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“Disappointing and bland” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Fat Tuscan

The Fat Tuscan
725 NE 1st St, Gainesville, FL
352-505-5648
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Ranked #158 of 468 Restaurants in Gainesville
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Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating
Dining options: Reservations
Description: The Fat Tuscan Cafe is located in the downstairs portion of the completely restored Historic 100 year old plus Vidal House built in 1908. With its warm wood floors and historic features the Fat Tuscan Cafe is the perfect spot for lunching or dinning with friends. The outside Courtyard with its french inspired Lion fountain provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxing experience on nice days. The cafe is located just 8 blocks from downtown Gainesville and is on the edge of the NE Historic District and Beautiful Thomas Center Gardens. We recommend strolling through the neighborhood after dinning.
Flagler Beach, Florida
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Disappointing and bland”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

I really wanted to love this place. It is housed in a beautiful old Victorian home and the courtyard is private and inviting. Unfortunately, the food and service were below par.

The house wine is listed on the menu as "slightly sweet". Slightly sweet? Think Manischewitz Concord Grape! When our server also mentioned the sweetness we asked if we could taste it and I'm glad we did. We ordered another wine, but they were out of that. Finally settled on a pretty good cab.

The house salads were flat -- as in 2-dimensional. A tiny bit of spring mix was flattened to the plate by the dressing. This was accompanied by a razor thin piece of toasted bread. About the equivalent of one crouton.

I ordered the Mediterranean Pasta, which was listed as a house specialty. This is the Fat Tuscan's version of a very traditional dish, and should be difficult to do badly. The menu touted sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, spinach, and capers. The tomatoes were not the flavorful sun-dried variety at all, there were four spinach leaves, and neither the capers nor the feta cheese had any flavor. How can a caper have no flavor? It seemed as if the ingredients were simply tossed on top of the (clumpy) angel hair pasta and some essential steps had been overlooked in preparation.

My husband's sausage lasagna was OK, he said, but the serving was small and left him hungry. We ordered focaccia, but they were out of that. Instead of letting us know, the server brought us a basket of grilled baguette slices and told us she wouldn't charge as much.

With their location and venue, the Fat Tuscan could be one of Gainesville's gems. However, the two nearby well-established Italian restaurants have nothing to fear from this place.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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46 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    10
    19
    11
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Gainesville, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

"Hiding in plain sight" in the Historic District in Gainesville; is a "charming" cafe that delivers the magic of "savory" Tuscan cuisine. Owner and Chef Michelle, puts her "heart and soul" into this cafe where the "ample portions" of "wonderful" Italian fare, reasonable pricing and genuine hospitality inspire many a "permanent smile". From a variety of fresh made Panini’s to Spicy Shrimp Arrabiata, no matter what you select you are a winner…I have been to this café on many occasions for both business/pleasure and keep on coming back…

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newberry, Florida
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great food in a very interesting setting ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014

The Fat Tuscan is located inside of a beautiful historic house. The food is great and service was fast. This was our first time going and they knocked the ball out of the park. Had they not advertised with Groupon we would never known they were there. Must go and try the food. Sandwiches, soups, and salads price is approximately $10/person.

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Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal, Argentina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“SLOW SERVICE”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

The food was ok - nothing special. The service was terrible and there were dirty tables all around me!

I would not go back.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Hit or Miss”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

Been here several times, usually before a performance at the Hipp. Lunch is better than dinner. Dinner portions are small. Selections are limited. Grilled Cheese is great! Don't order red wine, it's the same sweet stuff they use for the Sangria. Service can be hit or miss.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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