Monday, March 7, 2011

Butter Cafe - Dayton, Ohio

Better late than never, I suppose. Mr. FvF and I took advantage of a Groupon offer and finally tried Butter cafe - well, about a month ago.  I'd have loved to get this to you sooner, but I've had my big girl pants on, merging and acquiring with the best of them lately for my real job, which has also eaten its way into my evening and weekends.  

Anyhow, I'd heard a lot of mixed reviews about the place, so I was anxious to form my own unbiased opinion.  They have a lot of free-range, organic and gluten-free options at Butter Cafe, and not just your standard breakfast/brunch/lunch fare.  Jelly donut pancakes, coconut French toast kabobs, and even gluten-free waffles.  I'd been dead set on trying to g/f waffles (because c'mon, how many places do you have the option?)  but a shopping excursion had delayed the late breakfast we planned on until well into lunch time, barely an hour before they closed.  In light of that, I was more in the mood for a sandwich.  The Mister had the grilled cheese with bacon (remember, no tomato - he's from Indiana), and I had the club on g/f bread.  Club sandwiches are one of my seriously guilty pleasures, because the havoc wreaked on the roof of my mouth by that warm, toasty bread is second only to the complete annihilation of my innards by the same foe.  But, with the upcharged option of gluten-free bread (Udi's brand, not baked in-house), I could eat all three slices without guilt or crippling fear.  I'm not sure what the other options were for sides, if any, but we both chose tots.  
Mr. FvF's grilled cheese was pretty standard fare, but he was more than happy with it.  My club sammich, on the other hand, was a total mammoth.  It towered a good six inches (that's what she said) and its bread overfloweth with fillings.  Unlike the Filling Station, Butter Cafe understands that a club is supposed to have turkey AND ham, not make you choose between the two.  The ham & turkey didn't stand out, but the bacon was thick-cut, crisply cooked and super tasty.  Tomatoes were decent, and leaf lettuce is always welcome in the place of iceberg.  The toasted Udi's bread toasted up more firmly than regular breads, leaving you with destruction of both the upper and lower palates in its wake.  The tots were good, but could use some work.  The seasoning was great, but the potatoes themselves were really dry and gluey.  I'm guessing since it was 30 minutes til close, they weren't fresh at all.
Butter Cafe serves soft drinks, but if I remember correctly - they're bottled or canned, which means no refills. Which also means a firm "no thanks."   Luckily, they have carafes of cold water on the table and ask you if you're good with water or would like anything else.  I'm sure it's tap water, but that's what we drink at home.  If I went to the dentist, I'm sure they would thank me for drinking flouridated water, if they weren't so busy yelling at me for pretending I'm too cool to wear a mouth guard to sleep.  
The service was good, and the young gal was fairly knowledgeable about the menu - pointing out that they dust the tots with a mixture that does contain gluten, after I'd ordered my sandwich on g/f bread.  As our server rang us up, she asked if it was our first time and what we our first impression was, which was thoughtful.  I was hoping to go home with some gluten-free baked goods, but the bakery case was empty. Disappointing, but probably for the best.  Price points are a bit all over the map, which irks me.  $8.50 isn't too shabby for a giant sandwich with tots, but the yogurt parfait clocks in at $6.50 and the cucumber plate (dusted with pepper and parm) is $5.50.  Does not compute.  

I think I'll give them a solid 4 out of 5, points removed for dry tots and weird price skewing.  

Butter Cafe on Urbanspoon


Daria Schaffnit said...

I'd heard so much about Butter Cafe and how great it was. However, when my wife and I finally made it over there a couple weeks ago, we were both disappointed. The atmosphere was off-putting to me and the servers seemed like serving us was the last thing they wanted to do. Maybe we just weren't hip enough. Maybe they were hung over. The food was fine (we had breakfast) but nothing special. I can pick up good locally-sourced food at the grocery or farmer's market and make much better at home, without the cramped feel and the unfriendly servers. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I have only ever read a few parts of your blog, but if you or Mr. FvF are fans of grilled cheese you MUST try Coco's! It is amazing!

Again, thanks for your blog!

Big In Day-town said...

I've also heard so many different things about this place, most negative from people who also really, really wanted to like the joint. Have to say the peanut butter and jelly pancakes intrigue me.

Erika said...

im a UD student and i'm a big fan of Butter. Mostly because they deliver (BASICALLY I can be brought breakfast and bed and that's just awesome!) They just updated their menu and have a super cute new website. It's pretty convenient to be able to just go to their website to view the entire menu. Like I said, I really only get delivery so I cant comment on their service in the cafe.

Akilah said...

I've been there three times. The first to lackluster food but decided to give it a second chance. Boy was I glad that I did!! The Chai French Toast is AMAZING! Their regular french toast(which was the third choice) is really good as well. My hubby really likes the omelets even though I am not a fan of the folded over type of omelets.

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