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“Delightful lunch” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Pro Bono

Cafe Pro Bono
2437 Birch St, Palo Alto, CA 94306-1902
650-326-1626
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Ranked #78 of 313 Restaurants in Palo Alto
Price range: $30 - $35
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: California Ave
Tucson, Arizona
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Delightful lunch”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

Three of us had lunch for the first time at Cafe Pro Bono and were very pleased. I ordered the Mediterranean salad with grille calamari strips and was delighted to find that the calamari wasn't breaded but consisted of quite a few tender, meaty strips.The quantity was just right for lunch. I'm so tired of restaurants that aim to please by serving large quantities of poor quality food. Not the case here. My lunch partners ordered the grilled chicken breast sandwich, which was served in a flaky, fresh, tasty pastry, and was accompanied by a side salad. We didn't have wine, as one of our diners had to return to work. The service was excellent, and the setting was classy, with white tablecloths and napkins. We got there right after 11 AM before the lunch rush crowd, so it was neither noisy nor crowded, but we do hear that it fills up fast. We'd highly recommend Cafe Pro Bono..

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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36 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
    14
    4
    2
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Near San Francisco
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“We had a great time!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

The food was wonderful, the atmosphere charming, the waitstaff attentive and cheerful. the food was tasty and inventive but not alarmingly so.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Past its prime”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Cafe Pro Bono used to be a good place, but now it is well past its prime. I ordered pork chops with polenta - what a disappointment it was! The pork chop was under-cooked and bloody, the polenta tasted like it has been too long in the freezer and had no taste other than the one of a freezer burn. The service was seriously lacking - when I complained to the server, he only looked like a deer caught in the lights, as if he did not understand at all what I was saying. He did not offer to exchange the dish,or compensate for the terrible food, like any dissent restaurant would do. Needless to say, I'll never go back.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Top Contributor
183 reviews 183 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
“Great Service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

The best thing about Cafe Pro Bono is the friendly, warm service. You are welcomed graciously and treated like family. The restaurant itself is a bit cramped and noisy, especially at dinner. They are expanding into the space next door and I hope that the extra space will help. The food is very reliable, but I have the odd problem of always finding it a bit difficult to choose an entree. Some places have many dishes that are "crave-worthy" and perhaps if I liked blue cheese I would feel that way about the Susan's Downfall which seems to be the dish that keeps people coming back. The food is very good and expertly prepared; it just doesn't have the intangible factor that makes me want to return again and again. But the service DOES have that and so Cafe Pro Bono is a reliable choice for our family For example, on our last visit there was a risotto special on the menu with smoked salmon. I asked if it could be prepared without the salmon, but as it was a very busy night, I also gave the waiter a second choice if the kitchen could not accommodate a special request. My dinner came and the chef had basically made me a customized vegetarian risotto. I was very impressed and the risotto was very good. Most places would have just given me my second choice. The other VERY nice thing about Cafe Pro Bono is that it has a full bar and they offer some fun cocktails. This place has a strong local following and I would recommend reservations.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Oakland, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Delectable Delight”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

My husband and I were coming back from an appointment in Palo Alto, and it was rush hour, so we decided to stop and have dinner at a restaurant nearby to avoid traffic. What a fortuitous stop. We looked it up on Yelp in Palo Alto and discovered a new favorite place to eat called Pro Bono, which was fantastic. The ambiance is warm and inviting and makes you feel like you are in Italy.

We ordered an amazing dish of ravioli stuffed with truffles and spinach, and it was exquisite as was the goat cheese salad. The dessert was pumpkin pie with gelato and meringue. It was so light and good! Everything was fresh and tasty. The service was wonderful and very customer focused. By the time we left, the place was full. We will go back for sure when we are in the area, which I hope won't be too far in the distant future.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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