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Posted by Clark Fisher on 08/22/2010
When we called to make a reservation for Sunday Brunch we were told that was the smart thing to do. But when we arrived (and on time) the hostess told us that our table wasn't available and that they don't take reservations after 12. She then said, she would accommodate us quickly but then proceeded to seat people who arrived after us. After 40 minutes of waiting, she was still making excuses and seating her friends. So we left, hungry and angry.
Posted by anonymous on 02/24/2010
Melba's is the best "southern" food I've been able to find in Harlem so far. I like that the menu features a healthy spin on common item found at this type of restaurant. All in all the food is good, the service is good, and I have never been disappointed. Very consistent.
Posted by midtownnowuptown on 07/18/2009
I visited Melba's for the 1st time in early June, and the Spinach was the best I've ever had anywhere especially, as I'm not a big Spinach eater. The Turkey Meatloaf was seasoned, moist, and very tasty. I was telling everyone about the Melba's. So as a result, I took 2 friends back on July 13th, and had the same Turkey meatloaf. OMG, it was dry, cardboard tasting - I was so disappointed! My friend had the ribs - was also not impressed at ALL. So whoever was cooking back in June, please bring them back! Its not good when a Restaurant is not consistent.
Posted by Hungry in Harlem on 12/09/2008
I, like others, wanted to love this place, but try as I might, I can't. After giving it two solid college tries, I can't go back. The food is bland the chicken is dry, the mac is boring, the cheddar grits are grainy and tasteless. The turkey meatloaf was ok, but are you really coming here to drop $20 on meatloaf? Again, I say, I want so badly for this to be my neighborhood go-to spot, but the food doesn't deliver. I could even get over the poor service if the food lived up to expectations, but sigh..... on to the next.
Posted by Anonymous on 11/08/2008
Melba's is a bit of an anomaly. Has a romantic, dark, warm candlelit atmosphere. Well groomed crowd and a vibrant tone for a full house Saturday. Unfortunately, the food and value just aren't there. Like other reviewers here and the NY Magazine restaurant critic, the fried chicken was disparingly dry and small. Two rock hard coated, tiny, beyond-dry pieces of white meat (they nicely offer the option of white or dark meat). The mac and cheese side and collard greens were fresh tasting and fine (albeit nothing to get excited about), but the chicken is admittedly the poorest I have ever had (no joke). And that's unfortunate, because it's a nice place when you have a soul food craving and want to feel "dressed up" a bit. That said, it's not your typical soul food spot. No corn bread and they substitute short ribs of beef, rather than the usual baby back or regular pork ribs. No pecan pie, no banana pudding. And grab your wallet for drink prices. This is Harlem...12 for a glass of sangria!! Mixed drinks don't fare any better. The Turkey meatloaf has a nice bbq flavor and comes in a healthy portion. Spinach is tasty, albeit ordinary. Wanted so much to like this place. Can't say there's a reason to go back.
Posted by SoulFoodLover on 11/05/2008
So Melba's as seen on Food Network DOES have some of the best waffles i ever had. The service though was horrid the wait was at least 40 minutes and the Host kept telling us and everyone else coming in that the wait was 15 minutes?? Ok -then get seated we had the most unenthusiastic waitress. My friend ordered steak and eggs and i the chicken and waffles. Our food took at least 45 minutes to come. Then to top it off they give her to slabs of what seemed unseasoned steak because the Cook said that the meat wasn't thick today - So wait the waitress couldn't come over to say that before putting that in front of us? None the less the chicken was dry along with the waitress. I think that if they are going to have parties of over 5 that they should make reservations in advanced. Melbas is quaint and cozy and would be great if they crafted their staff and organized way better.
Posted by Boringtime on 10/31/2008
Really wanted to like this place. It's so nice looking, with its big windows and wood trim and dim, comfortable lighting. But enough little things went wrong that it ended up being a disappointment. Hostess forgot to seat us, so we ended up starving at the bar for a while, hungrily eyeballing those empty two-tops. When we finally got ourselves ensconced in one, our waiter was very nice, and on the ball, but it was annoying that they wouldn't transfer our bar tab to our bill. Fried chicken was dry, I thought, and under-seasoned, while my dining partner's spinach salad underwhelmed with a lack of nuts or cheese or any of those little non-leafy things that make a salad worth ordering. My collard greens were a little underdone, but the mac and cheese was good, as was the cheddar grits cake she ordered for a side. With just a little bit of extra attention by the waitstaff and cooks, this would be a solid, 4+ star place. Maybe it was an off night?