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Posted by Veronica SB on 05/20/2009
Though we miss Karrot, the health food store that once occupied this space, we ADORE 181 Cabrini. What a welcome arrival to the neighborhood! Have been here for dinners & brunches… the food is fresh & fabulous, the service friendly & attentive. Everything we’ve ordered here has been great so can’t really think of any standout dishes – maybe the sliders, panini, Chicken Zanny, burgers, salads & all the brunch offerings. Love the mini muffins that come w/ brunch. The interior is a bit sleek but it feels cozier than it looks, plus the original art is way way cool. Granted, it’s not dirt-cheap – the brunch is $13, includes 2 bevs – but how exciting it is to have a neighborhood restaurant where you get tasty food in a regular amount of time (Emilous’ & Jesse’s delivery is nice but last time we checked, eating-in service was so slow there you needed a huge chunk of time to devote to your meal). The hubby comes by some mornings to pick up breakfast, it seems like a chill place to hang for breakfast. Haven’t been here as a bar/drinking destination yet, though I chilled here pre-dinner once & was delighted that they had bowls of rice crackers out to snack on that night, ahh the little things! I do hear previous reviewers re: changing menu, I quite like the menu but it’s not super-extensive (& it doesn’t have some of the earlier stuff my husband liked initially). I dig how this is kind of place where community bulletins are posted. I think any new eatery is going to have to work out some kinks but I think owner James (who’s very friendly btw) is doing marvelously… 181 has already established itself as a strong & welcome addition to us!
Posted by G on 05/09/2009
My husband and I were so happy when this place opened up. The sandwiches are fantastic. It's really tasty and filling. My whole family goes here on a regular bases, and there is something for everyone. The food is fresh, the service is friendly, and we have had several things on the menu, i.e. burger, steak, porkchops, sandwiches, etc, and haven't been disappointed with anything. It's very reasonably priced and just a chill place to eat. It's only been a positive experience every time we've been there. Definitely worth checking out. The only reason why it didn't get 5 stars is because the service is not the most prompt. So if you're looking for a super quick bite, it may not be the place depending on how much time you have. If you're with good company and would like a nice dinner/lunch with no time constraints, then go here!
Posted by anonymous on 04/18/2009
good food, super friendly staff and comfortable, clean space. it's a great, much needed addition to the neighborhood. only wish they had a larger menu
Posted by Neighborhood Restaurant Hoppers on 03/08/2009
We have frequented 181 several times since it opened in Fall '08 and while we highly recommended it in the beginning (an earlier review would have been btw 4.0 and 5.0 for everything), the sheen has worn off quite a bit. Don't get the wrong impression. We want to like this place! However, the staff is not as friendly as in the beginning and the ever-changing brunch / dinner menus are inconsistent at best. What's offered is pretty good but we'd like to have the opportunity to order it again when we like something. Biggest complaints, we think, are the many little things that are missing (or no longer there): inattentive / inexperienced bartender, bar surface not wiped down after previous customer, no sour cream for chili, minimal amount of cheese included with chili, salad dressing not arriving with one salad (or the ramekin was only half-filled with another salad), disappearing menu items, a very odd selection of cheeses for the cheese plate, when offered (goat, feta, brie), etc. On our most recent visits, the bartender failed to fill water when empty or to offer a beer / wine refill for 5-10 minutes, and only when we asked! Wine pours also seem a bit on the weaker side of a full pour even though staff swears it's a full pour. James, the owner, seems nice enough when we've interacted but we get the feeling that he is cutting corners and micro-managing so often that he's failing to see the benefits of a repeat customer coming once or twice per week as opposed to once or twice a month if that. Granted, James has much more experience running a restaurant but my guess is that we have more experience being customers .... and our old haunts still exist.
Posted by paulking on 03/01/2009
We've been going here for a while -- at least once a week. They've changed the menu a few times, and we enjoy every change. The weekend brunch menu has some nice standards, with excellent quality ingredients all cooked and seasoned very well. The coffee is wonderful. The atmosphere is on the modern side, with soft background music. But what makes 181 Cabrini really stand out is the service: exceptional. The problem with other places around here has been poor service, at best, and here it's just so friendly, whether you're a regular like us, or first-timers. Also, eating at the bar area is nice for solo diners. Can't recommend this place enough!
Posted by Local on 02/11/2009
My husband and I have been to this restaurant a few times since it has opened. They are very friendly and the vibe is nice. It's not as cozy as I'd like - the decor is very Ikea. They do have a lot of original artwork on the walls which is nice. The food is good. Some dishes are great and some are just ok. Sadly, they no longer have the veggie lasagna on the menu. But they serve a good burger and have a pretty good wine selection and beer on tap. On our last visit we had to send something back to the kitchen as it was not cooked to order - they quickly replaced the dish and treated us to a free appetizer. They are still growing so I'll give them another chance and it's nice to have an alternative in the neighborhood.