I wish I could tell you about the food at Jose Garces' newest attraction, Garces Trading Company in center city Philadelphia.
I wish I could. I wish I could. I wish I could.
But wishing won't do it.
And neither will a reservation, because this place doesn't accept reservations.
So you have to wait.
But the trading company doesn't necessarily trade in accuracy or punctuality or attentiveness to the customer.
So you have to wait. And wait. And wait.
Yes, we were told we might have to wait "45 minutes to an hour" for a table because our party of five was considered "a large party" at the trading company which doesn't have "that many tables for five." But when we had been there for nearly an hour-and-a-half, we began to lose interest, especially since everyone (including several "large parties") had been seated before us.
We were the only ones left waiting. Yet, no one seemed to care.
During the entire waiting period, neither the manager nor the hostesses nor anyone else ever approached us to give us a brief update on the status of our wait, let alone offer us so much as a cracker.
As best as we can understand it, here's the deal at this new Garces venue: In an effort to maximize profits, chairs aren't moved from tables for two so that five people can sit at what is usually a table for four, because that would leave a seat for one at an unoccupied table for two. Garces doesn't count in odd numbers. He likes to trade in couples or fours or "large parties" of six. That way, he can keep the $eats filled at this cramped charcuterie/bakery/wine boutique/coffee shop/dessertery/cafe/whatever.
If you're part of an odd-numbered party (three, five, seven) or if you're all alone, you're pretty much out of luck.
When I asked about the seating policy, I was curtly told: "Do you want us to ask people to leave. so that you can be seated?"
You see, the Garces Trading Company doesn't really seem to care if this approach presents a problem for you and your party. It seems that if they're crowded and people are spending money and you don't seem to fit, then they're more than happy to have you leave -- no matter how patient you've been.
So, that's exactly what we did.
We took our trade elsewhere. And we advise you to do the same.