Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Neighborhood Cafe - St. Paul, MN

I’ve walked by this place a couple of times and swore I’d try it one of these days. I generally walk past it at about 1 in the morning after a roller derby party at O’Gara’s, so I knew they were open late. This was ANOTHER one of those afterparty nights, so we decided to stop in and check it out.

There were 12 of us, so we scattered ourselves throughout one of the dining rooms they have there. I noticed immediately that there is an old sit-down-style arcade game the restaurant uses as a table. However it is fully functional. Here, Skully and Rita show us that they’re as old school as I am.
There’s a lot of different games on here, but it for sure had Galaga on it. So I wowed people (mostly wowing myself, actually) by setting the new high score with one quarter. I haven’t played that game in maybe 15 years and I just handed its ass to it. Go me.

We waited a long time to get water. Like a really long time. In fact, D.Rough went and got us some waters because they never arrived. Also, one of our people ordered a chocolate milk when she sat down, and it showed up 45 minutes later, after the fourth time we asked for it. Not joking.

We grabbed a look at the menu and found a couple of things that looked appealing. I had to make a tough decision, but I forewent the Cajun Breakfast to get the McMerriam Muffin – an overhard egg, andouille sausage, and cheese on an English muffin and served with hashbrowns. We waited a really long time for our food to show up, which may be part of their plan to get people to sober up before they have to drive home. But it really seemed like a long time. Over a half hour.

The food simply wasn’t that good. The sausage, which I usually like a lot, was pretty bland and not seasoned at all. The eggs were greasy and I didn’t even want to finish them, and the hashbrowns looked like they were crispy, but I think they sat around a long time, so they were actually pretty floppy. Overall, this food wasn’t great at all. And if you’re in a hurry, maybe you should go someplace else.

I’m not a big fan of this place, frankly.

Top 5 things about The Neighborhood Café
1. Sit down arcade game, which includes Galaga
2. It is open late
3. I’ve heard the Cajun Breakfast is good, but no one could verify that
4. It’s a great place to sober up, since you’ll be waiting
5. I rule at Galaga, even after 15 years, apparently

Bottom 5 things
1. Really long wait times
2. Flavorless sausage
3. Floppy hashbrowns with crispy illusion
4. Greasy eggs
5. The place fills up with a lot of drunk d-bags (like our particular group) after midnight


Harriet said...

I agree - used to work near there - stopped going because everything was greasy and un-tasty. Once I found eggshell in my omelet and the waitress's attitude was a shruggy "it happens."

Anonymous said...

As one of the owners of the Neighborhood Cafe I am sorry to you had such a bad experience! We work hard to better our little Cafe everyday and, needless to say, it's never gratifying to see such a poor review. I did talk with our staff that was working the night you were in and made certain they were aware of the problems. They will be corrected. I make no excuses. However, I would like to say we recently have gone through some staff changes with our night crew and on that particular night we were understaffed and working with a new line cook. I had to be out of town that weekend or I would have been here to help. Again, I make no excuses for your poor experience and take full responsibility. We are working to make our late night service and food preparation consistent with our daytime's, where we find many satisfied and happy customers. I hope you will give us another shot. I'd be happy to talk to you anytime and if there's anything I can do to convince you to give us another chance please let me know. I appreciate your review.

Mike Noyes
co-owner of The Neighborhood Cafe

Chao said...

Thanks for your note, Mike. I sincerely hope you weren't offended by the review (knowing it's hard not to take something like this personally). I'm a firm believer of the "three-strikes-you're-out" rule, so I haven't blacklisted Neighborhood Cafe, rest assured. I'm always willing to give places another shot, especially when I get heart-felt comments from people like yourself. I will let you know how it goes (I've got abusy schedule, but I'll make it happen sometime soon).

Again, thank you for taking the time to write. Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chao,

I noticed you haven't come in yet and given us another shot. I kindly ask that you do or please remove your post since it lands right above our business information when searched on google. That obviously damages our ability to attract new customers. So please give us another try or please remove your negative post.


co-owner of The Neighborhood Cafe
1570 Selby Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104

Anonymous said...

I think this 2year old review should be removed as well. Its unfair to judge an establishment on something posted by a drunken rollergirl. Two years after the fact no less. Anyone who's been here recently knows that. Just ask the people who wait in line on the weekends and they'll tell you this place is freakin' AWESOME!! Andouville benedict is the bom-diggitty. Breakfast tacos rule too. The owners are awesome, as is the staff. Thanks guys for running a joint with some style for a change. -an awesome friend in da hood-