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“Great local cafe with friendly service” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cafe Sparrow

Cafe Sparrow
Ranked #1 of 69 Restaurants in Aptos
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
San Leandro CA
Level Contributor
136 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
“Great local cafe with friendly service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2014

The menu is limited but everything is cooked to perfection. We especially like the nightly specials....

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank byoung3rd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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185 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    121
    49
    11
    2
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Aptos, California
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Owner rude, overrated, overpriced.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

This is a true story and a study in human behavior, a real slice of life:

The Review

Overpriced, overrated, slow service, good food..... Arrogant and incredibly rude owners.

Made 5:30 reservation. Arrived promptly. Appetizers and drinks arrived in a timely manner. Appetizer was roasted garlic which was good. My Petite Caesar salad was drenched in dressing, but still tasty. When they say Petite Caesar they mean it.

50 minutes into the meal, I became concerned about the entrees arrival. Expressed my concern to waitress, and I was told " oh, you should have told me you needed to leave so soon".

**Evidently, I incorrectly assumed that 1 hr and 15 minutes was enough time for a complete meal with a very early reservation and only 3 other tables seated ! Luckily Bob M. the owner later schooled me that this is not the case....read on:

My immediate thought after this was "she forgot to put in our ticket, or the kitchen is backed up"

Now:

*1 hr and 5 minutes after prompt arrival, still no entree, so, we had to leave because I was taking my 10 year daughter to a movie on our special night out. No way to enjoy food at this late juncture. *

Interestingly, and surprising to me, I was told by wait person later "we usually allow 1 hr 45 minutes per couple." If this was Le Cirque or the French Laundry, I guess that would be the norm, but this is a casual venue. Really!

Here is the interesting human behavior part:

I did share with owner Bob Montague over the phone that I was displeased with the service, I was edgy, but not rude or vicious, - his response, literally: "we are not a fast food restaurant, for that go to Jack in the Box." I was almost speechless, but pressed on.

Bob M's parting shots to me were: "you are wrong" and "enjoy your meal tonight at Jack in the Box" All this witnessed by my 10 year old daughter!

Thanks for the lesson in customer service, Bob. We appreciate it ! Now my daughter has a new data point on how nasty people can be.

The good news: we made it to the movie on time and ate popcorn for our entree and enjoyed the flick. Never made it to Jack in the Box, but, I can guarantee you; we would rather have a taco there than eat again here.

PS: I have since shared my experience with a friend or two: interestingly, they had a similar experience due to a slow kitchen - but this time, during lunch. The problem was that they had to go back to work after waiting for over an hour with no food, despite early lunch date.....This time, Julie Montague, the wife, told them to go to Taco Bell, and "this not is a fast food restaurant".

I can now rest assured knowing that I am not the only one who has been subjected to this from these bizarre restaurant owners......whew!

  • Visited July 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
8 Thank Josh G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Rude Hostess”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

I came here with my friend for nice lunch. We had to wait for over an hour for our food. The restaurant was empty. When we complained, the hostess yelled at us that they were not a fast food place. We could barely eat our food after that and our drinks were not re-filled and we were not given a choice about dessert. There are many other good restaurants in Aptos where the staff are friendly and the food is good. If you go on Yelp, you will only see the 5 star ratings because they have purchased advertising from yelp. All of the five pages of 1 star "not recommended reviews" also discuss the rude behavior of the staff and owners, but you don't notice them because they at at the bottom.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank R. A. R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Livermore, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“lovely place and foods”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2014

this long time personal local restaurant owned by a local family just makes you feel special....low key no rush personal attention .....besides enjoying meals I had my nieces wedding shower there and what a LOVELY time with their attention totally set up by them weeks ahead of the special occassion ....can NOT go wrong......

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank patty r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
115 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Choose your atmosphere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

This is one of my favorite go-to restaurants that remains special. There are two main seating areas - the smaller, more intimate one is very romantic or even girly with a fabric covered ceiling, cushy banquet seating and large bunches of dried lavender spilling out of baskets on the wall.. There's a view into the kitchen, but unlike other restaurancts with this feature, it's quiet enough here to enjoy a conversation.

The larger dining area is a more typical and great for a couples get together or even a business dinner.

I'd describe the food as gourmet home style - dinner is a complete meal with local bread, a great house salad and most entrees come with vegetables and small servings of a carb in so every plate is like a mini tasting menu. If you had a brother who was a chef cooking for you at home, it might be presented and taste like this. Wine list is good, with many local vineyards represented.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Alida S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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