Toastface Grillah is one of those places I’d long heard good things about but never gotten around to visiting. Truth be told, I also didn’t quite understand where they were located. Like they were hiding in some mysterious laneway. Lady T and I headed out to a work dinner on the Thursday evening (back to St Michael 6003 – absolutely sensational) and we decided to back up our dining adventures with a highly anticipated visit to Toastface Grillah for lunch on the Friday. Sounded good to me and Lady T knew where it was, so that was a big win because it meant I wouldn’t get lost.
We patiently sat at our desks and watched the minutes tick down to 12. In reality there was nothing patient about it but we made it. We left the office and walked what turned out to be a fairly brief walk, say around 10 minutes, to Grand Lane. There was already a very decent crowd of about twenty or so people in attendance but we quickly lined up and placed our orders – a Steaks are High for me and the ambitious Lady T ordered a Cheese and Vegemite and a Chilli Cheese. We were told by the girl at the till that there was a twenty minute wait and asked if that was ok. Hmmm….. I was starving but confident I could last that long. Now I’ll admit that prior to arriving I checked out Urbanspoon to read a few other people’s experiences. Now while there was a lot of praise for the toasties, there was also a fairly common theme of folks suggesting that wait times could occasionally be fairly lengthy.
We found a seat and waited. The sandwiches didn’t seem to be appearing in any sort of hasty influx and the number of empty handed diners didn’t seem to be reducing. It got to about 40 to 45 minutes when Lady T and I decided to ask if they had misplaced our order. We were told ours was in the next lot and would only be five minutes away. Fifteen minutes later they appeared. That’s a 65 minute turn around from ordering.
The word hangry isn’t one I use often but that is pretty much where I was at. At first I was a tad bemused but this soon switched to disappointment. After all, it’s a toasted sandwich. Surely they have a fridge full of the eight or so types made up ready to go and they just need to be toasted? Now I have heard they only have one sandwich press, which I imagine fits six, maybe eight sandwiches at a time. I understand that it is their business and they are super popular but keeping all your fans waiting for that long is surely going to take off some of the shine. It’s a shine that was further brightened recently when Toastface appeared on Yelps List of Top 100 Places to eat in Australia as WA’s highest performer.
So look, that’s my rant and I’m not usually a ranter but I feel better writing it down because I didn’t think there was much point in getting my rant on at the staff there because they did appear to be going as quickly as their limited sandwich presses would allow. Yes it was a nice toasted sandwich. It’s like they use a herby butter which gives the bread a lovely flavour and crispness and I thought the slow cooked beef, sweet roasted capsicum and oooey gooey cheese was a lovely combination. The main thing is, I don’t have hours for lunch on a weekday. It has to be short and snappy so as tasty as the sandwich from Toastface Grillah was, for me, a great dining experience includes top notch service. I felt the wait time put a bit of a dampener on what was otherwise a tasty toastie.