posts. 
However, the hammer is coming down for the Peckinpah Take-Out counter. 

BBQ in America is a serious business.  From the preferred cut of meat to the finger licking good sauce, the diverse nature of BBQ in the USA is truly awe inspiring.  Each state has its distinct take on this favourite summer past time.  If you’re interested in learning more about the regional stylings of American barbecue, I suggest this Serious Eats article herefor a quick overview.
The folks at Peckinpah declare their food as prepared in the Carolina style.  One can break the Carolina style down further but it can be characterize as pork focused with a predominantly sour vinegar based sauce.  (Most of us are familiar with the sweet Missouri BBQ sauce as that’s the common type sold on grocery store shelves).
I strolled down to the Peckinpah Take-Out counter to grab
  • 1 Pulled Pork Sandwich
  • 1 Beef Brisket Sandwich
  • 1 order of Coleslaw
  • 1 order of Cornbread
for my colleague, the Distributor, and I for lunch. 
All the sandwiches deploy a sweet soft brioche bun, which was substantial enough to hold all the ingredients together.


The pulled pork sandwich featured a moist and ample amount of meat.  It definitely had a tart kick, typifying Carolina style BBQ.  It paired nicely with the crunchy and creamy simple cabbage slaw.
Our second sandwich contained thickly cut slices of tender meaty beef brisket.  The meat was very plain so I added some maybe free (I’ll explain later) Peckinpah BBQ sauce.


The sauce had ketchup in it but it had the Carolina sour aftertaste going on and made things more interesting.  To complete the ensemble, there was crisp lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles.


Both the sandwiches were fairly tasty and had enough meat to make for a filling lunch.
As for the sides, the cornbread was sweet but it was a bit oily on the inside. 


The 2 hued cabbage slaw was just cabbage with a creamy dressing.  The slaw was crunchy, tangy and rich.  Overall it was good but it got really watery at the bottom of the cup. The kitchen didn’t do a great job at removing the excessive water from the cabbage.


Overall our lunch was satisfying for $25.  If the food was good then why is this a WHAT THE HELL Post for the Peckinpah Take-Out Counter?  (Warning: Prepare for a long-winded Rant!)
What incensed me was the lackadaisical and murky service experience I got.  First there was a snafu with the ordering where I was initially charged around $40 for the takeout.  It was sorted out as the server finally realized she punched in too many items into the system.   
However, that was foreshadowing of the weird that would follow.  I handed over $25 but at the same time I was asked if I wanted condiments.  I asked for BBQ sauce and got 4 containers of BBQ sauce but no change.
So either I was charged for the BBQ sauce or the server didn’t bother to give me my change back.  At this point I didn’t even want to expend the effort to clarify due to the ordering mishap.
Once I got back to office, I noticed a funny charge on the bill.  What in the world is “Service and Handling” on the receipt?  Did I just get charged a fee for Take-Out?  WHAT THE HELL! 


Trust me, none of the other Gastown eateries I get take-out from charge for “Service and Handling”.  What does “Service and Handling” even mean?  Wouldn’t you have to provide more “Service and Handling” if my colleague and I decided to have a sit down lunch instead of take-out?
In the past, I’ve been charged specifically for extra utensils, condiments and even delivery but the staff has always explicitly explained them to me while I was ordering.
Usually most restaurants provide a discount if you grab take-out from their eatery since they don’t have to wait on you. 
To add insult to injury, I didn’t even get a plastic fork to go with the coleslaw because apparently Peckinpah expects you eat slaw with your bare hands. 
It’s not about the $3.05, since $25 for a lunch for two in Downtown/Gastown is about right.  The thing that pisses me off is that there was no attempt to be upfront.  If you charge for condiments and take-out just tell the customer.  I checked the website and there’s no mention of a charge for take-out or for condiments.
In short, I have no idea what the hell the server was doing.   To me this is just lazy and not respecting your customer.  Is this how Peckinpah operates by nickeling and diming its patrons with take-out fees because they think they can get away with it? 
As result of this experience, Peckinpah you will now join my “I WILL NEVER EAT THERE EVEN IF YOU PAID ME – IN FACT, I RATHER STARVE” list. 
It’s quite an accomplishment since there’s only one other restaurant on the list.  Congrats Sushi Garden (a story for another time) you have a companion.
It’s a shame – the food is decent.  So despite my tale, if you choose to go to Peckinpah I would make sure to double-check your bill and perhaps bring some patience.
If you want the address & other info you can look at the picture of the bill – not promoting these guys any further.  Don’t like places that mysteriously take my money.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. LotusRapper says:

    Very sorry to hear about your bad experience at Peckinpah 😦

    I would add that the restaurant service industry in Vancouver often leaves a lot to be desired. Indifferent, perfunctory, curt and even rude service I've experienced in establishments small to big, hole-in-wall to dining halls, 1 star to 4 stars. I don't understand why our service sector can be so lackadaisical other than attributing to poor training and possibly a work force sometimes not motivated enough to try harder (?). A big mystery to me. I go across the line to WA or OR (or anywhere else in the States) and service is, as a rule than exception, attentive, polite, courteous, professional, even endearing. And minimum wage in the US is a far cry from that of BC and Canada in general. That's not a good thing, but maybe the service industry there tries harder because they are motivated (?) I'm not arguing for lowering minimum wages by any means, but there's something markedly different about our service industry culture and that in the US.

    Back to the food …. I've had two meh experiences at Peckinpah and I don't ever plan to be back. That takes care of any potential service “issues” I may experience there. Honestly I didn't expect them to last this long but hey, you never know.

    Thanks for the great review, MC 🙂


  2. Moyen Chow says:

    Thanks for your comments LR and I agree – I've had superior service when I have travelled to the US. People in Vancouver sometimes complain about the lack of innovative high end food in the city, well this city neither has the service industry or the wallets to support it.

    It's like “Cactus Club” service across the board for Vancouver even at some of the city's better eateries. The sad thing is I'm used to the “eat and get the F#^&%$#% out” level of service since I grew up eating at hole in the wall Chinese places. So to get me pissed off on a service issue takes quite a bit of incompetency.


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