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Mar 1, 2014 12:57 PM

Auntie Cathie's Kitchen, West Springfield MA

I really, really wanted to like this place. I'm gluten-free and any restaurant that has gluten-free as part of its menu planning is a real boon for me. We liked 3Cafe when it was in Springfield (same owner/chef).

But. We arrived today at noon. We were seated fairly quickly after a short wait. We waited a bit for a menu although beverages were served immediately (though we had to ask for water). Their tea selection is mediocre -- I had a choice of Earl Grey, Lipton's or a few herbal teabags. Lipton's? Really? No English Breakfast Tea?

The servers are sweet, brisk and busy so I'm not faulting them. The place was nonstop busy.

They were out of the first FOUR ITEMS I requested. The server explained that they got slammed -- there was a line at the door when they opened -- and they were out of everything! They're still in their shakedown period and didn't anticipate the crowds coming out on a sunny, not-snowing Saturday.

I finally settled on a breakfast sandwich. My spouse had a Sloppy Joe.

We then waited FORTY MINUTES to get our food.

The portions are generous. But. I thought his tasted like they had cooked ground beef with tomato sauce from a can, and sprinkled on supermarket "chili" seasoning. Yuck. He liked it though. He said the gluten-free bun was sticky and tasteless (well, they kind of are no matter where you get one).

My sandwich was good but it was not hot (maybe they held it until his food was ready). The egg was well-cooked, nicely cheesy and the toast thick and satisfying.

All in all very disappointing, but they've only been open a few weeks so we'll try it again in a few months. Or maybe I will -- my husband was unimpressed and asked why we would bother driving to West Springfield when we can have similar food in Northampton without the drive.

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    1. I'd like to update this review. Yesterday I received a very nice email from Cathie herself apologizing for the problems we encountered and offering us a second meal on the house. I plan to take her up on that and encourage people to give this place a try! The menu is wonderful, especially (but not only) if you are gluten-free.