A previous reviewer, also a local resident, asked, "What the heck happened here?" I share her curiosity. I've been coming here at least 6 times a year for over 20 years, and was very disappointed on this last visit. As previous reviewers have pointed out, Old Town Cafe has been a mainstay in northeast Tallahassee... nothing fancy, but a dependable place for a decent meal at a decent price. They can accommodate large groups for lunch in the several dining areas and we have had numerous birthday and office retirement luncheons here. Evenings draw families and older couples. The menu hasn't changed much since my last visit, but prices have risen substantially in the past year. They feature a daily "blue plate special" and tonight it was a baked chicken dinner with green beans and home fries for $10.50. Service was sporadic, with lengthy waits between beverage, salad, and entree. A couple at the next table finished eating and left before our order was taken. This was puzzling because there appeared to be plenty of wait staff, supported by a diligent group of bus boys. My companion ordered the Walnut Chicken Salad, which has always been one of my favorites and it was, as usual, very good. I wish I had followed her lead. My chicken dinner consisted of two thighs, green beans straight from the can, and some tired potato chunks with soggy onion and green pepper strips. The potatoes were a long way from "home fries", at least those with which I am familiar. I think they had been roasted much earlier in the day. The chicken was highly seasoned with pepper. No rolls or bread were offered and the server did not offer to refresh beverages until we had finished dinner. On my way out, thinking I might have been served the last of the Monday night special, I checked out the "baked chicken dinners" ordered by couples on either side of our booth, and their plates contained breasts and legs. They had also been wise enough to substitute mashed potatoes for the "home fries". The cashier asked "was everything OK?", and I replied that it was the most disappointing meal I had had there. She said she was sorry and wished me a pleasant evening. No questions about what was unsatisfactory and no attempt to inform the owner or manager.
As reflected in many of the reviews on Trip Advisor, Old Town Cafe has enjoyed a reputation of providing good service and good food at a reasonable cost. Menu prices have gone up, which can be tolerated when the service and quality remain high. Perhaps my experience was atypical. I hope so.
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