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“A Wasted Renovation ?”
Review of Gulf Drive Cafe

Gulf Drive Cafe
Cuisines: American, Seafood
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Reviewed January 28, 2014


So we are back on Anna Maria for the third time in 12 months. Many years ago the Gulf Drive Cafe was the first place we ever stopped at for a meal and it was pretty good. Since then it has undergone some serious renovations and the place looks great . That's where the good news ends.

We were seated at a decent table on the ocean by a very nice hostess , so at first it wasn't that big of a concern that the wait staff ignored us , as we were enjoying the beautiful view and ocean breeze.

Finally after 15 minutes our server finally showed up and took our drink order. When he finally came back 10 minutes later with our drinks he apologized for the delay and said they were getting slammed with customers today . Funny , there were lots of empty tables around.

My wife and I both ordered the mahi mahi fish tacos off of the lunch menu ,and honestly we would have been better off eating at Taco Bell. The entire concoction was a wet sloppy mess of fish pieces in taco shell's smothered with what tasted like cheeze whiz. The side of rice that accompanied the meal was cool and bland.

After eating half of our meal we just wanted to pay our bill and get out if there , but again our server was nowhere to be found. I finally tracked him down at the bar watching sports highlights.

By the look of things a lot of money and effort went into the very impressive renovations. The same kind of effort needs to be put into the food and the service . Otherwise it was probably all for nothing.

This place can be salvaged . Please give Chef Ramsey a call - fast.

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2  Thank lindmar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,092 - 1,096 of 1,208 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2014

A very nice venue for those wanting outdoor dining or drinking.

Average menu full of tasty food brought to your outdoor table by friendly servers. Food service was excellent, friendly and timely.

Bartenders are very slow and seem selective in their service to customers. We waited 5 minutes for service while Romeo romanced a young woman. C'mon Man!

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Thank CHA2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

We have been coming to the island for years, and have eaten breakfast many times on the old enclosed porch area. We always enjoyed that and breakfast was good and plentiful. This year, we were excited to see that they had added so much outdoor seating. Why not? They have a great location right on the gulf, there is a shortage of places on the island with waterfront seating, and everyone likes to eat outside by the ocean when in Florida!
So, on a beautiful day in January, we stopped in for lunch at 2:00. We were told that they had had a rush, the kitchen was way behind, and that they weren't seating anyone at that time. We were given a beeper, and we wandered around outside for a good 30 minutes before it went off. Now remember, it's 2:30 in the afternoon! Finally seated in a lovely spot by the water, and our waitress was fine. The food was just barely average (ordered onion rings for an appetizer, and they do give you a lot! We split a blackened grouper sandwich and a Philly sub with sweet potato fries--again, barely average). What a shame! The sense is that they have bit off more than they can chew, so to speak. Seems the kitchen cannot keep up with the business that they're getting and they are understaffed. We are really hoping they will be able to get it together--we need a place like that!

Thank picnictree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2014

We met friends here on a rainy morning for breakfast. The weather forced us to dine on the 'back porch' instead of the deck overlooking the water. Food selection was quite good. My husband ordered the crepes which were huge and delicious. Having to sit inside, it was extremely noisy and ever though we had a round table for the 8 of us, it was very difficult to carry on a conversation. But on a sunny day, this would be the place to go to sit outside.

1  Thank WYWoman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2014

This place has promise when you see it - perfect beach location and parking across the road. However, we tried to get a drink at the bar while we waited for a table and the bar staff were the rudest I have ever encountered anywhere. They completely ignored my girlfriend and I - in fact they seemed to go out of their way to be rude. When we were finally seated after a long wait (and yet tables outside were empty) the service was non existant. We got our seats and a menu and then we just waited. The only reason we didn't walk out was because we were on our way to the airport and didn't have time to start looking elsewhere. There is no excuse for such bad service and rudeness when you are supposed to be in the "service" industry. The food was very medicore to poor. All in all, don't waste your time. We are returning to Anna Maria Island in the future - BUT WE WON"T RETURN HERE.

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

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