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Tupelo Junction Cafe
1218 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 899-3100

Reviews by the General Public

Reviewer: Dave from Santa Barbara, CA
I've eaten here several times over the past few years, usually breakfast or brunch, and never had a bad meal. The same was true today. The service, however, was truly sub-par. It took forever to be served--and the place was maybe half-filled. When our food finally came, I asked the guy who brought it for some salsa. He acknowledged my request, then spaced it out. A second request to our waitress after several minutes of waiting did the trick. I asked if she could also bring me some jam. She brought butter instead. When we paid the bill, she disappeared with my Visa card for a good 10 minutes before the hostess eventually brought the voucher. I remember a time when Tupelo Junction offered both food and service that was, without exception, second-to-none. I hope my experience was aberrant and not the norm.

Not as good as it was
Reviewer: PR from Santa Barbara, CA
Went for a birthday breakfast. Have been here a few times before and the food was outstanding. Not this time. The french toast was not as it was. Kinda dry and average. Probably won't go back.

Not up to Par
Reviewer: Deb from Santa Barbara, CA
We have loved Tupelo Junction for breakfast and lunch since they opened. This past Saturday celebrating our anniversary we walked State St. looking for a dinner spot. Tupelo was not busy (6:30) and we were seated immediately. We waited a good 15 minutes for a server and during this time and the rest of the evening it was evident that the socializing between servers and hostess was more important than the customer. The meal. We started with Hush Puppies. The sauce was ymmuy but the Hush Puppies were dense, doughy and no flavor. Should have stuck with my usual Fried Green Tomatoes and Fried Pickles. My husband had the the Bloody Mary Ribs. The sauce and ribs tasted like a bottle of liquid smoke had been doused over them. The Apple Sauce was soupy. My Fried Chicken was crispy and not greasy, a good thing, but not seasoned. The greens were not seasoned as well. Definitely could have benefited from bacon or salt or even Bloody Mary mix. The mashed potatoes were ok but the side of gravy tasted like Tarragon or Chervil were added and just didn't belong. We asked if a manager was on duty and were told they had just left for the evening. Fortunately this was not our first trip to TJ or would would not be back.

Sad to say Tupelo needs to raise its service.
Reviewer: Kevin from Santa Barbara, CA
We used to always go to Tupelo Junction our favorite restaurant. Tonight however was not good we will not be going back. When taking a plate from a customer it is always polite to ask if they have finished. Secondly the appetizers were served as if my being there was upsetting the placement of those items. Our meals had a gritty texture. I truly hope for their sake the owner can wake himself or herself up to realize there is a lot of competition in town and had better look after his or her clientele.

Thanksgiving disaster
Reviewer: Nancy from Santa Barbara, CA
We had Thanksgiving dinner reservations for 6pm. We arrived on time. The hostess was telling people with reservations that they were behind at least 45 minutes. I have a pet peeve about restaurants who do not honor reservations...especially on a holiday. We will never go there again.

Another nice meal!
Reviewer: Krista & Tony from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband and I ate at Tupelo Junction a couple of weeks ago; wanted to check out the new menu! The service was a definitely lacking but in their defense, they were slammed due to First Thursday (a couple of items that we ordered never showed up). I had the trout which I really liked; fresh/odorless and yummy pecan crust! My husband had the pulled pork sandwich which was very good but he was not blown away (and believe me, he has tried many of these at LOTS of spots). Anyway, we'll definitely be back...planning a birthday breakfast there soon.

Bad trout, unfortunately...
Reviewer: steve from Santa Barbara, CA
Decided to try Tupelo specifically for the fried chicken. "best in town"...or so I was told by the reservationist at Tupelo. I ordered the chicken, my wife the trout. The chicken was just OK, nothing at all memorable. Batter somewhat limp, actually the chicken was a bit tough as well. But the disaster was the trout. VERY fishy in both smell and taste. Trout is a delicate fish, that should never have this odor. Informed server who offered to substitute with another entree. We declined (time was a factor) and continued to eat the potatoes and "haricot verts" (green beans...jeesh!) which were fine. The "comp" was their removal of two glasses of wine from the bill, which was altogether fair. Overall, just an "OK" experience a best. Ambiance neutral at best. Given the other equally located & priced options in downtown SB, we will not be back.

painfully mediocre and over priced
Reviewer: Bre Bjorn from Santa Barbara, CA
The food was incredibly average and way over priced. It was $13 for a burger and an EXTRA $4 for a side of fries. I also got a was $7 for the drink and they actually charged us an extra $1 for the "rocks." a dollar for ice? they didnt charge us for the ice in our waters or iced teas... Also the server was not attentive. I don't mind paying more for great food or service, but i could have gotten a comparable meal for 1/3 of the price

Reviewer: Cassie from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been there twice within the past few months. Both times, I got the French toast and it was delicious. I dragged my boyfriend with me the second time for breakfast on my birthday. The French toast is sliced baguettes dipped in something wonderfully vanilla with berry sauce and whip cream! YUM! The coffee there is very strong, not quite my style. But I'm picky, prefer a little coffee with my cream. The pumKin waffle is exactly what I'd expect thanksgiving to taste like in the morning. Food is a 5+ star rating. I've reccommended it to many people. Service is so-so. Nothing great, nothing awful. Not extremely attentive at re-filling waters or coffee either time. But the delicious food is enough to bring me back!

Greasy and cold
Reviewer: Beatriz from Santa Barbara, CA
Just had a late lunch at Tupelo (9/28/2011). In fact, we were the last couple in the door. I asked them if we would be "bum rushed" because we came in 10 minutes before they closed. We were assured we would be "just fine". We ordered the fried chicken salad which we sent back because it was lukewarm and tasted like it had been sitting around a while. The waitress seemed politely annoyed that we requested the same plate again. When the second fried chicken salad came to the table it was hot and flavorful. We also ordered the fried pickles as an appetizer, which, unfortunately came two minutes after our meal was served and ended up being beyond greasy. I think the friers were turned off and when we came in, they hurridely fired them up again. We also ordered the vegetarian bean dish which was flavorful, hot and well done. Overall, the staff, except for the busboy, seemed slightly irritated to have a customer walk in the door ten minutes before they shut down. The food was mediocre. Usually, we have experienced attentive service and delectable food. Not this time. Hope it was an aberration and not the beginning of a trend.

Quality has declined
Reviewer: Penny from Santa Barbara, CA
On May 17, 2011 at 2 pm I ordered one of my favorites, Smoked Bacon, Spinach, Carmelized Onion, Tomato & Gouda Cheese Scramble w/ House Potatoes. The white of the potatoes on my plate had an odd soy-brown color, as if the potatoes had been were fried hours earlier, went cold and were re-heated maybe a couple of times. In general the potatoes were overcooked until they were hard not a lovely crispy. The egg scramble was missing the bacon and the portion was very small. The biscuit was quite flat, hard (nearly but not quite stale) and probably baked at 6:30 am ---and I ordered it at 2 pm. Yes, I got indigestion. The server was pleasant, but due to the sloppy-diner quality of the food I was served, I am hesitant to return.

Always Delicious!
Reviewer: Katie from Los Angeles, CA
Everytime we visit Santa Barbara we try to lunch at Tupelo Junction - my husband who is from the south enjoys the fried green tomotaoes and fried pickles, their fried chicken salad is amazing. The staff always accomodate us - we have small children that can typically cause a hostess to groan upon our arrival, but not here. They greet you with a smile and let you know what a pleasure it is you have chosen Tupelo. It is so freshing! And a great meal to boot!

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