Café No…

21

Good morning! So remember a few weeks ago when I went to Café Eau for Week 2 of the Bread Pudding Challenge? I know it’s been a while, so I’ll refresh your memory:

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Bread pudding. Looks decent. Tasted awful.

Anyway, I had a lot more than just bread pudding at Café Eau, so it’s only right that I give them a proper review.

Café Eau is located in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel, which is in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis. It’s a pretty fancy schmancy place.

I visited on a weekday night, so it wasn’t super crowded like I imagine it must be on the weekends. I was seated right away by the polite (yet aloof) waitress.

I was hungry, so I started with an appetizer of House Made Toasted Ravioli. You can’t go wrong with a St. Louis classic, right?

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These were stuffed with beef and italian sausage, and were served on top of sauce pomodoro. They were topped with basil pesto and parmesan cheese.

I loved these. The beef and sausage were juicy and super flavorful, and the combination of flavors from the sauce, pesto, and cheese worked together wonderfully. I had no problem finishing these on my own!

Next up? I decided to keep it simple with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich. It was served with pepperjack, brimstone, and tomato garlic cheddar cheese, and topped with applewood smoked bacon. It was served alongside a fire roasted tomato dipping sauce and french fries.

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Let’s talk about the fries first.

 

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They look tasty enough, right? Too bad they were pretty bad. They tasted like they came straight out of the freezer. Call me a french fry snob, but if I’m eating out and I order french fries, I expect them to be house-made.

On to the grilled cheese sandwich. This honestly wasn’t much better. There was something about it that was just…off. The bread tasted stale, the cheese wasn’t gooey and melty like I was expecting, and the flavors just fell flat. Even bacon couldn’t save this!

So it’s clear that I wasn’t a fan of the food. But what about the service? Like the food, it was disappointing. I don’t know if the waitress was having an off night or what, but she was dismissive, short, and almost rude to me at times! It was odd. I certainly didn’t feel welcome at Café Eau. I definitely understand that people have bad days, but a little friendliness goes a long way.

Oh, and the prices were on the expensive side. My toasted ravioli? $12. My grilled cheese? $11. The bread pudding? $10. For those prices, I expect amazing food and amazing service. Too bad I didn’t receive either.

Sorry, Café Eau…You’re a Café NO in my book. I can’t recommend this place at all.

See you next week Winking smile

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  • Yikes! Honestly, those fries don’t even look fully cooked.

    • OffTheEatenPathSTL

      I agree, Angela! Pretty awful. I expected more from a restaurant like this (especially for the price!)

  • Margaux

    Man that all sounds soooo good thats really disappointing!

    • OffTheEatenPathSTL

      I know! I had high hopes for this one. I was sad that it was such a huge letdown.

    • OffTheEatenPathSTL

      It was definitely disappointing, Margaux! I had high hopes for this place.

  • Kimmrenea

    The Chase is haunted anyway. Maybe the ghosts made the food taste nasty so that patrons stay outta their house. Hmmm…

    • OffTheEatenPathSTL

      Haha, Renea! Perhaps! 🙂

  • Pat

    Stephanie, just think how much time and money you are saving your readers! Thanks for taking one for the team 🙂

    • OffTheEatenPathSTL

      No problem, Pat! I would hate for anyone else to waste their money here.

  • Sberghold

    Why don’t you leave the negative restaurant reviews to the professional food critics? A food blogger, being an amateur and basing their opinions on personal taste, should focus on positivity rather than trashing places. Really. It is a hobby, not your profession. Show the restaurants and the professional food critics some respect.

    • OffTheEatenPathSTL

      Hi! First of all, I’d like to thank you for reading and commenting.

      I’ll have to respectfully disagree with you, however. You’re correct in that this food blog is definitely a hobby (and not a profession) for me. But what you’re suggesting (skipping negative reviews and only focusing on glowing ones) doesn’t make any sense to me. Only food critics are allowed to give negative reviews? That idea certainly has me scratching my head! Are you suggesting that food bloggers (and non-food critics) are only allowed to leave glowing reviews of restaurants, even if they had a less-than-stellar experience there? Please explain.

      I will restate that I’m not a professional food critic. I don’t have a ‘refined palate’ or a degree from Le Cordon Bleu. I don’t write for any newspapers or publications. But like millions of other Americans, I do know what I like, and it’s unrealistic to assume that I will LOVE every single restaurant I visit. Most visitors to my site are ‘regular’ (for lack of a better descriptive term) people, and appreciate that I am as well. And unfortunately, most people don’t love every restaurant they visit.

      Sorry for the long-winded response. I suppose I should be more succinct and simply say this: I will continue to write honest reviews on my blog (whether those reviews are negative or positive). I don’t write many negative reviews, and to be truthful, I HATE writing negative reviews; I’d MUCH rather sing the praises of local eateries! But I must be honest with my readers (and myself) and state when a particular restaurant is not my favorite. Such was the case with Cafe Eau.

      Again, thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Sberghold

        I am not suggesting that only food critics write negative reviews. It is the way in which you write reviews that I have an issue with. If you read a professional review, well, it is professional and most often focuses on what the restaurant did right rather than everything that is wrong. These are businesses. People’s livelihood. If they have bad food, everyone will know it and they will run themselves out of business. The fact is, even the crappiest place has some redeeming quality. One dish that may be spectacular that got them in to business. I have read more negativity on your blog than any other in STL. I am merely suggesting that you base your review on the dish rather than restaurant as a whole. Seriously, there aren’t too many restaurants I would recommend based on grilled cheese

        • Sberghold

          It would be nice if you took the approach of … If you do done here, this is what I can recommend. Also, order what they are known for. It only makes sense. Who bases a review on grilled cheese & fries?

          • OffTheEatenPathSTL

            Thank you for the suggestion. I will certainly take your thoughts into consideration. However, unless a particular restaurant makes it obvious what they are “known for” — ribs at Pappy’s Smokehouse, for example — I will order whatever sounds appetizing to me at the moment.

            If Cafe Eau’s grilled cheese isn’t representative of what they are capable of, perhaps they should consider removing it from the menu. During my visit, it wasn’t immediately obvious to me what Cafe Eau was “known for”, food-wise.

          • Margaux

            A restaurant should not be good ONLY at what they are known for….especially one as upscale as cafe eau. That, a good restaurant does not make. I appreciate the honesty and know to balance one persons experience with others I read/hear.

          • OffTheEatenPathSTL

            I agree 100%, Margaux. When I visit ANY restaurant (not just a nicer one like Cafe Eau), I expect every item on the menu to at least be decent — otherwise, why have it on the menu at all?

            I have the best readers in the world — I’m glad you appreciate the honesty!

        • OffTheEatenPathSTL

          Fair enough. I agree that even the most terrible of restaurants has at least one redeeming quality. In this review of Cafe Eau, I noted that the toasted ravioli was quite delicious. Unfortunately, nothing else about my meal (the grilled cheese, the french fries, the bread pudding) was impressive, and I stated that in my review.

          I’m not sure how long you’ve been reading my blog, or which other food blogs you’re comparing mine to; as far as my blog harboring “more negativity…than any other in STL”, that is certainly your opinion, and we’ll have to agree to disagree on that front. In fact, most of my reviews are quite positive!

          Thank you for your suggestions, and I will work harder at finding bright spots, even in restaurants that I’m not particularly fond of. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

    • Jessica

      I don’t feel her review shows them any disrespect. She never states she’s a professional critic, she doesn’t present herself as one to the restaurants, she simply has a love of food and trying new things. Her thoughts are her own and her intentions.

      Have worked for the Eau Bistro and Cafe, her review is more than fair.

  • MELISASource

    I hate to hear that you had such a bad experience with this one, but I certainly love and appreciate your honesty with your review. I agree with Angela about the look of the fries. -I will know to steer clear of Cafe’ Eau!

    • OffTheEatenPathSTL

      Thanks Melissa! I’m glad you appreciate the honesty…I promise to always be honest in my reviews, whether my opinion is popular or not! 🙂

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