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“Penalty 130 miles, False Start! Fix your sign and website”
Review of Jewell Cafe

Jewell Cafe
Ranked #11 of 65 Restaurants in Defiance
Cuisines: American, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Michigan
Level Contributor
271 reviews
188 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Penalty 130 miles, False Start! Fix your sign and website”
Reviewed August 21, 2013

How should I score this restaurant that won't even bother to let customers in during posted hours? So the score above is purely on customer service NOT food quality. It's an unknown.

Let me start this review by telling you 1) gas ain't cheap, 2) time lost ain't too much fun neither. two things this restaurant has very little respect for.

So I live in metro detroit but on a past visit to defiance to photograph their memorial day parade which got rained out .. I overnighted at the Holiday inn express and googled where to eat dinner. Of course being memorial day this restaurant was closed as expected in a little town so I did some chinese carry out back to the hotel. But the reviews piqued my interest , enough so that if I had a day to kill and the weather was decent I'd drive down to defiance spend the day in the area and wait until 5 PM on a wednesday and visit this "Jewell of a Cafe" near defiance.

So I figure the drive from detroit is about 2-3 hours including stops for pee poo if needed along the way. And I kind of wanted to if I had enough time to eat breakfast at Kissmers? and considering the restaurant doesn't open till five maybe plop down to Greenville and visit the Great Darke county fair (which was running).

So I did just that left detroit around 6 got to defiance after 8 had a mushroom omelette at Kissmers, then headed down to greenville. The plan was to have a ribeye sandwich at the cattleman's associations stand at the fair (They grill the beef right outside where they show the cows and steers) so you could be chomping on a $5 ribeye while watching a parade of moo cows watching you eat a cousin....very very interesting idea.

But alas they were not grilling that hot wednesday around noon...so I figured OK I'm 20 miles for New paris Ohio...Baughman's bbq should be open I'll grab some spicy jelly and a rib plate...so I drive the 20 miles and it's about 1pm and nope they dont open till 4... OK so I drive back to defiance to head to Jewell for dinner. It's around 3 so I've got two hours to blow in defiance.

I get to the cafe about 4:15 on wednesday the 21st and drive past it noticing no activity but the joint says both on it's website and the signage in the window they don't open till 5 on wednesday's so I drive down to independence dam kill a few minutes and head back.

I wait in the parking lot across the street next to the old gas station and 4:58 rolls around and still no cars in the lot? So maybe they live close and walk to work...? At 5 I decide to call the restaurant and get a voice mail stating...they've decided to only work thursday Friday and Saturday, maybe sunday? Leave a message BEEEP. I just hung up but I did want to leave a nasty message. But didn't
Great ...now what.

At that point I'm 1) pretty hungry, 2) have to pee, and 3) fairly p'd off.
So I head back to defiance and eat at the same asian buffet I carried out from before which didn't blow chunks the first time but in 6 months time managed to dry out anything that looked like meat on the buffet tables so you couldn't eat what you took...which I'll review separately but lets just say it sucked and is very close to menards.

I'm not sure how to rate this cafe. Because I couldn't get in to eat. They obviously seemingly don't care enough about non regular (tourist) customers to 1) change the hours on their website 2) don't care enough to even modify the little magnetic letters on the window hours board. The sign on 24 says they're taking Christmas reservations? So they must still be in business...POST THE HOURS ON THAT Board Closed MONDAY Tuesday, WEDNESDAY something....be considerate of your future customers if you can.

I could see if you were the steak NAzi's and were the only game in town but heck there's nasty chinese to be had as well a few miles away.

Suffice it to say it was a trip wasted aside from petting some goats at the fair.
I did want a hunk of red meat but was no stocked at nearly every turn.

Maybe I'll give Jewell another shot one day on a trip down 24 to fort wayne or something...but I guess I'd have to call the day before just to try to see if anyone's going to be home.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank willdriveforfood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    11
    8
    5
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Middletown, NJ
Level Contributor
134 reviews
110 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Friendly staff”
Reviewed January 28, 2013

Always gracious and go out of their way to make your visit pleasant. I had the fried chicken and they certainly give you enough. There were 8 of us and the service was very good.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SueandStu2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hicksville, Ohio
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Very expensive IMHO”
Reviewed December 30, 2012

The food is OK, standard for most places in this area. The ambiance is very nice and upscale, but rather dated at times. The service is superb. The kitchen is immaculate (I own a restaurant so I look at everything). The only negative I have is that the prices are really expensive. $20 - 30 for a steak is just oo much for most folks inthis economy.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Paty H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
355 reviews
160 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
“Famous place is a Jewell”
Reviewed November 1, 2012

My Pop liked to go here years ago and it still is a great place. The prime rib is delicious and it is very family friendly. The staff were real nice. It is very close to historic Defiance.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank gfarmer668
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Defiance, Ohio
Level Contributor
39 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Good food and service”
Reviewed June 18, 2012

A step back in time as you visit Jewell Ohio and its old gasoline pumps and station across the street...good food service and beverages...recommend

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank Conrad C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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