• Ha Ha Veggie Bar in Camden Market: Great food, but the Server is a BITCH

    January 13th, 2011mr meanerlondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    Back in the early 80s I lived in Camden Town, North London. It was a wonderful place to be. I could (and did) pop to the Camden Palais to see The Smiths perform. I nightclubbed there with Blondie, Ringo Starr and even Iggy Pop (but I don’t recall much of that evening…).

    Camden is known mainly for its street market which, back then, was only open on Sundays. Unless you were visiting specifically for the market it was best to avoid the whole area, as thousands of Londoners and tourists would descend, rendering it impassable for everybody else. Nowadays, the laws of supply and demand have prevailed and Camden Market has expanded to about two square miles with hundreds of stalls and FIVE dedicated food areas. The market is also open seven days a week, and now sells everything from boots to boiled bagels.

    Sometimes when we visit London, we stay in Camden – it’s convenient for getting around and the late night scene (although no longer at the now-defunct Camden Palais) means that there are plenty of bars and clubs open to the wee hours. One of our favorite places to chill is in the Hawley Arms, the world-famous watering hole oft-frequented by Amy Winehouse, Blur, Oasis (of course, never at the same time) and Alice Cooper, to name but a few.

    Steps away from the Hawley Arms is the northern part of the market which is built under old railway arches and a train repair shop right by the canal. The place is beautiful, and really worth a trip when you go. We visited a few vegan places there last autumn, but none was more memorable (in the worst way possible) than Ha Ha Veggie Bar.

    Ha Ha Veggie Bar is the stand on the right, with the menu written in green

    We showed up mid-morning just as the market was getting going for the day and were greeted in a somewhat sullen manner by the lady serving at the counter. After establishing that nearly everything was vegan (other than the real cheese option), we ordered the Garlic Home Made Veggie Burger, which she prepared on a hot grill inside the stand right in front of us using fresh ingredients. After a wait of about 10 minutes we were handed a plump, juicy burger with grilled onions, crunchy lettuce and wonderful vegan garlic mayo. I’m glad we ordered only one to share, because it was way too big for one person to eat alone.

    Vegan Burger with Garlic Mayo, Lettuce and Onion. ₤3

    After we finished the burger, I returned to the stand to thank the server and take a couple of pictures (from a distance) ready to blog my guts out about how wonderful the experience had been…

    innocent picture of a nice vegan sign

    innocent picture of menu taken to help spread the word about this restaurant

    As soon as I snapped the second pic of the menu, the server began SCREAMING at me so loudly that people stopped what they were doing and started to stare: “Don’t you take any pictures here! STOP NOW!”. I apologized, and said that I was a tourist and wanted to take some pictures for my collection, and would she mind if I took some more.

    If you’ve never been to Camden Market, it’s kinda like Hollywood Blvd. or Times Square: A public place, full of tourists snapping pictures of everything. Not only does one have the right to take pictures for private use on public land, but in the UK snapping pictures is much more commonplace than in most places in the world. Anyway, she didn’t at all like my response and screamed “GO AWAY. DO NOT TAKE ANY PICTURES OF THIS”. So, I retreated, fitted my 300m telephoto and continued taking as many pictures as I liked… until, that is, she saw me and began glaring at me and waving her arms. Additionally, I saw a rather burly guy walk over to her from another stand – clearly concerned about all the noise. I honestly thought that she was going to come after me and smash my camera, so I stopped taking pictures and went to the pub instead.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been treated so rudely by and food service employee (other than the time at California Pizza Kitchen where a crazy duty manager freaked out at me for taking a picture of the “secret” brick oven!). This woman was incredibly RUDE and discourteous and let down the entire experience in a terribly, insulting and hurtful way. Snapping a couple of pictures should not result in a tirade of verbal abuse and threats.

    THIS is the horrible woman. We snapped this picture before running away.

    Get a good look at her. While not wanting to incite any harassment, I’d love it if vegans who read this and go there to eat, would take her picture as much as possible. Imagine if people started showing up and snapping her face en-masse? it would probably drive her nuts. If you do get pictures of her, I’ll GLADLY post them on this site – perhaps we can get a gallery together? When I’m next in London I’m going to take a video camera and start shooting her while she screams at me so I can show the world how rude she really is.

    In the meantime, do go and eat at Ha Ha Veggie Bar – you’ll love the food, and at only £3, will get great value. For kicks, don’t forget to photograph the server and send us the pics.

    Ha Ha Veggie Bar
    34d Camden Lock Place
    Mon-Thur 9.30am to 5.30am
    Friday 10.30am to 5.00pm
    Sat and Sun 8am to 5.30pm

    Tags: , , , ,

35 responses to “Ha Ha Veggie Bar in Camden Market: Great food, but the Server is a BITCH” RSS icon

  • People need to come to grips with the idea has a camera in their pocket now, and stop trying to keep them out of stores, concerts, etc. These are going to be the old curmudgeons of our time, screaming nonsense.

  • I had a similar experience a couple years ago at The Bourgeois Pig in Hollywood. My friend took a picture of me holding my coffee and the barista had a heart attack. These people need to chill out!

  • The server sure LOOKS a lot better in the second picture.

  • If QuarryGirl catches a wanted criminal, Operation Pancake will only have been the beginning…

  • Also, I’ve always wanted to post pics of nasty waitstaff. You went one better with the graffiti!

  • Woah! That is so rude!! I’m sure that totally ruined your experience, I wouldve been pissed and upset for a while after a scene like that. And for doing nothing wrong! Is she in the witness protection program and worried the mafia will see you pics? WTF?! What will the pics of the signs hurt? Weird. Sandwhich looked good though!

  • That’s a shame. I’ve eaten there tons, & it’s always been the owner who served us. He’s great, & really friendly. Never minded us taking pictures either.

    I’m glad it didn’t put you off eating there again though; I reckon they’re the best veggie burgers on the planet. (Rats, now I’m craving one!)

  • If you don’t wanna support a business because you had a bad experience that’s one thing, but you are inciting harassment with your comments. The only thing that serves is some self-satisfaction for you over a petty vendetta. Maybe she was just having a bad day.

  • That is pretty hilarious..^^I think it found your blog..lol Hopefully she still works there when I get a chance to visit…she may become an attraction, you never know!

  • I totally understand her reaction.

    Recently there have been a lot of people taking photos of menus in Camden and stealing recipes – the staff have been told not to let anyone take photos of the business.

    In fact you should have asked first before just taking photos, that’s just a curtsey. Normally if you ask first they don’t mind/explain why you can’t take photos.

  • Had the burger from here and thought it was the worst vegan burger I’ve ever eaten. Suprised by the people who mentioned they like it. It’s like bad burger mix with some seeds in and just all breaks apart when you bite into it. When you work out it costs almost $6 it’s a rip off.

    The reason she might have freaked is maybe because she was working there illegally.

  • Of course! The great menu stealing scam of Camden Town! Scandalous! With these pictures, competitors now can steal the sacred “garlic mayo and onion” combo.

  • you are always so negative about london!!

  • that being said, the burger did TOTALLY fall apart…as you can see in the picture. so if that bothers you, i can see why you wouldn’t like it.

  • Wow! She works in a public venue and she is that violently camera shy? That bitch is in the wrong line of work!! I’m always so careful when I am taking food/travel photos (the flash turned off and being as inconspicuous as I can so as not to disturb anyone else) and I think most veg bloggers are, too. After all, aren’t we trying to spread the word and encourage veg eating and help those businesses prosper? Isn’t that the point?? I sincerely hope that you let the restaurant owners know about your experience. You are the customer and she had no right to be so rude to you, and I’m sure that the owner would appreciate a positive review and the exposure.

  • the funny thing is, we weren’t even photographing her or being rude about it at all! we were taking an establishing shot of the stand, and also some menu pix for reference. had she not been so crazy, this would have been a 100% glowing review of their food!

  • Weird. Maybe she is wanted! 🙂

  • That Mr. Meaner sure loves to drop names! “I’m gonna review some vegan food, but first let me talk about some famous people I partied with years ago that couldn’t have less to do with the meal.”

  • SO TRUE! bwahahah

  • This, exactly. The sexist language is uncalled for too. You can claim you’re “not wanting to incite any harassment” all you want but you are in such a petty, childish way.

  • Oh knoes! Filthy naughty language!

    You know who gets offended by the term “bitch”? Bitches.

  • Ah, good to see sexism and misogyny is still alive and well in the vegan community.. I think I’m going to top your comment off with watching PETA’s State of the Union Undress and reading “Meat is for Pussies”. Then I’m going to think about ways I can fight for the rights of animals while degrading 50% of the human population. Another day in the life, right?

  • i haven’t eaten there recently, but when i have it was always the same guy who i assumed owns it and he was always super friendly. the burgers are so average/below average, but it’s handy if you’re ever braving camden market.

  • Nothing like asking people to harass a woman to make her difficult job even harder. Veganz can haz compassion?

  • Did it occur to either one of you that maybe there was a reason for her reaction? Or, maybe she was told not to let people take pictures? So you take an incredibly immature and vicious route and encourage people to go harass her at work? This was incredibly sexist and uncalled for. Total disappointment.

  • She is in the food business so no matter what the reason was for her not allowing someone to take a picture, it should have been done in a polite manner.

    Everyone saying maybe she had a bad day or what not is missing the point…no one was filming her in the privacy of her own home..She was the one being immature, if the author called her an asshole would that be okay? Everyone calling the word bitch, ‘sexist’, is giving the word way too much power.

    And seriously…

    Having as bad day? ….at least she has a fucking job, she can get over it.

  • You guys need to lighten up. Tormenting someone who’s an asshole is one of the greatest pleasures in life.

  • The world “bitch” isn’t sexist, it’s simply the female equivalent of “bastard”.

  • I have to question the “public venue” argument. A business is just that – a business. It’s not the same as a park or an intersection. You can’t go into American Apparel and take pictures of their clothes. They’d think you were casing the joint. And it’s a private business, so they don’t have to let you.

    Being rude to customers is another story all together.

  • I grew up in the restaurant business. Typically, if you want to take a pictures to review, you let the manager know, because it’s still a place of business. THEIR place of business. They have a right to refuse service or requests.

    Regardless of how she acted, it is not an excuse to plaster her photo online and ask people to harass her. It’s incredibly immature, dangerous, and in poor taste.

    I hope someone lets this woman know she is on here and what QG is asking people to do so she can either 1) Respond or 2) Let her boss know that she may be a target for harassment.

    Seriously, ya’ll? Aren’t vegans supposed to be all for compassion ‘n crap?

  • yeah. that’s not cool guys. i love this blog so much but as a vegan i am not going to take up on your request of taking a picture of this person and sending it in to QG if i’m ever in london.

    i’m upset that my favorite vegan blog is publishing people’s pictures and calling other vegans to do the same.

    i’m sorry you had a bad experience at the place, but i think that mentioning that the server was rude would have been enough.

  • Clearly, the whole “go take a picture of her” thing was meant in jest. There’s no way readers of this blog would do something so silly, and even less chance we’d put up a gallery of it.

    That lady was very, very rude and I think it’s perfectly appropriate to make fun of her in this forum.

  • “Clearly, the whole “go take a picture of her” thing was meant in jest. ”

    Well, that’s exactly what YOU did and then on top of it called her a bitch.

    I’ll certainly never be back on this site. What a disappointment.

  • Wow, what an incredibly sad and immature post, how old are you? Seriously, after reading this vindictive excuse for a review I won’t be coming back to quarry girl. Angry, spiteful vegans like you give the rest of us a bad rep. Truly pathetic.

  • Very funny. I burst into laughter at work when I was reading the last paragraph on how to take more pictures of her. Then I scrolled back up the fist picture of hers looked even funnier!Best humor of the day!!

1 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

Leave a reply