Healthy and Sane

Cafeteria Boston – restaurant review

October 29th, 2009 · 10 Comments · Boston, Eating out, restaurant reviews

I was eating a tuna wrap for lunch yesterday and all of a sudden realized that I never posted a restaurant review from last Friday’s dinner at Cafeteria. How did that happen?! Oops. I better do it now before this Friday and another outing creeps up on us :) So let’s get to it!

Last Friday my husband and I wanted to stay in the ‘hood and also use one of our Groupons (side note: Groupon is a great way to discover new places at a fraction of the cost. I always look forward to their daily emails with new deals :) ). Cafeteria Boston seemed like the perfect place! We had a $40 certificate (that we paid $20 for) and prices seemed reasonable enough that it could go a long way.

I was in a really indecisive mood with the menu. I knew I wanted dessert and a glass of wine, but what should I get for my meal? The menu seemed to overwhelm me. Do I want an appetizer of mussels and a simple salad? A burger with fries? A flatbread pizza? So many choices! The waitress was very helpful and eager to offer recommendations. I decided to go with a tuna burger (as per her suggestion) with a side of mixed greens. But first – a glass of wine was very much necessary!

The Crusher cabernet sauvignon was their special wine of the night, and we decided to get a bottle of it.


It was a nice well balanced wine so Adam decided to look it up on his iphone. He’s such a romantic! 😆 That’s really a joke. I was also curious to see other people’s reviews and the bottle’s retail price. We paid $40 at Cafeteria. Apparently you can get it online for $11.99. Um, that’s quite the mark up, Cafeteria people!!!! 👿 The good news is that we did enjoy this bottle, so we actually may buy it sometime to have in the house, since it is pretty affordable :)

The bread basket had some nice chewy bread. I only had a bite. Adam had no problem finishing the rest 😀


After a little while, our food came. As mentioned, I ordered the tuna burger with pickled cabbage, spicy mayo and avocado, on a griddled bun, with a side salad instead of fries, dressing and mayo on the side and no butter on the bun.


As you can probably tell even from this picture, the bun was buttered. I asked for a dry one and the waitress quickly brought another one. It was gigantic so I also scooped out the inside. It was quite a mess, but I got what I wanted at the end 😀 With all that bread, I probably wouldn’t have been able to taste the actual burger!


The burger honestly was nothing special. I think the tuna was fresh but it was maybe tiny bit overcooked. The pickled cabbage was the best part, but there wasn’t enough of it to really taste it. I tried a little bit of the chipotle mayo to see if it would make the burger a little more exciting, but it wasn’t doing much so I deemed it a waste of calories and proceeded to eat the burger without it. I ate 3/4 and left room for dessert (who am I kidding, that’s usually the most important part of the meal for me anyway! 😀 ) Btw, the mixed greens were quite nice.

Molten chocolate cake with a ganache center, fresh berries and vanilla gelato


Finally enough ice cream to go with the cake! Don’t you hate when you get a teeny tiny scoop of ice cream with your warm chocolate cake? Unfortunately, besides a decent portion, this was just okay. They definitely overcooked the cake so there was no gooey center, just a dense cake. The flavor was not bad, but I wanted a molten chocolate cake! I was not impressed.

This was actually my second time at Cafeteria (last time I had a tasteless salad… about a year ago). Overall, the service was good (our waitress was very attentive), the location is great (right in the heart of Newbury st!), the prices are reasonable but the food is just average. The only way we’ll be back there if it’s really nice out and we want to take advantage of the restaurant’s outdoor seating on a hot summer day – a scenario where food may be secondary.


Check out my other restaurant reviews on the Restaurant Reviews page. 😀

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10 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Lauren

    John and I used a Groupon at Cafeteria as well, and our opinion is the same as yours. Our waiter was fantastic, but the food was just so-so.

    Too bad your meal was disappointing… oh well, just a place to cross off the list!

  • #2 - Jocelyn

    Hey there! I love Groupons!! I saved over 70% to get my hair done once. Great deals : )

    I live in NYC also and am always looking for great restaurants to try…too bad Cafeteria was a disappointment!

    Health & Happiness,

  • #3 - One Healthy Apple

    The meal sounds good in theory! Too bad it wasn’t great but the dessert looks fabulous.

  • #4 - Naomi (onefitfoodie)

    ahh fellow bostonian! thank you for the review! I havent been there yet and what a great review!

    groupon is a great website!!

  • #5 - Allison (Balance in Bites)

    Nice review =) I’ve passed this restaurant a few times while I’ve been downtown, but I’ve never been in. Based on your review, I’ll put it on my “B” list of restaurants to go to =D

  • #6 - Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15)

    Molten cake with no chocolate lava? Poppycock!

  • #7 - Madeline @ GreensandJeans

    that cake looks amazing!

  • #8 - Elina

    Lauren – I guess us foodies can’t be fooled by fancy names and location … the food needs to actually be on par! 😉

    Naomi – good to see another Bostonian reader. I hope this review was helpful 😀

    Allison – there are so many great restaurants in Boston. I’d definitely bump it waaaay down on your list.

  • #9 - Lara (Thinspired)

    Gotta love the wine markup! We rarely order bottles of wine when we go out for that reason, but it is a lovely treat when you decide to splurge!
    A tuna burger sounds great in theory…too bad it was overcooked. Also, I never think to ask for a bun with no butter….oops! Good trick 😉

  • #10 - Meghan@traveleatlove

    I have had The Crusher wine at tastings before, yummy! Hope your run went well Saturday and I am looking forward to running with you all soon!