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Review of Hoffman's Bakery Cafe - CLOSED

Hoffman's Bakery Cafe
Price range: $6 - $23
Cuisines: American, Bar, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Cathcart
Transit: Metro station located less than 1 block away.
Description: The Hottest new restaurant in Santa Cruz is Hoffman's! With a spacious new wine bar, fabulous new menu and trendy new look Hoffman's is ready to show the Bay Area how great dining can be in Santa Cruz. Brunch and dinner are served 7 days a week at their downtown location with cuisine ranging from their famous Eggs Benedict to distinct tapas menu served during afternoon and dinner hours. Chef Jayson Holzworth displays culinary mastery in the kitchen and Sommelier/Beverage Director Marie Hoffman compliments the cuisine with a spectacular wine list! Live Jazz starts at 6:30 nightly! Make your reservations now and see what all the hype is about!
Reviewed August 24, 2012

We turned up without a reservation one evening but got a table. The waitress was very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu and its ingredients. Food was beautifully prepared and the choice included both cafe standards (burger and fries) and imaginative dishes that kept this fussy vegetarian happy (butternut squash ravioli). Portions were neither too big nor too small and there was a good selection of drinks. And as if all this wasn't enough there was live jazz playing and fresh bakery products to take home for breakfast. This was our family's best meal of the two week holiday in California and I hope we go back some day.

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Thank perrin124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (100)
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70 - 74 of 100 reviews

Reviewed August 2, 2012

Dropped by here for lunch with my wife in early August. I ordered the baked Brie sandwich and she had the BLAT. Service was relatively quick, friendly, and zero issues. The quality of the food was excellent and the quantity satisfying. All in all, I can't really think of anything negative to say about this nice place and we left satisfied. (The fact that the establishment was featured in some Food Network restaurant makeover back in 2011 was unknown to me before I entered, and I'm not sure why it's important in previous reviews.) Note: the business is now called "Hoffman's Bistro & Wine Bar." Recommended.

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Thank Adrian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

Yummy shrimp tacos. Delicious desserts and pastries

Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2012

My husband and I were visiting from Florida and stumbled along this cute restaurant!!! We were very pleased with the service and the food was spectacular ;) we would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for a good experience! Live music was nice! We recommend the salmon and the steak dishes...the chowder was very yummy ;) hope you enjoy as much as we did!

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Thank Vierrasd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2012

I would consider myself a regular at Hoffman's. I have dined there about twice a month since the Restaurant Impossible makeover in the fall of 2011, usually at dinner. During the first couple times I ate dinner there after the much-publicized redo, the food was truly inventive. Sure, the kitchen crew had some kinks to work out adjusting to the new menu items. But the changes showed promise for the Hoffmans.

Unfortunately, the food has been quite inconsistent since then. The menu has changed several times, with popular dishes like June's meatloaf and the vegetarian lasagne, disappearing and reappearing, while other dishes that had promise vanished from the menu for good. Further, there is a consistent inconsistency in the preparation and presentation of many menu items. For example, the French onion soup can be perfection one evening, the next a mess of burnt onions with thicker layers of cheese in an attempt to cover up the burned flavor. Another example is the vegetarian lasagne. Tonight I had my heart set on a 4" square piece of the al dente ribbons layered with perfectly cooked fresh vegetables and nicely seasoned tomato sauce with a delicate melting of cheese on top, the dish I had last time I ate at Hoffman's. When I ordered it tonight, it wasn't the same. Tonight's version was served in a large oval baking dish. It was very rich, heavy with a lumpy bechamel sauce that drowned out any flavor from the few overlooked vegetables, except for the permeating flavor of bitter undercooked eggplant. An overly thick layer of cheese topped the already heavy, rich dish.

On the bright side, the service at Hoffman's is always friendly, knowledgeable, and well-timed. The addition of the wine bar and expanded small plates offerings are both a plus, allowing for lighter meal options. Chicken and waffles served with sauteed spinach, a dish introduced to the menu with the Restaurant Impossible makeover, is a tasty favorite. Prices are reasonable, and there is always live jazz playing softly in one corner of the restaurant in the evenings. Hoffmans serves breakfast on the weekends, and lunch during the week. Their salads (lunch and dinner) are fresh and delicious. Two of my favorite salads, Farmers Market Salad and the Crab Croquette Salad Nicoise, have been consistently tasty. Enjoy one with Hoffman's tropical ice tea at lunchtime on the sidewalk patio.

The Farmers Market salad changes every week depending on what is available from the weekly Santa Cruz Farmer's market. This kind of regular change in a dish, based in local and seasonal produce, is most welcome and appealing. But it is the constant reinventing and making over of popular fixture dishes that are really good just the way they are that leaves a sour taste in one's mouth.

I have heard that since the Restaurant Impossible makeover, Hoffmans has had 3 different chefs--a high turnover in a short period of time that may in part explain the fluctuation in quality and content of dishes.

In all, Hoffman's is a good family-run restaurant that deserves to find stability and consistency in its menu and kitchen, keeping regulars like me coming back for more.

3  Thank Laurielovesfood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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