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Old 08-12-2017, 07:28 PM   #1
jetlag100
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Default Canoe in Center Harbor

Late this afternoon I called Canoe to make a reservation and was told we're not taking reservations ...Oh, I said, OK. Are you busy right now? I was told they were not busy..Oh, good. We're coming right down...this was at 4:45pm...we were there by 5:00...Walked in, and was told that we could be seated, but we would have to eat fast...ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Never again.. thoughts please!
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:39 PM   #2
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Happened to us--table was reserved, but they said if we didn't mind eating quickly they could fit us in.

I'm glad when reservations don't mean waiting when we arrive, so we appreciate restaurants like this.

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Old 08-12-2017, 07:58 PM   #3
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Canoe routinely serves large parties, but their food, service and cocktails are routinely good, so we don't mind navigating around the reservation policy.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:02 PM   #4
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Late this afternoon I called Canoe to make a reservation and was told we're not taking reservations ...Oh, I said, OK. Are you busy right now? I was told they were not busy..Oh, good. We're coming right down...this was at 4:45pm...we were there by 5:00...Walked in, and was told that we could be seated, but we would have to eat fast...ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Never again.. thoughts please!
I would not accept that at a fast food joint let alone at a restaurant like Canoe. If you like that, keep going, if not, skip it.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:11 PM   #5
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I'm not one to linger much over a plate full of something I love....but being asked to eat fast is a bit over the line, I think...
Then again, one could ask "what do you consider fast"?
Might be an hour (which would be fine) or 20 minutes, which would be unacceptable.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:28 PM   #6
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I'm not one to linger much over a plate full of something I love....but being asked to eat fast is a bit over the line, I think...
Then again, one could ask "what do you consider fast"?
Might be an hour (which would be fine) or 20 minutes, which would be unacceptable.
The time it happened to us, we had just about 50 minutes--given that we had the kiddos, it was more than enough.

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Old 08-12-2017, 08:34 PM   #7
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Default Never again

I made a reservation for 8, six weeks in advance when I made the reservation I told the girl that answered the phone that I need to eat upstairs due ro the fact that my 80 year old father in -law just had his knee replaced, and she said " no problem , but call the day before to remind us "

Fast forward six weeks I called the day before and two hours before the reservation and they said no problem. We arrived fifteen minutes early and I remind the girl at the front and she said "I KNOW" so a half hour go by and a bachelorette party of 8 was seated up stairs, and then I was called and the rude hostess grabbed the eight menus and headed for the stairs, and I said we can't do the stairs and she told me sorry that's all we have !!

Stay away the owner doesn't treat his customers like he should, he bought into the woods head before it burnt to the ground, maybe because it was his main competitor ???
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:57 PM   #8
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We have run into your scenario a couple of times at the Canoe with reservations/fitting us in. Yes, it bugs me but it is one of the most consistent restaurants in the area so we deal with it.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:25 PM   #9
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We have run into your scenario a couple of times at the Canoe with reservations/fitting us in. Yes, it bugs me but it is one of the most consistent restaurants in the area so we deal with it.
If everyone that has issues with the restaurant stopped going, they would realize they need to change !
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:47 PM   #10
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In one way or another, we've had mediocre or worse service at all our regular places this year. My take is that the labor market is really tight. Not sure if it's fewer immigrants, fewer students, a strong economy or all of the above.

The thing that's separated good meals from bad for us is mostly our level of patience at the time.

Serenity now
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:52 AM   #11
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In one way or another, we've had mediocre or worse service at all our regular places this year. My take is that the labor market is really tight. Not sure if it's fewer immigrants, fewer students, a strong economy or all of the above.

The thing that's separated good meals from bad for us is mostly our level of patience at the time.

Serenity now
It's not just this year with the CANOE this is been going on for years . maybe
they should just have take out only.
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:21 AM   #12
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We went once a few years ago, there was not a soul in the place and they told us they could seat us around 8. This was around 4:45 mind you. Perhaps they had every table filled for 5 o'clock, just weird to not have 1 customer in there and them tell you they cannot seat you. We have not been back since.
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:59 AM   #13
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I've eaten at the Canoe maybe a dozen time and never had a problem with rudeness or seating. I found the staff friendly and outgoing and the food excellent.

If I was ever told to "eat fast" at any restaraunt I would say "of course" and then just eat at my own pace. If they pushed me to leave I would begin negotiating the bill. Frankly, it usually takes longer for the food to arrive than for me to eat it so I would tell them to talk to the kitchen if they needed more speed.
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Old 08-13-2017, 08:14 AM   #14
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I've eaten at the Canoe maybe a dozen time and never had a problem with rudeness or seating. I found the staff friendly and outgoing and the food excellent.

If I was ever told to "eat fast" at any restaraunt I would say "of course" and then just eat at my own pace. If they pushed me to leave I would begin negotiating the bill. Frankly, it usually takes longer for the food to arrive than for me to eat it so I would tell them to talk to the kitchen if they needed more speed.
I also have been there a dozen or so times and of course had to wait but never told to eat fast. Food and service always excellent
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Old 08-13-2017, 08:42 AM   #15
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We have run into your scenario a couple of times at the Canoe with reservations/fitting us in. Yes, it bugs me but it is one of the most consistent restaurants in the area so we deal with it.
And the Village Kitchen is very CONSISTANT! In 20+ years I have never had a bad 2 Egg Cheese Omelet.

Only if it were Checkers Harbor again! That was good dinning!
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:11 AM   #16
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Default Canoe in Center Harbor

I went in last night and asked to seat 6 at 5pm. They asked if there were any children and I said "yes a 6 year old" they said they had nothing until 9pm for me. Pretty insulting.

Clearly it was about my child and not about availability.

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Old 08-13-2017, 09:22 AM   #17
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Default Don't Understand a restaurant doing this...

When I see stories like this from a number of people, I am amazed to see the parking lot packed with cars most of the time.

We went to Canoe a couple of times and didn't particularly care for the food or the atmosphere, but understood that a lot of people did. However, if I called any restaurant and they told me they had openings and when I arrived told me to eat fast I would be out the door and would never return!

There are a number of good choices in the area that don't treat customers in the way a number of people on this Forum have been treated at Canoe.
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:24 AM   #18
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Canoe has some of the best food and menu variety in the area. And I want to like it. BUT...from their" no child left behind ( or in front )" policy of 10 years ago to their reservation inconsistencies at present, there seems to be an attitudinal problem. This has been my personal experience on many occasions. On the other hand, we have had good service and experiences.

Of course, I could choose not to go there, but Oh that calamari. But I would not take a guest there because of the inconsistency and I would recommend only with a warning comment.

Clearly, there is ambivalence on the Forum; but there clearly ARE some problems. Judging from the full parking lot, Canoe probably doesn't really care.
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:47 AM   #19
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WE were up in the area and had planned on going to Canoe but found a couple of other places that we enjoyed so never made it there. Looks like we missed out on a potentially annoying situation.
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:53 AM   #20
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How about... If you don't like Canoe's business model, then just go somewhere else. That way, you don't need to spend time complaining. It is interesting that you were "offended" yet still ate there..
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:24 PM   #21
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Quite a mixed bag of complaints. Some, I agree, are lousy attitude by Canoe like the original problem posted. Others, like a Family area for kids and asking if people are willing to eat fast, I find reasonable. If I dropped in and they told me I had 50 minutes, I could easily enjoy a meal in that time, as long as they served me promptly. I would appreciate being offered the choice rather than just being turned away. As to kids, all parents think their kids are little darlings but many are not and even the best kid can have a bad day. When I am paying for an expensive meal, it is really annoying to have a whining, screaming, bouncing kid near me. Canoe tries to create spaces where kids can be kids and adults can enjoy their meals without irritation. I think that is a decent approach.

I clearly see room for improvement. Perhaps reservations for the family area would be helpful. Certainly respecting clearly stated mobility restrictions is needed.

We enjoy the food so we continue to go several times a year. As noted, the parking lot is full so many others obviously do as well and either work around or tolerate issues.
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Old 08-13-2017, 02:50 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Ride & Dive View Post
I went in last night and asked to seat 6 at 5pm. They asked if there were any children and I said "yes a 6 year old" they said they had nothing until 9pm for me. Pretty insulting.

Clearly it was about my child and not about availability.

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The reason for this is if you are dining with children they seat you downstairs upstairs except for the small bar area is adult only. I have two children been going there for many years and I completely understand this policy. Nothing wrong with separation when an all adult table is out without the kids trying to escape for a few hours and not having to deal with kids.
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Old 08-13-2017, 02:52 PM   #23
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Quite a mixed bag of complaints. Some, I agree, are lousy attitude by Canoe like the original problem posted. Others, like a Family area for kids and asking if people are willing to eat fast, I find reasonable. If I dropped in and they told me I had 50 minutes, I could easily enjoy a meal in that time, as long as they served me promptly. I would appreciate being offered the choice rather than just being turned away. As to kids, all parents think their kids are little darlings but many are not and even the best kid can have a bad day. When I am paying for an expensive meal, it is really annoying to have a whining, screaming, bouncing kid near me. Canoe tries to create spaces where kids can be kids and adults can enjoy their meals without irritation. I think that is a decent approach.

I clearly see room for improvement. Perhaps reservations for the family area would be helpful. Certainly respecting clearly stated mobility restrictions is needed.

We enjoy the food so we continue to go several times a year. As noted, the parking lot is full so many others obviously do as well and either work around or tolerate issues.
I'm not sure if this is the case at canoe but in some restaurants there are sections that New Hampshire state law prohibits children under the age of 21 from sitting in.
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Old 08-13-2017, 04:11 PM   #24
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I'm not sure if this is the case at canoe but in some restaurants there are sections that New Hampshire state law prohibits children under the age of 21 from sitting in.
This is not the problem here. In fact, I recall from an older thread, parents were unhappy when the only place they were seated with their children was at the bar.

As long as it is not illegal, Canoe can have whatever seating policy it wishes and then patrons can decide whether this is the restaurant for them. The problem with Canoe is the lack of consistency about policy and a kind of crapshoot as to how you are treated.
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Old 08-13-2017, 04:54 PM   #25
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This is not the problem here. In fact, I recall from an older thread, parents were unhappy when the only place they were seated with their children was at the bar.

As long as it is not illegal, Canoe can have whatever seating policy it wishes and then patrons can decide whether this is the restaurant for them. The problem with Canoe is the lack of consistency about policy and a kind of crapshoot as to how you are treated.
That was a post from me.

We had reservations and four children older teens through single digits. That was roughly 12 years ago. They sat our party of 6 at a hightop cocktail table, maybe 24" in diameter right next to the bar with a group of vocal men using "bar language". At that time their policy was they do not sit children in the main dining room. Fine with me, but a 24" diameter table right next to the bar is not a suitable place for children, nor is it suitable for a dinner for six people. That was it for us until a few weeks ago when without children, we gave it another try.

Having just had some surgical work done on one of my knees, we asked for and waited for a table that we could get to without stairs. We waited 75 minutes. People that arrived well after us were seated in the area without the need for stairs. I was told they had reservations, but I had also been told you needed six or more for reservations and these were parties of 2 and 4.

After 75 minutes, I asked how much longer and was rudely told that my bad knee was not their problem and unless I could use the stairs, she had no idea how much longer it would be.

Needless to say we left and had a nice dinner, albeit late, at Lavina's. I am also looking into potential action against Canoe under the federal ADA. We used a cell phone to record two of these conversations.

We are done with Canoe.

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Old 08-14-2017, 06:01 AM   #26
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The only reason I will ever dine at Canoe is if we are out with friends who insist otherwise I flat out refuse to give money to any place that has the attitude Canoe demonstrates over and over again. True the food is good but good is not excellent and even if it were excellent it would not be worthy of my restaurants dollars.

When I see the parking lot packed with cars I can only scratch my head and wonder how the owner gets away with it. Why change when people are clamoring to get in? Amazing.
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:32 AM   #27
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The only reason I will ever dine at Canoe is if we are out with friends who insist otherwise I flat out refuse to give money to any place that has the attitude Canoe demonstrates over and over again. True the food is good but good is not excellent and even if it were excellent it would not be worthy of my restaurants dollars.

When I see the parking lot packed with cars I can only scratch my head and wonder how the owner gets away with it. Why change when people are clamoring to get in? Amazing.
Took the words right out of my mouth. I don't get it! I've been there 4 times and I have not been impressed by the food, the attitude of the employees, or their policies. I'm always willing to give a restaurant a few tries but after 4 times i'm done with that place and will never go back.

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Old 08-14-2017, 10:17 PM   #28
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Default Canoe

I was there on Saturday with a group of friends. Food was excellent. Service was good. I've been there many times. Never a bad meal although I have had some poor service once or twice. I know how hard it is to staff a restaurant with the economy in the lake region the past few years so I never judge a place by one or two bad servers. It is just the law of averages with such a large influx of new employees in the summer.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:27 AM   #29
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The issues at Canoe are not one or two bad servers. The attitude that has been there from day one. The problems that come from that attitude comes from the top down. How does Canoe survive? Simple there are no real competitors in Center Harbor. If there were Canoe would not survive or they would have a real quick attitude change.

BTW if you are staying at a motel/hotel etc., reservations are accepted if the "concierge" calls them in. So much for Canoe caring about their regulars.
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:34 PM   #30
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funny that canoe and O in lakeport are owned by the same company but the atmosphere couldn't be more different. we gave up on canoe some time back . we will sure keep going to O. best béarnaise sauce north of Manchester
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:37 PM   #31
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funny that canoe and O in lakeport are owned by the same company but the atmosphere couldn't be more different. we gave up on canoe some time back . we will sure keep going to O. best béarnaise sauce north of Manchester
Have to agree with you 100%. We love O's also!

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Old 08-15-2017, 07:11 PM   #32
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funny that canoe and O in lakeport are owned by the same company but the atmosphere couldn't be more different. we gave up on canoe some time back . we will sure keep going to O. best béarnaise sauce north of Manchester
I love both. Very different atmosphere. Actually at Canoe right now and had an awesome veal chop and the calamari and pot sticker apps. My daughter had braised short ribs which also were excellent with a bacon risotto There current reservations policy is any size party before 6:30 after 6:30 it is 6 or more.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:19 PM   #33
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I love both. Very different atmosphere. Actually at Canoe right now and had an awesome veal chop and the calamari and pot sticker apps. My daughter had braised short ribs which also were excellent with a bacon risotto There current reservations policy is any size party before 6:30 after 6:30 it is 6 or more.
WHAT IF YOUR ARE DISABLED or RECOVERING from Surgery?

Do "THEY" force you to go down the "STAIRS"
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:24 PM   #34
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WHAT IF YOUR ARE DISABLED or RECOVERING from Surgery?

Do "THEY" force you to go down the "STAIRS"
I really do not understand your question and how it relates to my post. I am sure if you call ahead for a reservation and you need to be upstairs the can accommodate.
If you don't like the restaurant it is certainly your propagative. I am just posting my experience today and what I was told their reservation policy is at least through the summer season
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:58 PM   #35
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I really do not understand your question and how it relates to my post. I am sure if you call ahead for a reservation and you need to be upstairs the can accommodate.
If you don't like the restaurant it is certainly your propagative. I am just posting my experience today and what I was told their reservation policy is at least through the summer season


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This is not the problem here. In fact, I recall from an older thread, parents were unhappy when the only place they were seated with their children was at the bar.

As long as it is not illegal, Canoe can have whatever seating policy it wishes and then patrons can decide whether this is the restaurant for them. The problem with Canoe is the lack of consistency about policy and a kind of crapshoot as to how you are treated.

That was a post from me.

We had reservations and four children older teens through single digits. That was roughly 12 years ago. They sat our party of 6 at a hightop cocktail table, maybe 24" in diameter right next to the bar with a group of vocal men using "bar language". At that time their policy was they do not sit children in the main dining room. Fine with me, but a 24" diameter table right next to the bar is not a suitable place for children, nor is it suitable for a dinner for six people. That was it for us until a few weeks ago when without children, we gave it another try.

Having just had some surgical work done on one of my knees, we asked for and waited for a table that we could get to without stairs. We waited 75 minutes. People that arrived well after us were seated in the area without the need for stairs. I was told they had reservations, but I had also been told you needed six or more for reservations and these were parties of 2 and 4.

After 75 minutes, I asked how much longer and was rudely told that my bad knee was not their problem and unless I could use the stairs, she had no idea how much longer it would be.

Needless to say we left and had a nice dinner, albeit late, at Lavina's. I am also looking into potential action against Canoe under the federal ADA. We used a cell phone to record two of these conversations.

We are done with Canoe.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:07 PM   #36
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I have never eaten here and after reading these posts, I probably never will. It's one thing for the food to be so so, but I draw the line with rudeness and attitude. I deal with it on a daily basis at work and I'm certainly not going to deal with it at dinner with my family. No thanks Canoe, I'll keep rowing.
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Old 08-17-2017, 11:55 AM   #37
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Love the food at Canoe, the quality has always been good, however, I've experienced the same as others have mentioned, regarding 'wait time & rudeness by Hosts". On a positive note, the waitresses have always been great !

I will continue to go to Canoe, but during lunch only.
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Old 08-17-2017, 04:24 PM   #38
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We go every summer with a large group and have never had a bad experience. The food and service have been consistently great. Shout out to our most recent server Lily who was awesome!


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