Saturday, February 17

European Street Cafe Reviewed

The European Street Cafe in Jacksonville (Beach and University) is like if you took a street cafe from Europe, made the food bland for Americans, and stuck it on a busy street. I saw all these good reviews on Google, except for a couple of reviews that said it was nothing special, they use cheap potato chips, and the apples were brown. Bingo, that was our experience in a nutshell at this restaurant.

There are a lot of beers to choose from, and the little pretzel thing that came with the ho-hum soup was the tastiest item we had. Soup and sandwiches were frankly boring, and that was after reading through the menu of like fifty items that mostly sounded even more boring. I kept thinking to myself as I was reading menu items, "Why would I go to a restaurant for this?" My wife wondered as she looked at the menu whether European Street Cafe was a bit like Meyer's in Milwaukee, which is the joint where all the old folk go to get their liver and onions, but it wasn't. There was a hip, young crowd in the restaurant. Most of them were getting beer with their meals, and maybe that's the thing to do, but with the use of cheapo potato chips and brown apples, I have to wonder if the lines are ever cleaned for the tap beer.

I got a hot turkey sandwich of some sort that was basically a small version of what I might order at Subway. It wasn't as spicy or tasty as I'd hoped, and the bread, which was supposed to be something special according to the menu also wasn't. The potato chips could have stayed in the bag. I tried dipping them in the salsa, but even the salsa wasn't doing it for me. My wife didn't even finish her sandwich. Hers was some sort of cordon bleu. She got apples, but they forgot to bring some kind of chutney sauce, and as is the habit with waitresses in JAX, ours disappeared for the remainder of the meal, so no sauce to make it slightly more interesting. I think both sandwiches had some deli meat with some cheese and iceberg lettuce. Really, something my mom would throw at me when I'm in a hurry kind of food.

My wife's meal came with apples and a pickle instead of the mound of potato chips I ordered by default. She gave me most of her pickle, seeing my disappointment in greasy, meaningless potato chips. She ate one slice of her quickly browning apple. Granted, it was a whole apple, but it looked like something I'd feed to a horse rather than serve in a restaurant. I began to think maybe this should be called European Street Vendor Cafe. Just roast some nuts and serve soda warm.

That's really about it. What more is there to say? There seemed to be several German offerings on the menu, and maybe that's the specialty here. I guess I won't really be finding out, since this is not on our list of restaurants we'll ever try again. I'm just glad we had a coupon to try it and we didn't bring the kids. I can't say the service was rude, like a couple of the negative reviews, but it did take forever to pay at the end, and there was absolutely no reason for that, since it wasn't busy at all.

European Street Cafe
Reviewed by New Jax Witty on February 17 2018
Rating: 1.5/5

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