We live within blocks of this South Tampa eatery and have driven past the crowded parking lot (that overflows for blocks) every Friday and Saturday night. How could we not be intrigued, especially since we've heard nothing but rave reviews from the local paper to our local morning DJ. My husband and I decided to make a "date" of it.
The atmosphere is great. We made reservations so we were seated almost immediately. A lot of the reviews said casual, but I'm glad I dressed up a bit. There were only a few in jeans.
We were seated at a table that was smack in the center of the room and seemed to be the bane of all the servers' existence, as they had to maneuver around our chairs and avoid the corners of the tables. Twice, our chairs and table were kicked, almost from underneath us. Very uncomfortable.
My husband ordered a cocktail. But after he finished it, he was never offered another. We had the Crab Bruschetta for an appetizer. It was very fresh and tasted great. Our house salads were huge and we couldn't finish them, but that was due to the fact that they were not that great. I wish I would have chosen the Caesar.
I originally ordered the Blackened Iron Steak, but they ran out....of steak....on a Saturday night....at 7pm??? So I had the Chicken Ana (stuffed breast) and my husband had a chicken pasta dish. Both tasted like dishes I could have made myself. I actually needed to put salt on mine, and I don't even like a lot of salt. The vegetables were quite bland as well. Good mashed potatoes though. The chicken in the pasta looked and tasted as if it were boiled. And both of our meals were watery due to the use of "unsqozen" frozen spinach.
Overall, I was quite disappointed. I was really looking forward to finding a new favorite "non-chain" restaurant in our city. I wonder if they just had an "off night." We might go back and try a seafood and steak dinner to counter the mediocre chicken meals. And we might even go upstairs to the lounge. On this visit, we were anxious to get out of there and get some ice cream at Cold Stone.
I've heard nothing but rave reviews for this restaurant, so this may be the first negative review you may read about Cafe Ana. Has anyone else felt that this place is overrated?
Our meal came up to $75+ for 2 people. The entrees run between $17 and $29.
Atmosphere - B+
Food - C
Service - B-