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Mimi's Cafe: Faux French Lacks Depth

Lunch trip turns out to be a disappointment.

Last week’s lunch review () left me satisfied with my choice. This week’s choice left me regretting.

I was debating going for Indian food – again. Instead, I stopped at . I’d heard about it. I’d driven past it several times and thought it would be a good mid-price point choice for lunch.

The restaurant is cute enough from the exterior and on the interior. But the food was mediocre at best, as was the service.

From its attempt at a French bistro style (actually the website says French country, but I didn’t get that sense when I was there), I felt this restaurant – one in a chain - is just confused.

It’s like a pretentious greasy spoon (as we like to call them where I come from.) Sure, I could get wine or a mixed drink as I sat in the generic booth seating. But, who are they trying to fool? A real French restaurant, bistro or French country isn’t so plastic.

Mimi’s had one of those laundry list menus that makes it hard to order. As I debated, my waiter asked if I was familiar with the menu. I said, no. He just pointed out the specials. Not much help there.

I don’t like to criticize servers because I know they have a difficult job but my server seemed aloof. I asked for water when I arrived and he never brought it even when I mentioned it again. I thought things might be off to a bad start.

I started with some bruschetta as I tried to make up my mind on my lunch choice. The bruschetta ($4.99) was a seasonal menu item with bacon and blue cheese. It came with three portions.

My waiter brought it on a rectangular plate but he provided no small plate for me to transfer the appetizer.

 Maybe this is normal? Or maybe, since I was eating solo, he figured I didn’t need a plate? Whatever the reason, I thought it strange.

The bruschetta was OK, nothing spectacular. I actually enjoyed it more than my main meal.

I debated on ordering the asparagus and brie quiche, but ordered the French Quarter burger ($10.49) instead. I’d have to say this was way overpriced.

My reason for choosing the burger was that it was a combination of items that I’d never seen before: grilled garlic sourdough bread, a burger, Thousand Island dressing, Swiss cheese and avocado. I wanted to see what this sandwich would taste like.

The waiter informed me that there would be no avocado because it wasn’t ripe—in fact it was hard as a rock. I was OK with not having under-ripe avocado on my sandwich. But then it seemed to not have any of the Thousand Island dressing on it. I’m pretty sure that dressing would be hard to miss flavor-wise.

 The burger was not worth $10 because it was blah. And the entire sandwich was extremely greasy. I don’t understand why restaurants think a whole stick of butter or a ton of oil is needed to grill a sandwich.

Had I known that it would come out like the Exxon Valdez oil spill, I would have not ordered this item.

I ate only half of the sandwich. The fries were good. Everything was loaded with salt because when I left I was in desperate need of a bottle of water. I left feeling like I’d eaten the entire menu. Not a good feeling to have.

And so my restaurant review comes to an abrupt end. Though I planned to order dessert, the waiter didn’t give me the option. Actually, he had the hostess bring me the check. He hadn’t asked me if I was done with my meal or if I wanted dessert.

When I appeared surprised when the hostess brought me the check she asked me if I wanted dessert. I said, “Not now.”

Since this menu is really generic, trying to be “French” in places, my suggestion is to go to your everyday local restaurant where you can get a good meal cheap. Cheaper than Mimi’s, I’m guessing. A “greasy spoon” will have the typical booth seating and won’t be too fancy, but it will know what it is.

Mimi’s just didn’t work for me.

The food wasn’t worth the price and the service was lacking. I’d rather save the $20 ($19.78 to be exact not including tip) and I wouldn’t waste my time visiting again.

Margie Siller June 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM
The food is mediocre at best. Yet, they pack 'em in. Go figure.
Suzanne Flynn June 24, 2011 at 07:42 PM
I've been there once with a group (9 of us) and the service was SO bad that I will never go back. We were packed up and ready to leave waiting for almost 15 minutes for our check after asking for it. That's just a sampling of the bad service. And I agree - VERY overpriced and the food was not worth the money I paid.
barbara Morgan June 24, 2011 at 07:53 PM
I have never eaten there because the one time I went, the doors were locked even though it was during regular business hours. People were actually inside eating! When the hostess finally noticed us and another family standing, yanking on the door, she sauntered over. No "oops, I'm sorry", just "how many in your party". I walked in, looked around and decided not to stay.
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Tammy Kurtenbach July 18, 2011 at 06:13 PM
We had a similar experience. Went there with my mother and my daughter. Service was terrible. I ordered a liquor coffee suggested by the waitress, I had to ask about it 3 times. When I finally got it, it was horrid and I had to send it back. I never did get the regular cup of coffee I asked for. We arrived there about 6 pm and didn't get out of there until after 8:30, totally dissatisfied. Will never visit again.

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