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Venue Review: Mimi's Café

Mimi's puts comfort into its food and its atmosphere
(no rating)
Mimi's Café
By "Robin Hall Domeier, Special to the Observer"
The Charlotte Observer

Mimi's Café wants diners to come in and "connect" with each other over the restaurant's food.

There definitely is a lot of food to connect over. The menu is divided into more than a dozen categories. Variety is nice, but when a restaurant tries to be everything to everyone, there's always the risk some things on the menu won't be handled as well as others.

Such was the case on our visit. But I did like the comfortable atmosphere at Mimi's. Probably my only twinge of discomfort came when the check arrived.

Mimi's (located across the road from Northlake Mall) is a chain operating in 24 states. But the restaurant has some French leanings. As the story goes, the founder of Mimi's named the place after a woman he met in Europe during World War II.

Great story, but the service could have been better. On the Saturday afternoon we popped in for lunch, we were seated a good five minutes before anyone acknowledged us. Our meal suffered from stretches of time where we were without food and beverages.

Fortunately, while we were waiting for the appetizer, a handsome basket of carrot raisin bread and butter came to the table. Moist and reminiscent of cake, the bread was a nice departure from the typical basket of rolls.

Inside the crab fritter appetizer was a flavor balanced, creamy blend of spinach, mushrooms and artichokes. I would have liked a lighter, less crunchy exterior. The outside was like a hush puppy.

The bacon "mac and cheese" should be a category all its own. Penne and pieces of smoked bacon wore a rich Asiago cheese sauce and all sported a delicate coating of parmesan bread crumbs. Turns out the mac and cheese was placed in the "Just enough" section of the menu. The portion filled me up without making me feel heavy.

There is a sizable seafood presence throughout Mimi's menu, so you'd think this would be an area in which the kitchen excelled. But the scallop (and there was only one in the entire dish) and the shrimp in the petite Mediterranean seafood fettuccini were overcooked. And given the "petite" portion size, I would have liked to have seen the entrée priced slightly less than $10.49.

After tax and tip, our meal for two came to $32.92, which was a little more than I was happy paying given the food and service lapses. But if Mimi's can work on those, I'd be agreeable to trying to "reconnect" with it.

Reviews & Comments
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(no rating) Oct. 13, 2010 - The Charlotte Observer - Robin Hall Domeier, Special to the Observer

Dining on a Budget: Mimi's Café wants diners to come in and "connect" with each other over the restaurant's food.

(Full review)
(no rating) Oct 13, 2010 - gj83
New Orleans style Denny's

I have eaten at Mimi's in GA several times. The menu has many items that sound good, but the actual item doesn't deliver.

Oct 13, 2010 - holyhormones
Poor service---

I went to meet a client for a cup of coffee (in my case Diet Coke) and we waited for service for about 10 minutes, and we were nearly the only ones in the restaurant. Refills were slow, and then we both ordered soup (corn chowder there is very good) it took at least 15 minutes for it to arrive. Nice atmosphere, but slow delivery to table was very annoying.

Oct 13, 2010 - Disgustedstatusquo
I love this place!

I have been to three seperate Mimi's and have loved the food at all of them! The service is typically bad in the local, as seems to be the new standard in Charlotte, but is not so in other stores. I wholeheartedly recomend the chicken potpie, wonderful salads, HUGE muffins and the breakfasts are artery slamming shut good. I can honestly say the food is ALWAYS great even when the service could be better. I have gotten great service when it is slower, but expect delays at lunch. I have never found the wait to be out of hand.

(no rating) Oct 13, 2010 - vamullis

I have visited this restaurant on 3 ocassions. Very BAD service on each visit. Each time sat for at least the 5 minutes before having soeone take our drink order. Then our food came out right after our salads were served, being delivered by 2 seperate persons. The lsat visit the server was extremly polite and I felt bad because I could see he was given no direction by the establishment. Food was luke warm each visit. The first visit I ordered chicken salad crossant and gues what they forgot the chicken salad. Very pricey for the bread. By the time they deliverd the chicken salad my husband was finished eating so I took it home to be given to the dogs. I received a "sorry" but that was it. I have Not seen any managers in the restaurant on either visit. Such a shame too. Very pleasant atmosphere but lack of knowledge and service from staff certainly takes away from enjoyment.

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