Thursday 25 October 2007

Shocker: Hip, Stylish Restaurant Houses Hip, Stylish Bathroom with Broken Trashcan!

The World Beat Cafe
3700 N. Wickham Rd.
Melbourne, FL USA 32935

Where is it?

Easy to find in theory, but a bit tricky to find in practice. From the front entrance, head to the left, past the front of the dining room. Once in the upper left corner of the place, head back a little, towards the rear of the place, and you'll see a small hallway opening on your left. Go through there to find the bathrooms.

Having said that, the dining room here is filled with distractions, from artwork built into walls to tables and booths made of wavy lines instead of straight lines to plates of food with attention-getting presentations. Keep focused on the destination if you're in a hurry, otherwise you may end up in a spot of embarrassment.

What's it like?

This energetic modern-fusion tapas bar, set in the northern part of Melbourne, bustles with hip energy -- not quite as manic or bohemian as Cafe Tu Tu Tango, its competitor and a seemingly major influence on the place -- but still enough to make it a place for socialization, not for a quiet evening for two. The menu is kind of hit or miss, some items being excellent (the Cuban black bean soup is outstanding) and others missing the mark completely (I wasn't prepared for the overly sour avocado egg rolls, for example -- ick).

The bathrooms tone down the loudness of the dining room some while still adhering to the place's somewhat stylish vibe. Classy off-white tile covers the floors and rust-colored wall paper coats the walls, giving a chic hue to the surroundings and making the everything in it feel a touch more sophisticated -- even the generic white porcelain sink and toilets. And the place is spacious and clean for the most part: My visit was on a busy Saturday evening and while there were a few splotches of spilled water on the floor by the sink and a few paper towels tossed about, I didn't see anything unforgivable. Clearly the bathroom is policed regularly by the cleaning crew.

The only setback (and perhaps the reason why there were paper towels on the floor) was the trash can. It's one of those metallic cylinders they sell at Bed Bath and Beyond, with a flip-up top that opens when you step on a floor pedal. Well, the floor pedal wasn't working, and thus the flip-up top wasn't flipping up and if you wanted to throw anything away, say the paper towel you used after washing your hands, you had to lift the lid with your freshly scrubbed hands to get it in the can..... Kind of negates the thought of returning to your table with clean hands, doesn't it? Given that, it makes sense why there were towels on the floor -- I imagine people would prefer that option than having to return to their tables to nosh on finger foods with hands that had just opened a trash can lid, so you really can't blame them......

Marks out of 10:

7. Almost and 8, except for....

Comments to the Management:

Time for a new trashcan, don't you think? According to the Bed Bath and Beyond website, they sell for just under $40, which isn't too bad, if you think about it.

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