Hold down Control (PC) or Command (Mac) key + mouseclick to select more than one option
Reviews from nymag.com
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?
Posted by Anonymous on 05/11/2008
I had a great time at Melba. The owner was very friendly and my family and I enjoyed talking to her. My sister and I had the Salmon Omelette and we truly enjoyed it. I also had a side of Turkey Susage which I enjoyed. The atmosphere, although a small place, was very inviting. I will definetly try it again
Posted by Nee on 03/17/2008
Seasoning please....... For the Chicken and Waffles. Don't get me wrong I had a nice time, and the atmosphere was very cozy! However, the Fried Chicken lacked seasoning! I tried the Mac and Cheese and wondered what happened to the cheese and seasoning as well. The portions were very small for the Entree my boyfriend ate, which was the grilled Salmon with Mashed potatoes and Spinach. On a brighter note, the WAFFLES WERE DELICIOUS!
Posted by soulkat on 03/16/2008
I just returned from an afternoon brunch at Melba's today. We were really excited to try the much touted "chicken and waffles" dish as featured on the bobby flay show on the food network. when we first arrived we were greeted by melba, who immediately informed us that since we didn't have a reservation we would have to make sure we were done by 1pm. we were seated at 11am and our food didn't arrive until 11:45 after placing our order at 11:15. two other couples arrived after us and got their food and drinks before we even got our drinks. the teeny "biscuits" did little to quell my appetite and building anxiety with the dining experience. We anxiously awaited the arrival of our main dish which arrived beautifully arranged on our plate, with fresh mango, grapes, and pineapple. I buttered my eggnog waffles and use the sparse syrup that was supplied w/ the dish. ( i would've requested a side order of syrup but was scared that it would take another 30 minutes for it to arrive). The chicken arrived hot and steamy. However, it was the driest chicken i have ever tasted IN MY LIFE. I have never seen a smaller chicken breast, either. If I hadn't known any better i would have thought that melba's used day old fried chicken that they reheated in hot oil. There couldn't be any possible way for fresh chicken to be cooked to the rubber like - uncheweable consistency that i experienced today. I am not sure if the day that bobby flay entered her restaurant he got the same meal, but i sure am no longer impressed with this dining critiques. I can only speak for my expereince with their brunch time, but i was completely unsatisfied and am less likely to visit for any other meal. Not only was my food not good, but the service was poor. The waitress on duty this morning lacked cordiality. She merely took our order and our bill and not ONCE did she check on us to inquire about how satisfied we were with our meal (maybe that was a good thing). It took all my energy to leave her a tip. I would be very surprised to find this establishment open in a few years, but then again it might coast along for years on the hype, just like her aunt's establishment "sylvia's".