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French Meadows- Sadly diminished

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forgottendreamr Jan 27, 2012 09:50 AM

For several years now, French Meadows has been a standby for me and my husband. Reliable food in a good atmosphere, when you want a good dinner and don't want to fret over where to go. Unfortunately, it looks like that has changed.
We hadn't been back since the summer, when we had a terrible experience with service and shockingly low quality food. However, since there were so many good experiences to outweigh that one, we decided to head back last night to give them another shot. We were surprised to see a completely changed menu and asked what was going on.
Apparently, the head chef changed about a year ago, which explains the decline in food quality. Then, recently, a new General Manager came on board and fired almost the entire staff. When my husband asked about the baker, it seems that there has been turn over there too.
Sad, but it explains how such a solid restaurant has gone from a favorite to a place to avoid. Our meal was lackluster at best, especially in comparison to what we were used to.

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    SarahInMinneapolis Jan 27, 2012 12:35 PM

    I completely agree. Plus, the menu has always been ridiculously priced for the quantity of food on most plates. French Meadow is running on the fumes of politically correct food and reputation.

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      sandylc Jan 27, 2012 01:58 PM

      I have always wanted to like French Meadow but always end up underwhelmed by my experience there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sandylc
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        Bobannon Jan 30, 2012 01:45 PM

        sandylc took the words right out of my mouth....underwhelmed. I have always thought everything there LOOKED good, but was nothing special. I wonder if their focus now is People's Organic? I actually like this place a little better, but still not impressed with the baked goods.

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        soupkitten Jan 28, 2012 12:53 PM

        i think fm didn't stay ahead of the curve as the farm-to-table, local foods-focused msp restaurants grew up around it. it wound up w dated food and "you want how much, for this?" prices. i was never a fan, but some of their baked goods were very good. wonder what will happen to them now?

        2 Replies
        1. re: soupkitten
          bob s Jan 28, 2012 01:47 PM

          My speculation - and that's all it is - is that FM makes more from its packaged goods and its airport-type take-out operations than it does from it's original retail location. So I assume that the original place will continue lumbering along indefinitely.

          1. re: bob s
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            SarahInMinneapolis Jan 29, 2012 07:59 PM

            @ Soupkitten. And, that's the shame of it. Owner Lynn (can't remember her last name) sold out, in some ways. Her real money is in the other operations (including baking for Lunds, which is great, their turkey buns were much better this year now that FM is making them).

            But it doesn't excuse ignoring the location that brought you to the dance. I, for one, won't set foot in there until the food dramatically improves.

        2. Jordan Jan 30, 2012 06:42 AM

          I haven't been in there for dinner for many years, although we did like it quite a bit in the early 2000s. I'm sorry to hear that you feel it's in decline.

          We have been there for breakfast four or five times in the past few months, and I can happily report that they still do an excellent breakfast menu.

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