I have frequented this quaint, Victorian tea room numerous times. The atmosphere is pleasant and the decor is reminiscent of a bygone era. While it will not be everyone's cup of tea (think construction workers, firemen and the like), it is none the less, a lovely place for an enjoyable ladies lunch. I make a point of bringing out-of-town guests there for a meal if at all possible during their stay. The soups have always been a favorite of mine, as well as the Waldorf salad, quiche and the baked chicken salad pie (sounds wierd, but is actually surprisingly good). Occasionally on busy days you may have to wait for a table, but I have never had to wait more than a few minutes, and there is the gift shop upstairs to keep you busy while waiting. The servers have always been knowledgable about the menu, and served promptly and efficiently, and the portions are fair for the price.
That said, my most recent experience was a bit different from my previous visits. After picking up my mother from the airport, we decided to stop for lunch on our way home. The 3 cheese focaccia chicken sandwich sounded particularily appealing, touting grilled chicken breast, roasted red peppers, and a cream cheese pesto spread. I decided to go with the half sandwich combo with the soup of the day and my mother ordered the full sandwich. The soup was delicious as usual, but I must say we were sorely disappointed by the sandwich. While the flavor of the individual components was wonderful, the overall texture and presentation were dreadful. Had this sandwich been heated open-faced under a broiler it would have been phenomenal, however it wasn't. Instead of being toasted and lovely, it was nuked in a microwave, making the bread roll terribly chewy on top and disgustingly soggy on the bottom, the cheese overly melted and stringy, and the onions limp and lifeless. I had to use knife and fork because the bread was so soggy that my fingers squished right through the bottom, making it impossible to eat like a sandwich. Thankfully, I had only ordered the half sandwich combo, and was able to enjoy the delicious potato soup.
Normally I am not much of a dessert eater since I seem to have been born without the proverbial sweet tooth, however with peaches now in season, I was intrigued by the "my neighbor's peach bomb." It sounded fresh, delicious and not overly sweet since it was described as a whole peach wrapped in pie crust and baked. However, what the menu fails to mention is that it was previously baked ahead, and then reheated in the ... you guessed it.... microwave. The presentation was lovely; a large, peach-filled pastry orb with a decorative pastry leaf on top, served in a glass bowl and surrounded by 4 piped swirls of whipped cream. Unfortunately, looks can be decieving. Expecting a crispy pie crust exterior, I was disgusted by the gummy globs of "crust" that clung to my fork at first touch. Having already plodded my way through the previously mentioned microwaved sandwich, I was not prepared to consume a foul-textured, nuked dessert. Now please don't get me wrong. I have a microwave. I use my microwave. I love my microwave...for reheating coffee, tea and leftovers. Some soups, sauces etc. can be successfully heated in a microwave without affecting the taste and texture. But other than that, in my opinion, microwaves should never be a main appliance in a commercial restaurant kitchen; especially one charging $6.00 for a dessert or $10.50 for a sandwich.
To my server's credit, she immediatly noticed my disapointment and took it off the bill and back to the kitchen.
Dispite today's disappointing lunch, I will still frequent Aimee B's. I will however avoid any menu items that are susceptable to being microwaved, and stick to the dishes I mentioned in my first paragraph. Alas, because of their ubiquitous usage of the microwave, I cannot in good conscience give them more than 3 stars.
To the owners: Do your customers and your business a favor and please move the microwave to the break room and invest in a broiler, salamander or panini press!