Why I Bought Barrio a New Toilet Seat

The devil’s in the details, right?

I’ve been on Minnesota Monthly’s food-writing beat just a few days, and have already run across a noodle shop with wobbly tables, a deli with dried out vegetables in the salad bar—air-toasted baby carrots, withered radishes, celery that’s started to curl—and an awesome downtown Minneapolis restaurant with a toilet seat worn right down to the pressed wood. (Who ever thought about how toilet seats are made? Not me…)

After a classy lunch at Barrio, I encountered this in the women’s restroom:
 

toilet seatIn a dive bar, I might chalk it up to character—at the 1029 Bar restroom, I once found the toilet seat completely removed from the porcelain bowl and leaning up against the wall. But at Barrio, the shabby facilities somewhat marred what had otherwise been a lovely visit spent noshing on chicken tinga salad, tacos, and tortas. It wasn’t a big deal to me, but it wasn’t exactly the kind of thing you’d want, say, a business client to face.

When we go out to eat, every part of the experience matters, from the tone of the host’s voice to the comfort of the chairs. It’s a lot for restaurateurs to track, which is why I’ll be appreciatively noting when the details are done right—and trying to help out when things fall short.

**I’m looking forward to developing MNMO’s food and dining coverage, so if you have tips, thoughts, or story pitches, please hit me up: Twitter @rachel_hutton, email rhutton@mnmo.com.
 

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