Cafe Brioche, Palo Alto
What a mess.
It was lunch time and I arrived well ahead of the other 2 to secure a table. After standing at the front for 5-10 minutes and being recognized by both waiters (eye contact and all that) I decided that I was going to pick my own table.
A glass of wine took a while to arrive and this was BEFORE significant numbers of diners showed up.
The food was not that good. The Croque Monsieur was a grilled cheese sandwich, the fish special not so special (saved by a tasty sauce, but sunk by a side of asparagus....it is bloody December dammit, not spring!), the desserts just ok. Service started to pick up when the waiter figured out that we were not going anywhere and we were ordering stuff.
The bill was over $120 for 3 with several different glasses of wine. Without tip
A nice ambience, but I would order the burger, a salad or two and avoid anything that challenges the kitchen.
I have to go back for dinner when perhaps the chef can show his stuff.
We had dinner there for the first time about a month ago. I was hoping for casual and inexpensive, left it up to friends to choose. I had never been there and I was surprised to find that it was quite pricey. I had cassoulet, and it was mainly salty. There were two red wines by the glass. I asked the server which one would pair best with the cassoulet. It was clear he was clueless. Overall I thought it was over priced and unremarkable. Had I known what we were getting into, I'd have preferred to go down the block to Bodeguita. But you just never know unless you're willing to explore :-)
Very disappointed on a recent visit. This was always a nice mid-week place for us - a place to grab some quick cassoulet, coq au vin or just some sauteed chicken livers on a bed of greens. No more. Not sure if it's a new chef but the food is now sub-par. The sauces are thin and uninteresting with little attention to detail. Just plain boring. And the place was completely over-run with small children using the dining room as a playground. Many near-misses with the wait staff. Not the vibe we wanted. Avoid.