I should have known something was up. It seems the last few times we have been to Mimi’s Cafe we were the only ones in the restaurant. This was a Sunday morning, a time when we used to avoid going here because there used to always be an hour long wait. This time we walked right in and were seated right away. Uh-oh…..
Mimi’s Cafe is a French inspired restaurant that has locations in 24 states (mostly the lower half of the country.) I have only had breakfast there but since when are omelets and eggs benedict considered to be exclusively French? I guess every breakfast joint in America is French then because they ALL serve eggs and bacon. Well, Mimi’s does have FRENCH toast…..
On the Gourmet Francais menu they offer crepes, Quiches and a few varieties of Eggs Benedict. Nowhere was I able to find any reference to Eggs Benedict being a French dish. Actually, all the evidence I found stated that Eggs Benedict were actually thought of here in the United States. That makes the dish American, certainly probably not deserving of a place on a French gourmet specific menu. I could be wrong. None the less, the menu is confusing. Is it French? Home cooking? American French home cooking?
Anyway, I ordered the Crab Cake Florentine Benedict. There is no question that the crab cake had been frozen because I think it still partially was. And there was a very distinctive freezer burn taste. It tasted old. I think it is a great concept to swap out the English muffins for low card crab cakes but the Mimi’s version was terrible. If the crab cakes were even remotely delicious this could have been an incredible dish. But they were awful. Really awful.
My dining companion ordered the Belgian waffle which he liked but it wasn’t anything special. Served with cold scrambled eggs and semi warm breakfast potatoes it was nothing to write home about.
My favorite part of the meal was the pink grapefruit juice. I mean you can’t mess the juice up, right?
Perhaps the most puzzling part for us was the service. One server greeted us and took our order, another brought the food (which isn’t unusual as most places do have food runners) but yet another server checked on us. Then perhaps the most confusing part was an entirely different server brought the check. I would understand that sometimes a manager may step in to help an otherwise busy server, but I didn’t even see a manager our entire meal and with only two other tables in the restaurant I doubt any of the servers were super busy. It is like they just did a bunch of switcheroo’s on us without anyone introducing themselves. Perhaps they were pulling their tips together but having four different servers was just downright confusing and impersonal.
We’ve been there a few times before and ordered items like the the egg-white omelet and the French toast and it seems the food just gets worse with each visit. Plates must sit in the kitchen for awhile before they are served because lately the food has been cold and rubbery. Yuck. Why we’ve gone back is beyond me. It didn’t use to be this bad. Throw in a confusing menu and bad impersonal service and you have a recipe for disaster.
But hey- the lighting was cool. That deserves some credit right?
I will say this- it seems that the Mimi’s Cafe brand was sold in January 2013 from the Bob Evans group to the same people who own Bruegger’s Bagels so hopefully some changes are in the works. We hadn’t been back here in over 2 years and now I remember why. Unfortunately, unless there is a major rebranding, we won’t be making any plans to go back anytime soon. 2 sprouts out of 5.