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Spring Mill Cafe - Brunch - Review

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Spring Mill Cafe - Brunch - Review

Nick&Robyn | Nov 30, 2003 03:58 PM

We and two of our friends had brunch today at the Spring Mill Cafe in Conshohoken. Bottom line: what a disappointment. Definitely not worth a return trip (it wasn't worth the first one).

We have been looking for good breakfast/brunch places in and around town for years. We love the dim sum in Chinatown, but have yet to find alternatives when we want something different. We've heard about the Spring Mill Cafe for a long time, and decided to try it today. It is a small "French" country place in Conshohoken, with a small partner "art gallery". The outside looks cute and quaint, sort of B&B-ish. The interior decor is also cute, done up in pale pastel colors and French poster decor, trying to create the ambience of the French country. It's small and "bustling", seating about 25 people. The staff greets you with "bon jour".

The menu looked promising, most items with a "French" twist (the owner clearly either spent a lot of time in France, or wished they had). Unfortunately, all four entrees we had were uniformly disappointing. All were very small, and all were obviously frozen and microwaved.

They were: 1) B'stilla Morocaine - a phyllo dough pastry stuffed with shredded chicken and corriander, served with couscous with nuts, olives, and dates. Sounds good, doesn't it? But, the pastry was dry, the chicken old and tired (what microscopic slivers I could find), and the couscous very dry and bland, the consistency and taste of sand, much less appealing than what you can make out of a $1.39 box from ACME. 2) French Toast "Michelle" - made of a sliced croissant, with pear compote and rasberies, wrapped in a crepe. Also clearly frozen and microwaved, flavorless, with the texture (and taste) of wet cardboard. Sadly, below Sara Lee quality. 3) "Summer squash" - with green beans, raisins, dates. The Squash was completely tasteless and had the consistency of wet tissue paper, the beans were overcooked days ago. 4) Venison stew - OK, but nothing to write home about, about the quality of Dinte Moore canned beef stew (whcih it may have been). The entree prices ranged from $11.50-$14.50, which seemed like a lot for the tiny portions and poor quality.

The service was very slow and not particularly competent. Some of the drink orders (teas) were forgotten, and then took over 30 minutes to come even after the wait staff were reminded. The entrees took about an hour to arrive, astonishing given that they were so obviously pre-frozen and microwaved. The staff seemed flustered and confused, and ran about maniacally (the place was about half full, so it was probably as much due to lack of organization as business).

Overall, a sad little meal, overpriced, poor quality, with very slow service. It's a shame, because the ambience is quaint and the menu sounded so promising. But, it's definitely not worth the trip.

P.S. - The "gallery" was about on a par with the restaurant, small, a single room about 10'x15', a few mangy pieces overpriced of pottery and small sculptures, and a bizzare oriental style bed in the middle. It took about 15 seconds to go through.

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