October 26, 2012

First Impression: Barbara Caffe

Barbara Caffe was one of those places in Stoney Creek that we drive by but never get the chance to go in. This one afternoon when Thai Orchid was closed, we decided to make the quick drive over and check it out!

There were a few tables occupied outside but we were essentially the only table inside at the start of the meal.
My friend Kandi ordered the chicken parmesan & veal schnitzel with a side of pasta. The chicken parm and veal schnitzel were pounded down so thin you could hardly tell the difference between the two meats. It also didn't help that they were both smothered in a tomato sauce that wasn't exactly mind blowing. Because they pounded the meat so thin you'd expect the serving size to be quite huge, right? Well, it wasn't! They took one chicken breast, pound it paper thin, then served you half of it. That is some shady business right there! I believe this dish was somewhere between $12-$14 dollars, so for that price, we all really expected a lot more. 
I ordered the breaded chicken panini ($9) and I was pretty disappointed with what I received. It looks like I got the other half of Kandi's chicken breast. Not Cool. It was pounded so thin all I could taste was the breading. The salad was also a sight for sore eyes. The tomatoes weren't fresh and the cucumbers were sliced very, very thin. The dressing was purely balsamic and had a bitter aftertaste. The ciabatta on the other hand was pretty fresh.

We would have brought our concerns to the waitstaff but after our friendly greeting, taking our orders and dropping our food, we never saw her again. She didn't touch the table once, not even so much as fill our water glasses, which were empty.

On a positive note, my friend Joanna order a caesar salad but they mistakenly gave her a garden salad and this was fixed right away.

Joanna originally wanted the rissoto of the day but when  we asked our server, she told us it wasn't ready yet. I found this really unprofessional to not have the special of the day prepped and ready to go for the start of service. She ended up ordering the prime steak wrap, which looked great but was a little bland in flavour. She said the caesar salad was the best part of the meal. 

I can only assume our server was having a bad day because the server next to us seemed to be doing a great job. We overheard her describing the menu to them and bringing out a bread basket shortly after they'd been seated - something we didn't get. 
Our first, and most likely last visit to Barbara Caffe was not a successful one. You don't feel like you're getting a good bang for your buck, and the quality just doesn't equal what you're paying. I don't mind paying extra for good quality ingredients but I also don't want to feel like I'm being ripped off, which I did here. The pictures of the dinning room on the website isn't a clear representation of what the place actually looks like as well. The mediocre food, combined with the poor service means we won't be returning to Barbara Caffe anytime soon. 


Barbara Caffe
387 Barton Street East
Hamilton, ON
www.barbaracafe.com
Barbra Cafe on Urbanspoon

Have a great weekend and I'll be back on Monday with my "Yay I'm Awesome" Birthday Post! 

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