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“EXTREMELY!!!!!DISAPPOINTED!!!!!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Caroline's Restaurant

Caroline's Restaurant
200 Main Street, Hotel Julien, Dubuque, IA 52001-6942
563.556.4200
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Ranked #6 of 172 Restaurants in Dubuque
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Dubuque, Iowa
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“EXTREMELY!!!!!DISAPPOINTED!!!!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

We expected way more from a restaurant of this supposed calibar.
My friend and I do not get out very often, so when we do, we try to go to a nice restaurant, so we can enjoy our rare occasion. This was NOT the case tonight.
From the start, our waitress, Sherry, was short and abrupt, and acted like we did something wrong and were a bother to her. We confirmed before we began that they would accept our appetizer coupon and discount card. When the bill came, she said they could only accept one or the other, so she took the appetizer off because it was more. I stated that we discussed this before we began. I wouldn't have ordered like I did if they wouldn't accept it. She GRABBED the bill from me and HUFFED off saying she would talk to the manager about it. We waited a considerable amount of time before she returned and slapped the bill onto the table and walked away. We called her back to ask what was concluded. She said that they only accept one. I said we discussed this at the beginning. She then snapped, very harshly, that both discounts had been taken off. She stormed off and went into the kitchen - directly across from us, and mocked us - loud enough that we could hear.
When I got my steak, it was well done - rather than medium rare as ordered. She did not offer any concern or apology. My friend liked her meal ok - as she sat there and ate alone. My meal took quite awhile to return as they had to cook an entire new steak. Then, I was the one eating alone. It was very uncomfortable for each of us in that position. The entire time, the waitress acted like it was us that had done something wrong. She repeated actions of anger, disgust, and avoidance during the entire dining experience.
The bus girl, Courtney, was the only one who took care of us with care. As she walked by, she noticed our water was empty and asked to fill it. It was clear that this was not her normal job - she was just clearing dishes from bins.
There was no sort of compensation for the meal or troubles we endured during this visit.
Being in the service industry ourselves, we enjoy tipping generously to show our appreciation. Considering the circumstances involved here and the abuse we took, we did not leave much of a tip. This makes us feel terrible, but we could not justify it at all. The waitress and manager put a big damper on our evening. It was a horrible dining experience.
As we left, the manager, who had known about the issues, intentionally avoided us as we walked by and stood at the host booth to talk to him about our situation. He would move about an area, intentionally not making any contact with us at all.
It is very hard to describe just how horrible and unprofessional the waitress, and especially the manager, acted.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 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.
HotelJulienDubuqueGM, General Manager at Caroline's Restaurant, responded to this review, February 9, 2013
Dear dekym,

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent experience at Caoline's Restaurant. My sincere apology for the frustration that you and your dining guest experienced; rest assured this was an isolated incident, and not reflective of the many diners that enjoy their experience at Caroline's every day.

A new restaurant manager was hired for Caroline's very recently, Amanda. I am sure she would gladly speak with you regarding your experience. If you contact the restaurant and by chance she would not be available, please ask to speak with David the food and beverage director, or myself, the hotel general manager, Dwight.

We value each and every guest. All feedback is appreciated, good or bad. It is through caring diners as yourself that we learn from to grow.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Dwight Hopfauf
General Manager
Hotel Julien Dubuque
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306 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    179
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    18
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Wichita, Kansas
1 review
“Memorable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We had reservations to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. I brought balloons and cake to the restaurant early and they were on the table when we arrived. The service was excellent, a very attentive staff but not overbearing. The food was also exceptional. The stuffed mushroom appetizer was slightly spicy and very creamy, we ordered two. The prime rib special was a hit with my parents and my chicken cordon bleu was very satisfying. We had two children with us and the chef was very accomodating of their diverse needs. Caroline's staff made the evening a very special night of celebration for us and we will keep them in mind for future visits.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelJulienDubuqueGM, General Manager at Caroline's Restaurant, responded to this review, February 2, 2013
Dear Dana S,

Happy Belated Anniversary To Your Parents!

Thank you very kindly for your positive comments regarding your recent dining at Caroline's Restaurant. The staff truly enjoy being part of a special occasion. We are glad the evening was enjoyable for everyone.

We hope to see you soon for breakfast, or lunch and dinner.

Sincerely,

The Staff and Management of Caroline's Restaurant and Hotel Julien Dubuque
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chicago, ill
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
“Elegant, tasty”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Nice fine dining at the Hotel Julian. Service, Amy was very good, attentive, helpful. Food was very good, their mashed potatoes were excellent. Infused olive oil and fresh bread was a nice addition. Price value for the food served was very good.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelJulienDubuqueGM, General Manager at Caroline's Restaurant, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Dear travelqueen10151,

Thank you very kindly for your positive comments regarding your recent dining at Caroline's Restaurant. And it is most appreciative of you to recognize Amy for her friendly and hard work. She will be thrilled to read of your comments.

We hope to see you soon for breakfast, or lunch and dinner.

Sincerely,

The Staff and Management of Caroline's Restaurant and Hotel Julien Dubuque
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Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“A Delightful Surprise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Sometimes hotel restaurants are just okay, but Caroline's Restaurant was great! Four of us enjoyed both a breakfast and a dinner there while staying at the Julien Hotel and both meals were delightful delicious experiences. Service was very efficient, timely, and very pleasant. When I asked our dinner waitress Amy about the delicious dipping oil served with warm, yummy bread she explained that it was made in their kitchen--and a few minutes later she brought out a generous container of the rosemary/peppercorn oil to take with us!! After 4 entrees, about which all of us raved, and a superb wine choice, Amy brought out a small loaf of their signature Banana Bread wrapped and ready to be taken home with each of the 4 of us. Wow--outstanding customer service--highly recommended!!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelJulienDubuqueGM, General Manager at Caroline's Restaurant, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Dear sum1has2,

Thank you for the terrific comments regarding your recent dining experiences at Caroline's! Your feedback will be shared with the staff! Amy will be so pleased to read of your personally recognizing her service.

The staff in the front and heart of the house work tirelessly hard to ensure that each dining experience is an experience, and not just "going out to eat".

We look forward to your next visit!

The Team At Caroline's Restaurant-Hotel Julien Dubuque
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Dubuque, IA
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Mixed Review”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

My wife and another couple dined at Carolines on a Saturday night. We were seated promptly and ordered cocktails. I ordered a nice mixed green salad with home made dressing and the others had the chicken and white bean soup. My salad was comprised of nice greens with a mango dressing. Nice. The soup was reported very good. On to the main courses. I had the Salmon on rice pilaf. I ordered it med-rare. It came out medium, but was good. My wife had the lobster mac and cheese. The dish had generous pieces of lobster. It was however very dry and overcooked. I saw the same dish at the table next door and it also looked very dry and overcooked. The other couple had prime ribs. They were cooked to order and reports were good. The service was very good.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelJulienDubuqueGM, General Manager at Caroline's Restaurant, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Dear Goodscout,

Thank you for your sharing of your recent dining experience at Caroline's. It was a pleasure to read of the many high points of your dining, though our apology for the Lobster Macaroni and Cheese.

The Lobster Macaroni and Cheese is one of the most popular menu selections diners enjoy; rest assured this was an unusual situation that a couple of plates were left in the oven a bit too long. The entree is prepared to order and finished in a high temperature oven to provide the toasted crisp appearance.

Your comments will be shared with the kitchen crew to eliminate this situation from re-ocurring again.

Sincerely,

The Staff of Caroline's at Hotel Julien Dubuque
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