Review: Caesar’s Italian Restaurant

Barnabas -- September 28th, 2006

Here’s another restaurant review by Hburgnews’ resident food critic, Barnabas:

In a college town, going out on a Friday night to eat and have a nice quiet meal should not be impossible. Especially if you’re going out to eat somewhere that has a “separate” fine dining area. From all the radio ads I had heard, I thought Caesar’s would have this fine dining atmosphere. I was wrong. Dead wrong. If you want fine dining do not go to Caesar’s in the evening on the weekend, maybe it’s quieter during the week. The area that is supposed to be “fine dining” had nice chairs, tables and table cloths, and looked decent in-and-of itself but there was only a chest high barrier between the fine dining area and the sports bar. It’s built in a strip mall with an exposed ceiling so all the sound reverberates off every wall. You could hear every noise from not only the bar but also the kitchen. There is more to atmosphere then just a place setting. This is not the “fine dining” that was advertised on the radio.

Heather and I were already pretty hungry when we got there. We were seated promptly and received our drink order, two Pepsi’s, rather quickly. I ordered an Alfredo topped with steak marinated in balsamic vinegar and gorgonzola cheese. Heather ordered the manicotti, which comes with a side of pasta. Both meals came with our choice of salad. I went with creamy Caesar, and Heather got the house salad with blue cheese dressing. Paul Newman makes good dressing. Caesar’s Italian Restaurant does not. The waitress was really quick and the salads came out rather fast. This was my first time noticing that the silverware did not seem as clean as I’m used to. It wasn’t dirty but it was definitely smudgy. As soon as we had finished our salads, our food came out. I was impressed with the speed. I hadn’t waited long and here in front of me was dinner, as I mentioned I was already very hungry so I grabbed my smudgy fork and began to eat.

I ate a couple bites before I put down my fork, Heather was already not eating. The waitress came over and asked how everything was, “Not good”, was my reply. I don’t think I have ever said that. I ordered stuff at foreign food restaurants that I didn’t really like but I accepted it as a cultural difference and now I like some of those foods. Italian food has been a part of American culture for a very long time. I love Italian food. But I like my noodles somewhat fresh. The pasta on both of our plates looked like it had been sitting out for hours. The manicotti was dry and the combo of balsamic steak on Alfredo made me sick. The waitress asked if we wanted to order something different assuring me it wouldn’t take long to bring out. I was sure she was right if I ordered something it was probably sitting back there already. If I had been expecting cafeteria food and paying cafeteria prices it would not have been a big deal. In a cafeteria you know that the food has been sitting out. $18.00 for a plate of food that tasted like it came out of a can deserved something being said.

I must say that they handled our displeasure wonderfully. The Executive Chef came out offered his apologies and said dinner was on him. I thanked him tipped out the waitress and left. I had lost my appetite. As a post visit note: Heather mentioned that when she went to the ladies room she noticed that a cart full of silverware and napkins was sitting outside the bathroom door. So maybe smudgy wasn’t quite the right word to describe the silverware.

6 Responses to “Review: Caesar’s Italian Restaurant”

  1. finnegan says:

    Good grief.

  2. Josh says:

    I live less than one mile from Caesars and still haven’t visited, as I’ve heard nothing but bad things from coworkers and friends. The comments are consistent: “slow service,” “bad food” and “overpriced.”

  3. Daytonres says:

    I went to Ceaser’s even after all the bad reviews from friends and co-workers. They were right and I was disappointed. Service was very slow and the meal was mediocre for the price. I also thought it strange that the separation between the “fine dining” and the bar wasn’t any more than it was. Perhaps the owner should have stuck with franchise pizza and left “real” Italian food to the folks at Bravo (man that place is good).

  4. larsen says:

    Bravo is the best. It looks unlikely in that strip mall, but it has the best atmosphere of any restaurant in Hburg. The food is always good and they have a great wine list. Definitely our favorite restaurant in the burg. Taste of Thai is a close second – even their leftovers are a treat for lunch the next day. I won’t be trying Caesar’s. Thanks for the warnings.

  5. LBeasly says:

    Yes, take the advice and stay away! Trust me, I worked there a bit, most of the food comes pre-made pre-packaged from SYSCO and is re-heated in the microwave before being served. BLEH!

  6. J. Oram says:

    This is a little late in coming. From a person with a internal perspective I’d like to offer this. I have been with Caesar’s from the very beginning. I started out as a cook and am now the Executive Chef and Kitchen Manager. If I had to describe the Caesar’s Restaurant in this article I would speak roughly the same. After the restaurant closed we had a serious restructuring of the establishment. The owner of Caesar’s then is no longer in the picture. A lot of how things ran then is indicative of that ownership. There was very little room to offer other ideas. Not so with the restaurant. I have personally revamped the menu dropping menu prices across the board. We have also dropped several menu items in lieu of a grill in which we can offer steaks, burgers, and chicken. If I had to describe the previous Caesar’s I would call it a glorified Olive Garden. Now I would describe us as our own entity serving a wide variety of food from steaks to seafood with some of the favorites from our previous menu. I invite you to check us out and see for yourself because what we were is not who we are anymore.

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