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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stacey's Café: prepare to pay!

Lunch date #21: July 27, 2012 (yes, still need to catch up!)

I had been out of town for two weeks, and my wonderful Mom house-sat for us and took care of the animals. I wanted to take her for a special lunch, so suggested we go to Stacey's (310 Main St.; www.eatatstaceys.com).  It was a lovely day and I was hoping for an outside table. We certainly have had lunch there in the past, but I've rather given up on the idea of only new places-especially as Mom does point out, now that we are "reviewing" them, it gives us a whole new purpose! I've always liked Stacey's: nice atmosphere and service, and usually pretty good food. My memory was that it was a bit on the pricey side, so I was looking forward to our discussion regarding value of the place.

Location 5 points: Happy to be back on Main Street!

Ambiance 4.5 points: We did get an outdoor table: quite lovely next to the railing flower boxes. We enjoyed the nice linens on the table. We thought the interior to be OK, but as Mom said: "nothing special". We felt that the score should be on par with Fontina across the street, especially since with the flowers in bloom, it seems very similar.

Menu 4 points: Excellent lunch selection with many choices in each food category: salads, sandwiches and hot entrees. Of course, it is fun to read the menu with all of the Scott Adam's jokes printed in the description of each item! Mom was really excited to order the burger—what could I do? I'd been gallivanting around England and France for two weeks, while she was house sitting in Pleasanton—I wanted her to have anything she desired! I was interested in the grilled chicken sandwich with bacon and avocado. I think a real good sandwich was sounding perfect after all of the different types of food I'd had while traveling. Just can't beat a good ol' American sandwich!

Food 4 points: I was starving (why would I be after all of that eating while on vacation?), and enjoyed the fresh, soft bread and butter on the table while we were waiting. I also enjoyed the refreshing iced-tea. Mom liked her coffee in the oversized cup. She also liked the burger, especially the nice soft bun. She was disappointed not to have carmelized onions like the burger at Pastas! We realized later that you have to specify you want the onions carmelized, and then pay more—see later. I actually ordered the ½ sandwich and salad. The Caesar salad was very good with excellent flavor. I liked the sandwich, but the baguette was over toasted, very crunchy and somewhat hard to bite into and eat! Since we're comparing here, I also thought the sandwich I had at Pastas was better!

Service 4 points: Excellent server-very fast and efficient. Only problem: Mom asked for a refill of coffee and had to wait about 15 minutes while they brewed a new pot! By then we were done and ready to go, so too late. It wasn't an exceptionally hot day—kind of strange they ran out of coffee! Everything else was fine, and I did get refills of my iced-tea promptly.

Value 3 points: My memory was correct—this place is pricey! Most expensive lunch we have had: burger starts at $15 and then you have to pay an extra $1.50 for cheese and avocado. It did come with red onions, but if you wanted your onions grilled, be prepared to pay an extra 2 bucks-yikes!! I'm sure Scott Adams could come up with something witty and sarcastic about the burger rip off at Stacey's!! My ½ sandwich and salad was a bit better deal at $10.75. Still, adding in drinks and tax, the bill was $35 before tip!

Overall score for Stacy's Café: 4.1 points. Stacy's is a nice restaurant with good food, lovely ambiance and good service, although it is a bit over priced compared to the other "fine dining" restaurants in the area. We had a great lunch and it was a little thank you to Mom for holding down the fort for us when we were away. 

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