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“Food was ok, if you're willing to wait for it.”
Review of Cafe Latina - CLOSED

Cafe Latina
Cuisines: Costa Rican
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 2 December 2013

After a hearty sit-down breakfast the day before, my wife and I asked the hotel concierge for a "quick coffee and a muffin" place to hit before we hit the road home. We were told Cafe Latina.

So we enter the mostly empty restaurant, and the woman behind the counter says to seat ourselves and she'll bring menus over. We then sit there for, I don't know, 10 minutes? While guests continue to come in, order at the counter first, and then sit down. Did we do it wrong? Should we have done that? Eventually she does come out from behind the counter and bring menus. Is she the only one working?

Another good length of time goes by with no sign of anybody coming to take our order. Under the guise of checking out the pastries we walk back up to the counter and just order there, since she's standing there. She asks if we want to pay now or later, and I for some reason lose my mind temporarily and say now, which immediately commits me to sticking this out, and also puts me in the awkward situation of wondering if she expects me to tip her up front as well?

Up until now it was just slow. And I suppose more expensive than it should have been - my wife's omelet, my breakfast sandwich, coffee and juice was $21, but that didn't bother me. My wife asked if she's supposed to help herself to the coffee and the woman replies, "No, I'll get it for you." So we sit back down.

And wait. And wait. And wait so long that I go back up to her and ask, "Can I just get my wife her coffee?" I'm told, "It's coming right out, sir." Keep in mind that she didn't order any sort of a fancy drink that needs to be made, she ordered plain coffee, the kind that most diners just walk from table to table refilling for you without ever needing to ask.

I figure maybe 4 other tables filled up since we'd come in. I watch as this woman brings out the drinks and coffee to each table individually. Even though they'd come in after us technically they'd ordered before us because of the whole order at the counter thing, so we ended up waiting even longer.

While we're waiting and watching the other patrons I notice a man go up to a condiment table and bring back the cream for his coffee. Later when my wife wonders what she's supposed to do with her coffee if it ever shows up I tell her that the cream is over there. "So I'm supposed to sit here and wait for her to bring it over, and then after she leaves I'm supposed to get up and bring it over there and make it the way I want it? Does that sound ridiculous?"

Eventually my wife's coffee did arrive, and the waitress did offer to bring the cream over. She was very apologetic about the wait, but I have no idea why there was a wait. At first I thought maybe bad timing and that she literally had to make a fresh pot right as we came in - but that wouldn't explain why the people who came in after us all got coffee. I ultimately watched her put a mug under the machine and press the plunger to fill it. I totally could have done that, I went to college.

The food, when it came out, was good. Not great, not bad. Good enough. The "latina muffin" for my sandwich was something more resembling a bagel and way bigger than I'd wanted, making the sandwich mostly bread. But my wife liked her tomato and goat cheese omelet.

Here's the kicker, though, are you ready for this? Once we were done with our food, suddenly this other waitress appears to clean our table and offer to get our check! Where's this one been? This other girl has been covering the entire restaurant by herself for the past 45 minutes, and now that I'm ready to leave the cavalry arrives?

When I asked for a travel cup for my wife's coffee and the original waitress brought it over, explaining "I topped it back off for you." In the amount of time we were there, in any other diner, her cup would have been refilled so many times she would have started waving them off when they approached. Here I was almost willing to add a star to my review because they were gracious enough to top her off. Once.

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Thank DMorin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (40)
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5 - 9 of 40 reviews

Reviewed 30 November 2013

Thought I would give it a second chance and yes, my first opinion still stands.....TERRIBLE! And, it is so overpriced it's almost a joke. The owner was our waitress and she was curt with us when we asked for explanations and/or suggestions. I think having an empty restaurant must have been upsetting.....gee, wonder why it's empty. We began our evening with a couple of smaller tapas which were non-descriptive and some Sangria, which was drinkable. For an entrée, I had the scallops, 4, which were cold in the middle and a bit smelly. They went back. The short ribs were dry and a very small portion was served. Now we're really hungry and disgusted, so we decided to skip desert and have some coffee which was extremely bitter and old! The entire evening was a sad disappointment. We have no plans to return and neither should you!

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Thank 196Anne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2013

Go for the wonderful maple glazed and almond scones... they are a special recipe from the chef who used only VERMONT maple sirup instead of sugar in the dough... and the atmosphere is friendly and warm

Thank Alexis400
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2013

This would not have been a pick of mine had the concierge not suggessted it. Should have relied on the feedback on TripAdvisor.

We understand the intent of tapas and have eaten at many different tapas restaurants over the years. What was unique here was that they were providing tapas sized servings at full meal prices. In order to leave feeling full….we would have had to order at least another 2-3 tapas.

As a party of 4...showing up @ 6:00PM, we were the only ones there until 7ish. The owner was our waitress and was attentive to our questions and requests.

We started with a pitcher of Sangria...for $22...pricey for an OK serving of Sangria...then we order the Queso Fresco (crackers and whipped cheese) - the crackers were good...but the cheese was clearly prepared in advance and chilled so that when the first cracker went in...you could tell it was not entirely fresh.

We had hoped to get the Crab and Quinoa, but were informed after ordering it, that the crab was not good...but would we be open to Lobster instead...we said Yes. The outcome was so so, more quinoa than lobster and small portion….trend for the rest of the night.

For the rest of the meal we had:
Skirt Plate (Large) - As a group, we agreed this was the best...but even the large portion is small).
Scallops (Large) - 4 Larger scallops for $23? Overpriced and was our least favorite.
Chicken (Large) - Appears the chicken was boiled.....not very tastey. The accompanying sauces and side were good.....but the chicken lacked in taste.

Desert was fine....though the Coconut Creme Brulee tasted more like it was ginger favored.

We would not return to this place until the prices are adjusted.

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Thank W_M_Freeman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2013

This little jewel of a restaurant is close to downtown Stowe, VT. It has a friendly staff ready to help with dietary restrictions. The "arepas" were fantastic, as well as the fried plantains. Great place to bring your kids or have coffee with a business associate.

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

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