Austin >Cannoli Joe's
I'm surprised at all the positive reviews for Cannoli Joe's. I drive by it all the time and have been wanting to visit for a while now, as I love good ol' Italian comfort food. I was wildly disappointed. The service was very good, both the hostess and the waiter were attentive, friendly, and helpful. But the food was not good. I am a vegetarian, so I did not try any of the meat dishes, but I tried everything else that they had and it just wasn't good. The worst part was that all of it was cold and had definitely been sitting out for a while. I went toward the end of their lunch time, but still, if your whole concept involves a buffet style spread, you need to find a way to keep the food at least slightly warm! The mozzarella sticks would have been good if they had been warm, and there was a white spinach and mushroom pizza that also would have been good if warm, but they weren't good cold. The salads, which should have been cold, were not, and they were soggy and the dressings were clearly from a giant jar. Basically all of the food tasted like cafeteria Italian--overcooked pasta, bland sauces, and glue like texture. Even the breadsticks were bad--half the ones on offer hadn't been cooked all the way through, and all of the garlic bread in both baskets had been overcooked and was hard as rocks.
My critieria for all Italian restaurants is simple--could I make it better at home? In the case of Cannoli Joe's, I think anyone who knows how to boil water and set a timer could make a better bowl of pasta, and at least it would be warm! Save your cash and skip this place, or at least go during one of their "rush" times so you'll know your food hasn't been out on the counter congealing for two hours.
I just want to say that our waitor was the best. He also works at Golden Coral. Best Italian food in town.
Thanks again....and we'll see you soon
great service, great food!. OMG this place is the great. The building alone is awesome and then you walk in and is just as beautiful inside. We were greeted by one of the managers who was friendly and offered us a walk through the restaurant. we were seated and immediately were approached by our waiter who was also really cool. the food was awesome! we will definately be coming back.... great service, great food..... must try
BUFFET!!!!!. WE WENT AS A GROUP FROM OUR OFFICE AND WE REALLY LOVED NOT ONLY THE SERVICE BUT THE ATMOSPHERE, I HAVE NEVER REALLY LIKED ITALIAN FOOD THAT MUCH, BUT THESE WERE FOODS THAT I REALLY LOVED, THE FIRE GRILLED PEPPERS AND VEGETABLES, THE SALADS, THE PASTAS AND THE DESSERTS WERE ALL GREAT, I LOVED THEIR FLAVORED TEAS AND AS FOR THE PRICES I DID NOT THINK THAT THEY WERE EXPENSIVE AS MOST OF THE PLACES I HAVE BEEN TO IN AUSTIN ARE TOO HIGHLY PRICED FOR THE VALUE OR TASTE OF THEIR MEALS, I FOUND THAT THIS ONE RESTAURANT IS WORTH THE PRICE (WHICH IS LESS THAN MOST) AND I COULD PICK AND CHOOSE WHAT I WANTED TO EAT....IT WAS DELICIOUS AND I WILL RETURN AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE...
First visit was good. My husband and I have only eat here once so far. There's plenty of parking and seating. We enjoyed just walking around the restaurant looking at the decor. We could not believe the variety of foods they have to offer on their buffet. It's way too much to try everything during one visit, but we gave it our best shot. Most dishes we found to be good, but there were some that wasn't to our liking. It does costs more than other buffets, but overall we liked our first visit.
Fun but spendy.
My husband and I went on a Friday night recently. I went in having low expectations, knowing it was a buffet style restaurant and in my experience this usually means a wide variety of mediocre food, usually overpriced because of all the waste that is taken into account. Keeping that in mind, I wasn't really disappointed. I was actually pleasantly surprised with a lot of the dishes, and I appreciated that the "chefs" put out small, fresh quantities of everything instead of enormous troughs. We had fun sampling all the different kinds of food, though there was too much to be able to try it all in one visit. Some of our favorites were pasta dishes, like Rigatoni Primavera, Pasta Rossa, and Fire Roasted Vegetable Lasagna. I also really liked the rotisserie chicken, and the meatloaf with balsamic glaze. Some of the vegetables that stood out were the broccoli limone, the butternut squash, and the summer squash. All the salads where pretty good, and the little mushroom toasts were delicious.
Some of the disappointing dishes include the pizza, the grilled marsala steak, and the mashed potatoes which looked amazing, but were actually the most fake tasting I've ever had. Also, most of the desserts looked and tasted like they came off the back of a frozen truck. I suppose they figure people will be way too stuffed to pay much attention to dessert, which is probably true, but still! My husband loved the chocolate hazelnut bread pudding, at any rate. I myself vowed that if we ever returned, I would skip the dessert line all together and instead help myself to generous portions of the fruit salad Macedonia from the salad section. It was one of the most memorable things I tasted there, and a much more Italian way of ending a meal, anyway. If i were to go back I would choose to go on a lunch or week night visit, when it is not quite so expensive. It would be a fun place to bring a large party of people.
Mediocre, over priced Italian food. Mediocre, over priced Italian food. Gave it two chances and won't recommend to anyone. I wouldn't return even if somebody else paid for it..
Fantastic food, Great experience!.
My boyfriend and I went to Cannoli Joe's for the first time tonight. Being a weekday evening, it was rather calm and quiet, which is what we prefer. The service here was great. Within seconds of being seated by the hostess, our waiter greeted our table and took our drink orders.
The set-up of the buffet is very unique and unlike most buffet restaurants. Each section has a clear theme and a wide variety of specialty foods. All dishes are prepared in small batches and are labeled above the selection. You can actually watch the chefs prepare the dishes behind the buffet line. For the price ($12.99 weekday dinner) we got a fantastic value. The food is incredibly flavorful, and they definitely don't skimp on quality ingredients. My boyfriend and I tried to take a sample of every dish available, but by the time we got 3/4 way through, we were completely stuffed. Some dishes were so-so and others were definite winners. Their pastas were a highlight for both me and my boyfriend. Desserts featured were bread pudding, apple crumble, chocolate covered strawberries, and other petite sweets. The dessert section also has a great selection of ice creams that are personally scooped by someone behind the counter.
All in all, our experience at Cannoli Joe's leaves us wanting to come back for more. Our waiter was very friendly and attentive, the ambiance was enjoyable, and the food left us with a great impression. 100% recommend this restaurant.
Come Eat at the Trough. The service was bad, the food was overpriced, and the quality of the food was sub par. The food was uninspired, bland, and tasted like it was made with mediocre ingredients and then sat out for far too long under heat lamps- which it probably had. Things were soggy that should have been crispy, dried out when they shouldn't have been, overcooked, and generally just unappealing. If you're the kind of person who thinks a quality restaurant means eating until you're sick, then this place is for you. If you have any interest in the taste or quality of the food going into your mouth, go to almost any other restaurant in town and you're going to have a better experience (including most of the other big chains, sadly).
TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!.
This is truly one of the best deals in town! Forget endless salad and breadsticks! How about endless grilled steak marsala and homemade gnocchi! And the food tastes much better than I expected for a buffet style concept. The chefs prepare everything in small batches so everything I tried was fresh and yummy. We went later in the evening so the place was less crowded (I heard that it can get packed right at dinner time). My wife had a frozen bellini swirl which I tried and it was excellent. I opted for wine and had an Italian primitivo which was very good. There were many good Italian choices in the wine list.
I recommend the braised beef dish with mushrooms. I also had a grilled salmon dish over orzo that was as good or better than what I have had at some of Austin's most expensive trattorias. The white pizza was very tasty and the spicy broccoli was a nice side dish.
We tried several of the desserts and I liked the fact that they had several different flavored cannolis. The coconut macaroons were awesome. This is a truly unique concept. I will be taking my in-laws from NY here next time they come in town.
BTW, our server's name was Andy, and he was excellent. Very helpful and congenial. Better service than I have received in some "fine dining" establishments. To top it all off we had cappucinos and they serve real Italian coffee! in South Austin no less!! Who woulda thunk it?
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