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December 27, 2012

Restaurant Review: Paula's Cafe in Downtown Cincinnati

I had heard good things about this "7-minute burger". Apparently it takes 7 minutes to make. Did you guess that? Apparently it is also one of the 40 best burgers in Cincinnati according to Cincinnati Magazine.

So I made PJ take me out on a lunch date to Paula's Cafe, home of that 7-minute burger.

It's located on 4th Street in downtown Cincy so be sure to bring some change for meter parking! It's small inside with not much seating, and I hear it can get pretty busy with lines out the door, so be ready. But we didn't have a wait when we went luckily.

It was a bit confusing when we came in. There was a big sign telling us to "Order Here" at the register, so we walked up to order. We had never been there before and didn't know how the ordering process went, and the lady rudely acted like we should know and handed us some paper to write our order on. We wrote down our burger orders.  You can choose which toppings you want on it. We remembered after she rang us out that we also would like something to drink. She did not offer that to us when we were ordering, no "would you like drinks with that?" or anything like that. No biggie, but then when I tried to add the drinks on she had the nerve to tell me that there is a minimum amount you must order to use credit card, and that I would have to spend more to reach that minimum amount to pay by card. Even though we JUST purchased $20 worth of food. I wanted to bop her in her face. There was no way I was spending more so we just had to suffer with no drinks. Great service!!! Sike.

Then we went to sit down and the lady who rang us out was saying that since we ordered at the counter that it was supposed to be a to-go order and kinda made a big deal about us dining in. Well then it needs to be more clearly displayed when you come in. I shouldn't have to come in to a restaurant and be so confused how or where is the proper place to order. If it really mattered, and she knew we had never been there before, she could have asked us if it was for dine in or carry out. I'm sure you have new customers there on more than one occasion so it would be nice to not assume that everyone who comes in knows the "correct way and place" to order. Sure hope that wasn't Paula herself.

Off to a bad start, customer service-wise.

On to the food.

PJ ordered the 7-minute burger ($7.45) and fries ($1.75). The burger is a half pound hand pattied fresh ground Angus chuck cooked to a perfect medium with whatever toppings you want on it. PJ got lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, sauteed mushrooms and onions (add $.50 each) and cheese. There may be an extra charge for cheese too.

I also ordered the 7-minute burger and fries, but with different toppings on my burger. Mine had mayo, sauteed onions and mushrooms (add $.50 each), and fried egg (add $.95).

I was pleased with the burger. It was tender, juicy, and definitely had that fresh-not-frozen taste. You could tell they were hand pattied because they were so plump. It's hard to find good burgers so I appreciate this one. It's also a messy burger, so have lots of napkins on hand, and no white shirts! I liked the egg and runny yolk with it, but next time I think I'll try it with other toppings. I also liked the thin, crispy fries.

So food = win. Service, not so much. But I'd be willing to go back again. Definitely wanna get my hands on that burger again!

They also have salads and sandwiches if you aren't in a burger mood.

But you really should be :)

Peace, and bacon grease!

Paula's Cafe on Urbanspoon


Faith said...

Oh yum! I LOVE a good burger! But I hate awful service :/

FoodHussy said...

That is so crazy - normally they are the friendliest people ever - they remember my order and I go every few months. When you go - the line gets crazy - so you just go in and wait and then they signal you to open seats. Also - let me make another reco - go on Tuesday - their chicken/wild rice/mushroom soup is THE BEST!!!!

Give it another shot - and hey - if you're going during the work week for lunch - holler at me! @foodhussy and I'll meet you there!!!

Chris said...

Sounds like extremely shittake service! Maybe she's trying to get a reputation like the Soup Nazi. That is funny on Seinfeld but sucks in real life when you are a paying customer.

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