Years ago, I started taking pictures of restrooms. Why? Because I was in them so often. Having grown up with the extreme issues I did, I have become something of a toilet expert. I thought it might be a fun little photography niche, but who wants to see pictures of restrooms? No one.
I have decided to start doing Restaurant Restroom Reviews. We all use them, and it’s good to know where the nice ones are. There is nothing more disappointing than going to a 4 or 5 star restaurant and finding a substandard, or worse, plain old powder room.
My criteria will be the following:
- Cleanliness, which should go without saying
- Aesthetics, meaning, is it fancy? is it run down? does it look like the toilet in the rectory?
- Lighting–really, you need good lighting if that’s where you expect us to reapply our lipgloss.
- Ammenities: How is the soap? The toilet tissue? The paper towels?
Restrooms making the grade will receive 4 Powder Puffs and so on.
I’m not sure how often I’ll be doing these because it is very difficult to get pictures of a restroom. I have to have the place all to myself for that, and you never know when someone is about to walk in!
I did manage to get a couple of shots of the ladies room at Houston’s, one of the nicer restaurants in my part of town. Houston’s is an upscale place serving American fare, and has some of the best service I’ve ever encountered. The one near me is all glossy wood and soft leather seats, invoking the feeling of a dynastic ranch estate, so I was expecting to find a Reata styled restroom.
Imagine my surprise to walk into black tile and Barbie. I was taken a little aback. The tile and the picture frame being the first things to catch my eye, I thought I had stepped into Sonny Crockett’s bathroom and expected that Barbie print to be a Nagel or Ty Wilson. But no, Barbie.
When it registered, I was all, “Hey, girl! What are you doing hanging out with Crockett?” And she was all, “They hung me in a toilet, Lane. I am Barbie Effing Doll, and they have hung me in a toilet.” I nodded sympathetically, then turned into the European styled stalls.
I love those! Most of the bathrooms I visited in Europe were rows of skinny wooden doors with actual handles, which you opened into tiny little spaces, barely just big enough for me and a toilet. But it was me and the toilet and no one else’s feet kicking under a stall door. With issues like mine, absolute privacy is glorious.
The toilet paper was forgettable, so neither good, nor bad. The restroom seemed very clean, which was good. But the decor and lighting were terrible. See the lighting against that mirror? You look cadaverous in that lighting. Don’t even bother trying to touch up your makeup in there. Also, there is an awful glare from the shiny, black tile, so everything looks hazy. Remember Cybill Shepard’s close ups in Moonlighting? That kind of hazy.
Really, it looked like my Granny and some guy in a pastel blazer from 1984 had put their heads together and come up with the decor. Granny supplied the vase of fake flowers, the wood framed mirror, and the Barbie print. Fauxny Crockett did the rest.
All in all, I give it 2.5 powder puffs. It was tidy and clean, and I loved the privacy, but the lighting was horrible, the t.p. was enh, the soap was very drying, and I had to hunt for the paper towels because they were beside the other basin.