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“OMG - How Disappointing”
Review of The Tomato Palace - CLOSED

The Tomato Palace
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$25
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Little Patuxent Parkway
Description: The Tomato Palace, opened in 1993, is the family-style Italian restaurant adjacent to Clyde's of Columbia on Lake Kittamaqundi. The popular menu is affordably priced and includes pizza, pasta dishes and salads. The atmosphere is casual and fun, with colorful graphics enlivening the walls and menus. Seating is ample for families; and the whimsical tomato chairs by furniture maker Peter Danko are always a favorite. In warm weather there are 50 seats beneath the arbor for outdoor dining by the lake
Reviewed 7 June 2013

We were glad to see that Tomato Palace had reopened as it had been one of our favorite "go to" places for the entire family. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that we will ever return without major changes to solve their current problems. The menu changed dramatically with most of what we enjoyed no longer being on the menu. The current items are lower in quality, smaller in portion, and a bit pricier. Service was slow, and even two of the items currently on the menu were not available that evening (as early as 6:00 pm). No longer are we able to order from the Clyde's menu. The asparagus was very gritty with dirt on it - possibly reflecting some health concerns in their handling of food. The bread came toward the end of the meal and did not compare to the previous garlic knots. Even the kids who had previously loved the place complained about the small portion sizes of their meals. What has ownership/management been thinking? Hopefully, they will consider the range of negative input that is being provided and make the adjustments necessary to attract back their prior customers.

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1  Thank TuffNFair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (119)
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83 - 87 of 119 reviews

Reviewed 3 June 2013

We've loved the Tomato Palace for many years and I've written a glowing review in the past. So we were excited to return when they re-opened after being closed for several weeks for re-modeling. We were so disappointed.

Most of our favorite foods were removed from the menu. Garlic knots - gone. Shrimp and Scallop Pene - gone. Ravioli - gone. Good service - gone. I had the lobster diablo, which was recommended by the manager. It was way too spicy. I like spicy, I have spicy foods all the time but this was not good. It was so spicy it actually made me sick later. My meal was the worst but no one thought their meal was as good as before. The bread they brought out was tasteless and not worth eating.The only thing we liked was the house salad, which seemed about the same as before.

The hostess and the wait staff were friendly but seemed very new to working in a restaurant and needed help from the managers often. It seemed to me that they turned over the entire staff.

When we asked why the menu was changed we were told it was a corporate decision to make the menu more main-stream. So now it just like going to one of the Italian chain restaurants. I doubt well ever return.

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2  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2013

My husband and I recently tried the new menu at the Tomato Palace. We have been dining here quite often for 10 years. There used to be very unique menu items that would continue to bring me back to the restaurant (garlic knots, chocolate bread pudding, combo special). These have been eliminated from their menu. I tried to go back with an open mind after their "renovation" and menu change. The appetizer (Crostini) was good. The pizza crust was thinner (a good thing), but the flavor was not there. My husband was not impressed with his pasta entree. We always get dessert here, but since they took off the bread pudding (the best bread pudding I have ever tasted), I was not interested. My husband ordered the tiramisu. It was just okay. The service was not the best, either. They seem to be new to the restaurant. I am very sad that this is yet another restaurant that takes the menu items that draw people in off the menu, and makes it just another place to eat. I don't think we will be going back any time soon. :(

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3  Thank heyjude444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2013

Living in Columbia, this is one of the places we tended to go for a great view and good food-no more! Since they reopened, they've eliminated the bread knots and now serve 4 tasteless slices on a dinner plate. How unappetizing! The portions used to be OK and maybe sometimes generous but no more! My husband's bowl was no more than 1/3 full. My spaghetti was good but again, there was not much pasta and I had loads of sauce left over. How expensive could it be to add more pasta?? We went with friends and they were also unimpressed. She got a margarita pizza and all it contained was tomato pieces and cheese. Where was the basil? The meal is pricy considering you get nothing with it. At least Bertucci's and Olive Garden have great bread and a nice salad included. My advice, eat somewhere else and sit at the lake for a good view.

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3  Thank path165
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2012

The palace has huge portions with low quality. It seems that they try to compensate low quality with huge portions. doesn't really work for me. My seafood pasta had really overcooked tigershrimps, and everything else was just mediocre. I wouldn't recommend

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1  Thank Lauri2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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