Restaurant Review: Cafe 1912

Cafe 1912 is a local cafe two blocks from our home & is one of our favorite regular spots, which is why it is so hard to write this review. We went for brunch one Sunday morning with La's parents & it was terrible. One bad day is no big deal, but we have noticed a decline in quality of service & food the last couple of times we have dined at Cafe 1912.

Right after walking in the door we were assaulted by the roar coming from a raucous 12-top in the middle of the quaint dining room. They were loud & obnoxious but could be ignored with minor effort. The joint was by no means busy, but it would be soon as people kept coming in. We were sat in decent time but were quizzed if we had a reservation when asking about sitting by the window. Note to self: Make reservations for the table by the window next time as this table is prime real estate.

Our server was a girl who has been working there for quite some time & the other server was a longtime veteran too. The A-team at Brunch is not something you see very often. Even their new beret-clad, head chef, Thomas Schranz was at the helm. Things were looking good.

Coffee & water was brought out quickly & while their coffee isn't great, it was good enough. It really surprises how many restaurants around here don't take pride in the black stuff. There is one exception though, Bosco's Squared. Their coffee is always top notch & even offer espresso.

As we placed our order, the place was filling up to capacity. Our food was brought out in about as much time as expected, which was enough time to polish off a basket of foccacia & finish a couple of cups of coffee. Our cups were never fully empty thanks to our attentive server.

Everyone had their plate in front of them, ready to dig in, except Laura. We were informed that her Lyonnaise salad (green beans, bacon, potatoes and poached egg) would be out shortly. I joked they burnt her bacon because minutes before I had smelled burned bacon (remember this place is quaint, as in maximum quaintness). As I sat there staring at my frittata of the day. I think I started to drool. It looked so good, but not like any frittata I have ever seen. It was a heap of scrambled eggs with venison sausage, potatoes & onions scattered throughout, not fitting my description of what a frittata should be....a quiche with no crust, served in pie-shaped wedges. It was good, none the less. It could have used more sausage & less potatoes.

By the time our server came back to the table, La & myself were getting irritated that she did not have the salad & it only makes matters worse when she said the kitchen had to remake her salad because the kitchen put dressing on it. La specifically asked for it on the side, as she always does & this was not an outlandish request.

Finally she brought it out with nothing more than an "I'm sorry." and then she was gone until we needed the check. La enjoyed the salad. It is one of their specialties & much better than their Salad Nicoise that is only good, if they dont over cook the tuna to a dull grey....which they usually do.

It is hard to deal with the easiest dish on the table causing so much trouble with the kitchen staff. 40 minutes was way too long to have to wait for green beans, bacon, potatoes, a poached egg & a ramekin of dressing.

I hate to see a decline the quality of restaurant. Especially one within walking distance of our house, that we love & have frequented since it's opening. I am not sure if we will go back. We will think long & hard about it, if the fancy strikes us.

I do have to mention their wine program. They specialize in affordable wines with a set price of $5.50 a glass & $22 a bottle. While the list is unimaginative & full of cheap names like Jindalee, Trapiche & Yellowtail, I think it is great they are making wine more accessible to those not wanting to spend $7-$9 a glass of wine with dinner. They do offer a selection of some nice bottles on there "Wine Specials" list. They had some nice wines but were only available by the bottle & were over the $22 price cap on the regular wine list.

We give Cafe 1912 a 2/5. It would have been a one but our coffee was never empty & everyone enjoyed their food, even La despite the salad fiasco.


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