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“Gone Downhill Quickly” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Borgia

Cafe Borgia
10018 Calumet Ave, P.O. Box 3549, Munster, IN 46321-4055
+1 219-922-8889
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Ranked #10 of 62 Restaurants in Munster
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Description: Established in 1986, Cafe Borgia features the Italian specialties of chef/owner Mike Jesso. Enjoy! Full Bar! Signature Martinis! Specialties include: Prosciutto & Mozzarella Rolls, Insalata Caprese, Pizza Assortment, Lasagna, Stuffed Eggplant, Shrimp & Seashells, Chicken Vesuvio, Roasted Lamb Shank and Grilled Mahi Mahi. Save room for DESSERT...Tiramisu and Zucotto (chocolate mousse cake
Chicagoland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Gone Downhill Quickly”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Years ago, Cafe Borgia was a very small family owned Italian restaurant in Lansing, IL. I remember waiting in line to get one of the few tables crowded into the small place back in the 80's and having a flavorful, authentic Italian pasta dish. This week for the first time, I visited the large warehouse style Cafe Borgia in Munster, IN. The restaurant moved from Lansing to Munster several years ago, but I hadn't had the opportunity to eat there. Yesterday, I had an unexpected day off and a gift card for the place in my wallet. My companion and I got there around 1:30 pm and the place was practically empty which in hindsight was probably an indication of food quality. My companion ordered the stuffed eggplant, and I ordered the chicken risotto. Both entrees came with nothing but the few slices of Italian bread they automatically put on the table. We tried each other's entree. The stuffed eggplant was good, but nothing out of the ordinary. The best part was the sauteed greens that accompanied it. The chicken risotto was bland and mushy. The risotto also included an extra bonus--a chicken bone! Our entrees ran between $14-$16. When I pay that much for an entree at lunchtime, it darn well better be good and not have gristle and a bone. I will say that the tiramisu we had for dessert was extremely good and the slice was very generous in size. However, if you want to eat somewhere locally with good Italian food, I would go to Giovanni's in Munster which is small and family owned. If they don't get the food back to the quality they had when they were located in Lansing, I foresee Cafe Borgia's building being an empty closed up shell in a few years. The location has never been good with the now closed landfill turned park right across the street. If you don't have a good location, then you'd better have excellent food...they don't...at least not anymore! It's really a shame.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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79 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Great gals lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

Met up with my gal-pal for a catch-up-on-life lunch. The restaurant wasn't too crowded, but it DID have a very strong fish smell, so -- we sat in the bar area. Turned out to be empty, much cooler, and fresh-smelling. Our waitress was very attentive (and patient!). We lunched on appetizers, of which there is a good variety and portioned perfectly for sharing. Calamari, scallops, and prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella, all following the roasted red pepper tapenade. Washed it all down with the drink-of-the-day -- blood orange martini. A delicious and relaxed lunch.

  • Visited July 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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Indianapolis, Indiana
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Beautiful Italian Restaurant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

Decor - We used to frequent this restaurant when it was just a little hole in the wall. Now it is in a beautiful, new facility in Munster which gives you the feeling that you are in a nice, new restaurant somewhere in Italy.

Service - The service is great. Water glasses and bread tray were constantly refilled. Dishes cleared right away. My only negative would be that they should probably wipe off the table when they clear the dishes. We were there on a Monday between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. We had paper napkins and no tablecloth or placemat, so our eating area sometimes had bread crumbs and oil. I did wipe mine once, but my husband who never spills anything had a somewhat messy area.

Food - the food was very good. We had the veal - three of the four pieces were melt in your mouth. The fourth was a little too tough. The mashed potoatoes were excellent. The green beans were a mix. It seemed that some old beans and new beans had been put together. There were some tough, old beans and some tender newer beans. I don't know if they were two different batches, but there was a distinct difference. I did tell the waiter about the veal, so he could let the chef know, but I didn't want to then complain about the green beans, too. We had the flourless chocolate cake for dessert. It was very good, but not the standard flourless chocolate which we usually get in other restaurants. Someone mentioned that there was only butter with the bread. We spent the extra $2 for olive oil and cheese with some dried herbs for our bread.

While there were some negatives as mentioned, I would still recommend this restaurant for a very good meal and excellent service.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Ames, Iowa
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Always a Good Meal.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

This is my mother's favorite restaurant. So when I get back to visit her, it is almost always a destination. We have always been greeted warmly. The wait staff is always very attentive. Last time there, I watched them closely. It was really a joy to see. There are a couple of gathering spots for the wait staff when they are not busy waiting on tables. While at the locations, they are not talking to each other. They are surveying their tables. Water glasses never get empty, nor does the bread basket.

The food has always been very good. I have had the pork osso buco, the lamb shank (the meat just falls off the bone) and several of the pasta dishes. My mom always, and I mean ALWAYS has the lasagna. The size of the dish looks to weigh more than she does! The prices may seem a little high but I am willing to pay a little more good service and a nice ambiance.

The wine list is not deep but has some very nice selections on it. The prices are pretty good also.

If I can make a small complaint, the bread is served with butter. I am okay with that at most restaurants. This is a somewhat up scale Italian restaurant. Where is the olive oil/dipping sauce?

I have eaten at Cafe Borgia's close to a dozen times. I have been impressed with the consistency of the meals and the wait staff. Next time I visit mom, I can be assured we will be stopping here again. You know what? I'm good with that!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Tucson, Arizona
Top Contributor
366 reviews 366 reviews
273 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
214 helpful votes 214 helpful votes
“Go Only if you MUST”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2012

I took ten folks to dinner here and I cannot say it was a bad experience, except for the food. The service was serviceable, the appetizers, of which we tried almost all of them, were actually OK. It is the main courses that you should stay away from.
Pizza was kind of like out of a frozen box. Lamb chops were just ok, with couscous and veggies absolutely yuk. Pasta huge but again absolutely nothing to justify the prices they charge with the quality very much like Olive Garden but not quite as good.
They do have a good selection of beer here and the espresso was quite good. So go here to drink and maybe try an appetizer or two, but do not expect any quality out of the kitchen.
ZB

  • Visited June 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 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.

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