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“Surprisingly disappointing”
Review of Garfrerick's Cafe

Garfrerick's Cafe
Ranked #1 of 75 Restaurants in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $38
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Private Dining, Reservations
Reviewed April 3, 2013

This was my second visit to Garfrericks. The first of my visits was about a year and a half ago, and the service was excellent, and the food was very find.

I am giving Garfrericks the "poor" selection out of the five "dots"- because mainly, the service butchered what could have been a most lovely dining experience.

A restaurant that charges somewhat steep prices should be equipt with a knowing and more than comforting wait-staff. Our server, Mandy, was about the farthest thing from such a staff. There were two servers this evening, the other being a gentleman who was flighty, and prissing about the restaurant, catering to two ladies at the bar mainly, and perhaps sneaking off to the back to smoke, or snort or something- given his sketchy prance, and demeanor, and no attention to the patrons, he was certainly doing something other than his job.

I was joined with a friend this evening (two of us) and we waited (on a Wednesday 8:00 p.m. visit) for about five minutes at the door to a restaurant not very full at all. We were then seated, and waited about 10 minutes before we were asked if we wanted something besides the water, and if we already knew what we wanted. I assume Mandy's other male patrons were paying her for something else than serving.

In such a restaurant of decent stature, you would think the staff would know to take an appetizer/drink order first- however Mandy must've been in a hurry or thought we weren't worthy of her time. My dining partner ordered just water, I ordered a Knob Creek Manhattan, which was extremely small for the price, and overly sweetened, and filled with chunks of ice that overly bruised the bourbon.

For the appetizer course, my companion ordered a salad- not much to criticize there since it's hard to screw up a bunch of leaves.

I ordered the "grilled" oysters with garlic parmesan. They were fine- nice really, very small oysters. I expected nothing and basically got just that. The "cocktail" sauce turned out to be a bowl full of Tabasco sauce, and they were also served with a lemon slice. $8 for 6 small oysters, and she forgot the crackers- which I could've cared less for, however, she said she would bring them and forgot them- as with everything she forgot until we reminded twice. A most absolutely horrible server. I know that this restaurant may have been too busy for two servers, however, for the price- need I reiterate the sorry service?

My dining companion and I were both fond of the palette cleansing apple/celery treat- howevery "they don't do that much anymore" as Mandy said. I suppose they are cutting corners because their awful wait-staff.

My dining companion ordered some chicken dish, which he seemed to enjoy- it looked good.
I ordered the Pecan Crusted Grouper which Mandy said was on the list of "100 Things to Eat in Alabama Before You Die"- list- well, it perhaps may be the dish that kills. What a wretched waste.

I ordered an $8.00 beer brewed in Gadsden- after I asked for a beer listing two times, and never was asked if I wanted a refill, I just had to command and tell Mandy what to do. I am beyond disappointed and livid by this point.

The Grouper arrives, there are no crusts of pecans, it is a decent piece of grouper, served with a plain gelatenous gravy with no flavor, sprinkled with pecan halves that have been burned- instead of toasted. The fish and dressing part were actually fine- if a little bit overcooked. The worst part of this $25.00 entree is that it is served with the sorriest description of rice tinged with some garbage of frozen vegetable overcooked mess of junk. It was disgusting.

Mr. Garfrerick was such a gentleman last time on my visit, and visited all the tables of the restaurant tonight, except ours. I wouldn't have commented negatively to him at the dining "experience" or lack therof tonight- because I try to be a kind patron.

$108.00 (with 20% tip) I hope bought Mandy some interest in her patrons- I am beyond disappointed, as I could've chosen a handful of great restaurants for my friend and I. I will never return here as long as Mandy and the jittery other waiter are servers there. I am most let down, as I was hoping for this to be the highlight of my dining on this trip as I live several hours away.

Let me also add, we had to ask for refills of everything and every visit was seperated by a hiatus of more than 10 minutes per visit with Mandy.

I think if anyone wants any kind of service that isn't lackadaisical or tedious in waiting, then, sit at the bar next to the open kitchen.

Very let down. Very disappointed. And beyond upset.

Thank Christopher C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 - 172 of 197 reviews

Reviewed March 31, 2013

We dined with Garfrericks as part of a wedding rehearsal dinner. They did a great job accommodating the group, and it was amazing how everything came out as fresh and tasty. Staff was pleasant and attentive, did a great job responding to questions and special requests. A real surprise to find such a nice experience in a smaller market.

Thank Paul_GA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

The SHRM Alabama State Conference had dinner at Garfrerick's in January. Reservations were made in advance for about 30 people. We were given special menus for the event in advance so that we could decide what we wanted in advance. I really like this idea because with large groups it takes a lot of time to decide what you want, then order it and then wait for everyone to be served. It also allows whoever is paying for it to budget for it.

When we arrived we were seated in the banquet room. It was very nicely decorated and there was plenty of room for everyone to mix and mingle. They served appetizers and they were quite good.

I ordered the pecan encrusted grouper with vegetable hoppin John and fennel cream sauce. It was served with Basmati rice, peas, butternut squash and diced red peppers. It was very good. My husband and I shared the pear and white chocolate bread pudding with white chocolate sauce. Delicious!

Our server was Jenny and she was friendly and prompt. I was pleased with the speed of service for the size group we had.

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Thank Hrpamw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2013

After eight visits for dinner at Garfrerick's, I feel like I can speak with confidence that this restaurant is among the best I have ever been seated.The food is second to none, the service excellent, an the menu is rated the very best .A lot of the ingredients are raised by Dave on his farm only miles from the restaurant..I would recommend it to the CEO of any Fortune 500 company.It's located about one mile from I20 and would be excellent choice from Birmingham or Atlanta or anywhere in between.I'm looking forward for dinner on Valentine's day with my date of 48 years.See you there!
Dick Pritchett
Ohatchee, Alabama

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1  Thank Dick P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Garfrerick's is hidden away in a strip mall off the main road in Oxford Alabama, but make the effort to find it. Their menu changes daily with the availability of fresh ingredients, much of which is from their own farm. Not had a bad dish yet. The burgers are huge and great, the salads are fresh and crisp, and the veggies are prepared perfectly. A great place for lunch or dinner ... if you can find it.

1  Thank Fred W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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