Well, after driving by a few times I finally tried Cafe One-Three last night. My experience was okay. I am going to give them another try. DD mentioned she ate brunch there last week and she had a favorable experience.
The dinner was off to a weird start with the service. The tweeker spazoid server greeted me with a loud, freakish, HIIIYEEEE! HOW ARE YOU DOING????? This type of greeting just makes me want to bolt out the door. I ordered a non-alcoholic bottled beverage. The waitress brought the bottle and a glass, then placed it on my table and left. The bottle was still sealed, so I had to open and pour it myself. This is not a complete disaster, but for heavens sakes, she should have poured the beverage.
I started with the soup of the evening, which was Black Bean and Pumpkin. The soup was not served side by side, and was more akin to an overly creamy Black Bean soup. I did not taste any pumpkin in the soup. The soup was not awful, just...well... like a boring Black Bean soup.
I am a Caesar salad fanatic, so I ordered the Caesar, which I could have sworn was supposed to be prepared tableside. The salad arrived already made. The salad was fine, nothing to write home about. I know a caesar is a caesar, but in a restaurant that bills itself as "eclectic", I expected a new twist.
I may have screwed myself over with my dinner choice. I ordered the Mac and Cheese with Tasso ham, drizzled with Truffle Oil. Again, I know I probably made a basic choice, but I LOVE Truffle Oil, and Tasso ham is always good; so I thought, this could be a left field wham bam of flavor. New twist on an old favorite, etc.. The dish was just, well, bland. As I took each bite, I kept searching for the velvety, sexy flavor of Truffle, and it was sadly absent from my palate. The Tasso was so tucked in the corners of the pasta that I kept looking for evidence of ham in the dish. It was not necessarily a bad dish, but I could have thrown the same thing together at home.
The desserts are in a deli case, so you have to actually get up from your table to go look at them. I found this a bit annoying, as I was crammed between a table of diners, the counter, and the server. She proceeded to stumble through the dessert descriptions, occasionally consulting a co-worker to confirm the ingrediants. I ordered a piece of chocolate cherry cake. Again, completely forgettable. The flavors were bland and boring, nothing exploded onto to my palate and screamed the rich pas de deux of chocolate and cherry. It was like a layer cake from the grocery store.
I think this is my most grouchy sounding post. This place just confused me. The sign out front states "Cafe One-Three an Eclectic Eatery". The menu, however, includes such pedestrian choices as Tortilla soup, Chicken Piccata, and Penne pasta. I will give them another try. I really want to hear other opinions. Right now, I am going through pre-written mental script of "well, maybe I chose silly dishes, maybe it was an off night", blah blah...
DD- I respect your opinion, so I would love to read your review of Cafe One-Three.