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“Quiet Lunch”
Review of Blue Garden Cafe

Blue Garden Cafe
Ranked #59 of 129 Restaurants in Menlo Park
Price range: US$21 - US$30
Restaurant details
Reviewed 3 March 2018

Lunch here is a real treat. The service is good as is the interesting food choices. A quiet serene setting for an enjoyable lunch.

Thank Curtis N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 5 of 16 reviews

Reviewed 5 December 2017

The staff at Blue Garden Cafe does not have a clue how to run a restaurant, as service was slow, multiple confused waiters asked us if they had taken our order, we were not brought items we did order, and served others we did not order. After a long wait for our salads the waitress promised to check on our order in the kitchen, but she stopped 3 times to talk with diners along the way and forgot to go into the kitchen to check on our lunch entree. It was a frustrating lunch.

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Thank ejhiii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2017

Hadn't been here for a couple of years, love the garden and shops. Not pleased with this dining experience, maybe it was what we ordered...
Prices are steep for what you received which was pretty basic. We had a late lunch there were 3 us and 2 other people there at the time so service was good. Wife ordered the Turkey, Brie and apple panini...panini crust was over toasted so biting into the sandwich made a mess of crumbs. The turkey was dry, maybe more brie and cranberry could have saved it. I had the Cobb salad, too many cucumbers, not enough bacon, egg, tomatoes or anything else..served with minimal dressing, had to ask for more. Other friend had French onion soup which was good. Also not used to be charged for bread at beginning of meal, let alone $6!! Bread was served warm but crusty and dry...maybe that's how they do it here but still don't charge for it.

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Thank mdemler57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2016

The Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park provides a venue for art studios, artists’ exhibitions and sales areas, and special events. This 3.5-acre site with gardens, pathways, and Spanish Colonial style buildings donates all it’s profits to the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital for aid to critically ill children.
It’s worth a few hours to enjoy the quite atmosphere and exhibits, but don’t have lunch at the Blue Garden Café!!!
I write this review while suffering from an après lunch upset stomach. The pretentious Café offers an innovative menu designed to attract the “art” crowd and, from the size of the portions, attract those demonstrating their ability to diet (i.e., it’s definitely not a “real man’s” menu). For example, my wife had an undersized poached salmon dish that came with four tiny halves of potatoes and three one-inch broccoli florets.
Even with my wife’s petite appetite it was scarcely enough to last until dinner.
I had been conned into this venue after having been once disappointed about a decade ago. I must say, before I proceed, that the atmosphere is charming, the garden setting attractive, and the café quiet … seating only about thirty inside. There is outdoor seating in non-winter seasons.
I, after careful perusal of the menu, order a turkey, apple and some other vague vegetable on panini. The menu description led me to believe that I was ordering a cheese (brie) and turkey sandwich on Italian bread. Instead, it seemed as though I had selected something odd.
There were only sixteen people in the café so the two waiters were responsive and prompt. However, the kitchen was probably out-to-lunch.
Poaching a four-inch salmon filet must not take a half hour when there are no other orders in the queue. Coordinating that with my sandwich for which the only preparation was toast might have been the problem.
In any event, our simple order took nearly a half hour to reach the waiters who served it promptly.
My request for iced tea brought forth a small glass of pale liquid with a vaguely fruity taste. There was no wine or beer available to dull our senses to the terrifying kitchen.
When it was presented with a flourish, my sandwich was on toasted whole grain bread (it ain’t the menu’s promised panini) with soggy layers of sliced apple and cheese.
And ah! I almost forgot the turkey! Anyone who has ever carved turkey breast must know that when served it must be cut “across the grain,” that is, across the direction of the breast muscles so that when served one can cut it with the side of a fork. The overcooked turkey breast in the sandwich was sliced along the grain. It was not possible to eat the sandwich as a sandwich … only an attempt to pick up one half seemed possible, but that literally fell apart at first bite. Since, other than the toast, it was practically tasteless. I asked for mustard. It seems that the chef was insulted by my plebian attempt to add flavor so I waited another five minutes for a tiny cup of mustard.
In an attempt to make the lunch palatable I ordered iced tea. The pallid water presented was tasteless except for the sugar added. Furthermore, it apparently needed to be brewed, since it took ten minutes to be served.
Finally, my wife ordered a “lemon bar’ desert as a palate cleanser. Although by that time hesitant, I agreed to share. I was not surprised by the tongue-on-edge result.
Now I must say that food isn’t everything. The final insult was yet to come. The check included a tip recommendation with a calculation for 10%, 15%, and 20% of the check that included the 10% tax in our area.
Now, I can’t blame the waiters for the awfully slow kitchen or the almost inedible lunch, but providing the tip calculation was over the top.
Perhaps, since Allied Arts Guild is a non-profit charitable organization my lunch may be tax deductible.
To be charitable, since the Allied Arts Guild is a charitable organization, it’s possible that the chef was a volunteer amateur, which leaves me with the hope that I do not know her or him and will not be invited to their home for dinner.
I would highly recommend avoiding the Blue Garden Café.

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Thank LouiePaloAlto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2016

I have lived in Menlo Park for a long time. I have just rediscovered what a treasure we have in the Allied Arts Guild.
This summer I had lunch four times with friends at the Blue Garden Cafe located at the Guild.

The setting was beautiful. Food delicious and our server,Ann, could not have been more helpful.
Parking is easy and on the grounds.
You won't be disappointed there for lunch or just a coffee and snack.

1  Thank Dundalk61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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