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“Beautiful Setting, Very Disappointing Food and Service for $$$”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of The Front Porch - CLOSED

The Front Porch
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 6th Avenue
Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful Setting, Very Disappointing Food and Service for $$$”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2013

Let me preface by saying, I have written several reviews so far and this is the first one that I've ever given fewer than 4 stars, let alone a single star. There's good reason though.

I attended a friend's birthday dinner here recently with a group of about 15 people or so. We were seated in the "porch" area, which I must say is absolutely beautiful. I'd goes so far as to say it may be the best dining area in Tallahassee with the surrounding gardens and general ambiance... but that's where the rave reviews end.

When I eat at an upscale restaurant and pay upscale prices, I automatically expect two things: good food and good service. Unfortunately, at least in my experience, both were terribly lacking. So our group arrives around 7:30 for a later dinner and right away our server attends to us, getting our drink orders and asking if we'd like any appetizers (which we did not). He comes back shortly with our drinks and then leaves again. So far so good. Being hungry, we all decide fairly quickly what we want to get and continue socializing while we wait. 15 minutes go by, then 30, then 45... and our waiter has still not come back to take our order! By this point we're all starving and a little peeved as you can guess. Personally, I would have left right then had it not been a birthday dinner. Finally our host, the birthday guy himself, has to get up and rope down our server just so we can have our orders placed.

After taking them, our waiter leaves and we're left sitting there quite hungry. I remark to the people around me that I'm surprised that at such a high-end restaurant they do not have any bread for their guests, despite the fact that there are bread plates on the table. Another 15 minutes later (1 hour since our seating), our waiter brings two baskets with five rolls each… for 15+ people. Of course these disappear nearly instantaneously and are subsequently never refilled. The rolls themselves are extremely disappointing for a restaurant of this caliber, and I must admit that as I took one I started laughing to myself. I love to take the train and I’ve ridden Amtrak everywhere that it goes. The food on Amtrak is good, but naturally a substantial amount of it is frozen and reheated, including the rolls. I know Amtrak rolls like night and day, and these were Amtrak rolls! I have no doubt about it. They were reheated, not freshly prepared, rolls through and through. I’ll go a step further to say that whatever company produced them is the same company that supplies Amtrak as well. They were one in the same. Again, something I would not expect at an upscale restaurant.

So finally, an hour and fifteen minutes after our arrival, our orders are brought out. Some of the reviews I had read on TripAdvisor beforehand mentioned that the portion sizes were wanting. I kept that in the back of my mind when ordering and thus settled upon a pasta dish which turned out to be fine in that regards. My friend sitting next to me was not so lucky however. He actually ordered a dish that was more expensive than mine only to receive a far smaller portion. The ironic part was that he was the only one of us to have eaten here before and while we had been waiting for our food, had told me that the portions were good when I asked. Needless to say, he was disappointed and I ended up sharing a little bit of my meal because I felt bad for him.

As for the meal itself, it wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t that good either. Both my girlfriend and I got the same pasta dish, and both were lukewarm upon arrival at our table. When I gave a little to my friend, he made a comment that initially surprised me and then after thinking about it for a second, I had to agree completely with. He said after one bite that my pasta tasted like Chef Boyardee. Now let me say, there’s nothing wrong with Chef Boyardee or Stofers or whatever, I eat plenty of reheated meals like that when I’m at home and don’t have time to cook. They’re not bad… but at the same time I wouldn’t pay $25 for a bowl of either. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe this food was actually from a can. I could tell that it was most likely freshly prepared. However, it was entirely bland and frankly, not worth anything near its price. I made the joke when I finished that I really thought it was a $9 meal with bread and a $7 meal without. When we were all finished, we left and stood outside for a little bit talking about how bad our time there was. Safe to say, there are 15+ people that will not be back anytime soon.

I feel bad writing such a scathing review, but I had to share my experiences given just how truly terrible they were. I’ll conclude by saying that it wasn’t just my party which had a bad time that night. During our dinner, I noted a couple of other tables with frustrated looks as well as they waited long and hard for what should be routine service. One table in particular waited over thirty minutes for the check until they finally had to get up and pull a waiter aside. I don’t know if this is a nightly occurrence or if everyone just had misfortune that night, but regardless, I would not recommend “The Front Porch” to anyone.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank FlWhiteWolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

148 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    52
    40
    22
    21
    13
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tallahassee, Florida
1 review
“A hip, classy, nautical themed food heaven.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2013 via mobile

Chef Rego does a good job of keeping it fresh. Always have fresh Tuna, Grouper, and Tuna. They have a great local hot sauce, Sam's Sauce, that is good on everything! Must try!!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Noleguy850
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Highly recommended; fresh, innovative and friendly!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I visited The Front Porch after hearing many wonderful things about the food and atmosphere. We quickly found the staff to be extremely accommodating and friendly. Entering the restaurant, I noticed a clean, laid back vibe, with a summery-chic wharf feel. Our server was informative, diligent, and helpful.

The HIGHLIGHT of the night, however, was the food - hands down! We ordered a lot because we wanted to see what this place really offered. We split everything, starting with the tuna and scallop ceviche, the fried oysters and pork belly, and the Rego hush puppies. All recommended. Our next course was the homemade Shrimp and Sausage Strozzapreti. As my mother would say; nothing is better than a homemade pasta with a stand up ragu sauce. This thing nailed it!
We then had the Red Snapper Regu. Seriously, it was perfect. This chef knows what he's doing!

The key lime pie and cocktails completeled our meal and we left very happy customers. Definitely returning; highly recommended!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ClaireMolep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
35 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“hit or miss, but when it's good, it's awesome.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2013

Sometimes the veg and rice is bland and not worth eating. Chicken moist, skirt steak, pretty good. Truffle Mushroom pasta is fantastic. Highly recommend it. Also roasted brussel sprouts with a carmalized sauce are so yummy! Servers are very nice and helpful. The last time we were there, our server was a very nice, tan, sporty lady who made some great recommendations for wine and menu options. She get's gold stars.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Elyzabeth A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
118 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Nothing special at a high price”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2013

I had drinks and dinner (mostly we got appetizers) with friends here. I was curious as I've heard mixed reviews. Unfortunately, the negative reviews were closer to my experience. It's a lovely setting; our server was quite marvelous, patiently waiting on each person as we came in one by one. The beer and wine selection were fine although other places in town have much more extensive choices at more reasonable prices. Non one had anything more than adequate praise for a variety of dishes, including tomato basil soup, fried calamari, shrimp and grits, crab cakes (my choice and they were bland with a lot of filler). I had heard that the chef was of Portuguese heritage but I didn't spot any particularly Portuguese dishes on the current menu, something I would have tried. I'm really sorry because the owners have created a beautiful setting that is somehow empty of good food.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank kassie59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Noleone, Managing Partner at The Front Porch, responded to this review, June 13, 2013
Dear Kassie59,

Thank you for taking the time to write and share your feedback. A lot of time, energy, and thoughtfulness was put into the redesign of this iconic Midtown location. I am thrilled that you enjoyed the ambience and service.

Please accept my sincere apologies that the culinary aspects of your visit did not provide the perfect complement to the rest of your experience. Rest assured, I have shared your comments with Executive Chef Rego and the entire culinary team to preclude a similar occurrence in the future.

I would like to personally invite you to return to demonstrate that we are committed to the total dining experience. Please feel free to contact me at marc@hunterandharp.com and I will personally facilitate your reservation.

Thank you again for taking the time to write.

Sincerely,

Marc
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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