Santa Barbara Italian Cafe

★★★☆☆

About Santa Barbara Italian Cafe

Hours
Mon. - Thu. 11am - 9pm;Fri. 11am - 10pm;Sat. 24 Hours;Sun. CLOSED

Food

Food
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We decided to try this place out last night with another couple. My husband called to make reservations, and the hostess was not very intelligent or focused- she had to ask him to repeat simple things (i.e. number in our party) multiple

3
★★★★★

We decided to try this place out last night with another couple. My husband called to make reservations, and the hostess was not very intelligent or focused- she had to ask him to repeat simple things (i.e. number in our party) multiple

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I have been to Santa Barbara Italian Cafe several times. The service is generally good, once they get around to you, but you may be seated for 20 minutes before you see anyone. They simply do not seem to care whether you wait (particularly Mamma).

The food is OK at best - you can get much better Italian food nearby for much less money and much better service.

If you have a complaint, you should keep it to yourself. When I made a complaint to a waiter, Mamma came out and started yelling at me saying that I obviously did not know GREAT Italian food and berating me as a customer. After this experience, I will NEVER return.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I have been to Santa Barbara Italian Cafe several times. The service is generally good, once they get around to you, but you may be seated for 20 minutes before you see anyone. They simply do not seem to care whether you wait (particularly Mamma).

The food is OK at best - you can get much better Italian food nearby for much less money and much better service.

If you have a complaint, you should keep it to yourself. When I made a complaint to a waiter, Mamma came out and started yelling at me saying that I obviously did not know GREAT Italian food and berating me as a customer. After this experience, I will NEVER return.

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We used to like this place, but as time has gone on we decided it just wasn't worth it. There is constant turnover in servers, who are generally very young and inexperienced--eager to please, but no one has trained them. (We've seen Mamma fire a waiter in the middle of dinner service and they all look like they are terrified of her.) Our last trip there the hostess (friend of Mamma) kept people waiting even though there was hardly anyone in the restaurant. She was folding napkins and pouring water instead of tending to the people wanting to be seated. We observed several of them leaving in disgust.

My husband's chicken dish was fine, although the portions are enough for three people--seems like poor cost management. I ordered the filet mignon because absolutely everything else has a rich heavy sauce on it--couldn't there be a few lighter entrees? Anyway, I've never seen a filet like that. I asked them if that was indeed filet mignon and they assured me it was, but I think they were trying to serve me a top round or something. It was horrible, stringy and tough. A real filet should be almost fork-tender. We bid farewell that night and don't plan to return.

Last thing and OK, maybe this is just me, but they have little stands with table numbers on each table. Really? That would be considered tacky at Denny's. Hey, people, there's only 15-20 tables in the whole place. Are you saying you really can't keep track on the table number without a tacky little sign on the table?

0
★☆☆☆☆

We used to like this place, but as time has gone on we decided it just wasn't worth it. There is constant turnover in servers, who are generally very young and inexperienced--eager to please, but no one has trained them. (We've seen Mamma fire a waiter in the middle of dinner service and they all look like they are terrified of her.) Our last trip there the hostess (friend of Mamma) kept people waiting even though there was hardly anyone in the restaurant. She was folding napkins and pouring water instead of tending to the people wanting to be seated. We observed several of them leaving in disgust.

My husband's chicken dish was fine, although the portions are enough for three people--seems like poor cost management. I ordered the filet mignon because absolutely everything else has a rich heavy sauce on it--couldn't there be a few lighter entrees? Anyway, I've never seen a filet like that. I asked them if that was indeed filet mignon and they assured me it was, but I think they were trying to serve me a top round or something. It was horrible, stringy and tough. A real filet should be almost fork-tender. We bid farewell that night and don't plan to return.

Last thing and OK, maybe this is just me, but they have little stands with table numbers on each table. Really? That would be considered tacky at Denny's. Hey, people, there's only 15-20 tables in the whole place. Are you saying you really can't keep track on the table number without a tacky little sign on the table?

Pros: Decor, BYOB

Cons: Owner, service, filet mignon, menu

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Good food, but really pricy esp for what you get. Not really a kid place. For local I like it, but there is better not much farther away and at much lower prices.

3
★★★☆☆

Good food, but really pricy esp for what you get. Not really a kid place. For local I like it, but there is better not much farther away and at much lower prices.

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I was recently at Santa Barbara Italian Cafe with one of my friends on a friday night. Jessica was my waiter and she was an amazing waiter. I was just sitting there and all of a sudden i heard yelling in the kitchen. One of the waiters came from the back and i saw a bigger lady in the back yelling at her waiters and cooks. Then she came out to the seating area and started yelling some more. she kept on starring at everyone giving them dirty looks and i didnt care for it. The food and service was amazing, I totally recomend for anyone, just call up before and make sure the bigger lady is not going to be there to ruin your meal.

3
★★★☆☆

I was recently at Santa Barbara Italian Cafe with one of my friends on a friday night. Jessica was my waiter and she was an amazing waiter. I was just sitting there and all of a sudden i heard yelling in the kitchen. One of the waiters came from the back and i saw a bigger lady in the back yelling at her waiters and cooks. Then she came out to the seating area and started yelling some more. she kept on starring at everyone giving them dirty looks and i didnt care for it. The food and service was amazing, I totally recomend for anyone, just call up before and make sure the bigger lady is not going to be there to ruin your meal.

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I have to agree with clearlycanadian's description of "mamma." First and last visit to this restaurant. The food was ok, nothing special to note. Upon arrival we were told there was a ten minute wait. The restaurant was about a third full. After asking about the wait, the answer we received was "the kitchen is backed up." The service by far was sub-par. We asked for bread that was suppose to be there prior to our meal and after the third request, half way though the meal, we finally received the piece of rock hard "italian bread." The waiter brought us our meals and quickly rushed off. After waiting and finally getting his attention we asked for ground pepper and parmesan cheese. We later received a small container with crushed red pepper and powder parmesan. Never did I expect to receive pizza condiments. I could go on and on about the service, but I will spare the readers. At any rate after we received our bill, we asked to speak with the manager. She listened to our side and then went and spoke to the waiter. To my surprise she came back with temper flaring and flat out told us after speaking with her employee she came to the conclusion we were just too demanding. She further stated that we were "picking on her waiter." Sorry, if asking for my glass to stay full during the meal service and expecting the waiter to stop by periodically is demanding, I guess I am guilty as charged. Never have I had a manager say to me that I was too demanding and therefore couldn't provide adequate service.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I have to agree with clearlycanadian's description of "mamma." First and last visit to this restaurant. The food was ok, nothing special to note. Upon arrival we were told there was a ten minute wait. The restaurant was about a third full. After asking about the wait, the answer we received was "the kitchen is backed up." The service by far was sub-par. We asked for bread that was suppose to be there prior to our meal and after the third request, half way though the meal, we finally received the piece of rock hard "italian bread." The waiter brought us our meals and quickly rushed off. After waiting and finally getting his attention we asked for ground pepper and parmesan cheese. We later received a small container with crushed red pepper and powder parmesan. Never did I expect to receive pizza condiments. I could go on and on about the service, but I will spare the readers. At any rate after we received our bill, we asked to speak with the manager. She listened to our side and then went and spoke to the waiter. To my surprise she came back with temper flaring and flat out told us after speaking with her employee she came to the conclusion we were just too demanding. She further stated that we were "picking on her waiter." Sorry, if asking for my glass to stay full during the meal service and expecting the waiter to stop by periodically is demanding, I guess I am guilty as charged. Never have I had a manager say to me that I was too demanding and therefore couldn't provide adequate service.

Pros: Ambiance

Cons: Service

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We love eating here. Everything is good. The desserts are the best!

Sometimes, the service is a little slow. But, it is worth the wait.

2
★★★★★

We love eating here. Everything is good. The desserts are the best!

Sometimes, the service is a little slow. But, it is worth the wait.

Pros: good food, friendly staff

Cons: service is a little sluggish at times.

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You think the Soup Natzi in Seinfeld is bad... try going to this restaurant!
Mamma is a terror. She is not accomodating, she takes advantage of her customers and tries to squeeze out every penny from a large group of people. The food was good, and I promise Mamma will think it's great, but I would say it's good. I was told a month in advance that we could pre-order for a group of 25 people and when I called back a week prior to the dinner (after the invites were sent out) to give the final head count, Mamma informed me that they don't pre-order and I should have asked for the correct person when I called. Sorry Mamma- you should train you staff better when they answer the phone. It is certainly not your customers fault. We decided after several argumentative phone calls to make it seperate checks because of the mis-information that I could not pre-order. I took 23 new customers (several are from Friendswood, went to High School here) to her restaurant, everything was going well and she advised the waiter to still charge everyone $25/person, even though it was agreed that it was seperate checks. I was left with 23 confused people and a greedy owner (who coincidentally LEFT for the night and could not be found) of a restaurant that wanted every penny from my guests. The waiter (Craig) was wonderful, attentive and sweet, but none of my guest knew to tip on top of the $25/person for a $12-$15 entree so I don't think he had a very good night. That is unfortunate and he should talk with Mamma or work for someoene who knows the value of word of mouth. There is an Italian restaurant on every corner. I advise you to GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

0
★☆☆☆☆

You think the Soup Natzi in Seinfeld is bad... try going to this restaurant!
Mamma is a terror. She is not accomodating, she takes advantage of her customers and tries to squeeze out every penny from a large group of people. The food was good, and I promise Mamma will think it's great, but I would say it's good. I was told a month in advance that we could pre-order for a group of 25 people and when I called back a week prior to the dinner (after the invites were sent out) to give the final head count, Mamma informed me that they don't pre-order and I should have asked for the correct person when I called. Sorry Mamma- you should train you staff better when they answer the phone. It is certainly not your customers fault. We decided after several argumentative phone calls to make it seperate checks because of the mis-information that I could not pre-order. I took 23 new customers (several are from Friendswood, went to High School here) to her restaurant, everything was going well and she advised the waiter to still charge everyone $25/person, even though it was agreed that it was seperate checks. I was left with 23 confused people and a greedy owner (who coincidentally LEFT for the night and could not be found) of a restaurant that wanted every penny from my guests. The waiter (Craig) was wonderful, attentive and sweet, but none of my guest knew to tip on top of the $25/person for a $12-$15 entree so I don't think he had a very good night. That is unfortunate and he should talk with Mamma or work for someoene who knows the value of word of mouth. There is an Italian restaurant on every corner. I advise you to GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

Pros: Food is ok, restaurant is pretty, our waiter was really nice.

Cons: The owner is not accomodating when her staff makes mistakes-Takes advantage of customers.Wants to make every penny she can.

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We dont often eat Italian food, but when we do we always go to santa barbaras.The staff is great and the food is second to none. I recommend the alfredo with blackened chicken.

4
★★★★☆

We dont often eat Italian food, but when we do we always go to santa barbaras.The staff is great and the food is second to none. I recommend the alfredo with blackened chicken.

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Editorial from

The Scene
Casual and welcoming décor complements the strip mall location of this Friendswood favorite. Regulars chat amiably among the wood tables in the open dining room while cheery music plays in the background. Overhead…

 

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