Santa Lucia Cafe is the only restaurant in the peninsula providing a German Cuisine with an Italian twist. Thin crusted pizzas baked in an oak wood ... More
Santa Lucia Cafe
Santa Lucia Cafe is the only restaurant in the peninsula providing a German Cuisine with an Italian twist. Thin crusted pizzas baked in an oak wood fired brick oven are hard to find these days and Santa Lucia Cafe has definitely built its reputation for it over the past 15 years. It has the best German beer selection on tap and authentic German & Italian home cooking with anything from Wiener Schnitzel or Sauerbraten (sweet & sour beef roast) with red cabbage or Potato Pancakes to traditional Italian dishes like Veal Picatta, Spinach Ravioli or Mom's Lasagna giving its menu a broad selection for everybody's liking. Just a few blocks from the Monterey Marriott and Conference Center, Santa Lucia Cafe is the ideal venue for private parties, events, or a quiet dinner experience.
This place sucks! My husband ordered sausage & eggs, thinking it would be real sausage! Nope, brown & serve - yuk! Ham & eggs was my choice, it was disgusting - the ham was like a piece of super thin jerky and the roasted potatoes were leftover from the night before. My friend ordered bacon and asked for it to be crispy, she received burnt bacon that had been overcooked in the microwave. Oh and check out the microwave ovens in the service area, the health department has not made a visit in a while, once again disgusting. The server was very gracious, but the food sucked - we ll never return and neither will our friends who are locals.
Went by this small Cafe a couple of weeks ago. Great bar with german beers on tap. My wife had Italian dish and I had a German Porkroast which was outstanding. Don't know why others complain on this board but I will definitely be back.
Will try their breakfast next time which I already heard is pretty good too.
Very disappointing. My husband and I have eaten here a handful of times but it has been over a year. Monterey is one of our favorite vacation spots. We've only come for breakfast. Today, we were disappointed with the portion size and how overpriced it was. My husband left hungry. His $9.00 French toast was 4 very thin slices of bread and that's it! The Mickey pancake (just ONE) with fruit my 2 kids shared was $5.95 and their idea of fruit was one grape sliced in half for the eyes and a half of grape for the nose. My bagel with cream cheese (and it was just a plain white bagel) cost $3.95! My sister was with us this time and her pepsi cost &2.65 and all she got was a 12oz can of pepsi and a glass of ice! Don't know what has changed since our last visit, but our previous visits had always been good! We both agreed that today is the last time we will dine there
My husband and I went to this restaurant for some authentic German cuisine. We we ended up receiving was inedible garbage. This place is WAY overpriced, the service is terrible and is anything but good. Perhaps to the owners they are making authentic German food, but I don't think they know they cannot cook. I grew up on German food, cook German food and have even been to Germany to eat German food. Don't waste your money, good feelings or time with this joint. The owner does not care if you do not like the food. The dish my husband received looked, smelled and tasted like dog food that had already come back up. The chef said it was not his problem if my husband did not know what good German food was. My Father, who is German, would have lost his mind if someone told him that was GOOD German food. Bottom line, don't bother. It is worth driving to San Jose if you want a nice German restaurant. Or, do what I do and cook the food at home.
Note, the one star review earlier was done two years ago. More recently, the service was a bit slow, but amiable, responsive, and professional.
My wife had the Reuben. It was stuffed with meat and kraut. The meat was hot, juicy, and tasty, and the fresh bread was warm and lightly toasted. The entire sandwich was quartered, making the ample serving easier to handle...nice touch.
I had the German Beer Brats. These two large, grilled links were moist, tender, and very tasty. The side dish of potato salad was the best I've had since mom used to make it for me. There were huge chunks of cucumber and onion in the lightly seasoned mustard sauce. And the potatoes had a solid consistency; not mushy like so many commercial potato salads. The red cabbage was warm and sweet, with just a slight taste of vinagre.
The menu was a plesant surprise; it was about 50-50 Italian-German. As Monterey is full of Italian restaurants, but few German ones, the German items were a welcome sight. I will be going back to sample their saurbraten.
The ambiance is a bit stark, but OK. It has limited outside seating, but the tables are set back from the street; so customers are not choking on exhaust fumes. The Reuben and Brats, with drinks, came to $35 or so.
As with most of the downtown restaurants, parking can be a problem; especially when the city is having an ongoing fete...like the Tuesday farmers market. But this is one restaurant worth trying and, when you do, make sure to ask the waiter what part of Germany Santa Lucia is in. (Turns out mama is Italiana and papa is Deutscher.)
ADDNEDUM: Sep 2008
Had the saurbraten; in a word it was lousy. The meat was mushy and way over cooked. Ssurbraten should have some chew to it; this serving was more like mashed potatoes. The marinade was was too vinegary, there should be a whisper of vinegar, this was more like a shout. The red cabbage sidedish was luke warm when served and the potatoes in the German potatoe salad were almost raw.
After this second meal at the SLC, I have to conclude quality control in the kitchen is lacking. As any good chef knows, there has to be a tasting chef in the kitchen to ensure the quality of the plates that go out the door.
I still recommend the SLC, but with the caveate that you are taking your chances...it could be good or it could be bad. Unfortunately, it's the only German restaurant in Monterey.
This restaurant came very highly recommended by a local. My entree was fine however my husbands was not. He spoke to the waitresss and told her that he could not eat what he had ordered. The waitress took it back to the kitchen and the chef/owner came out from the kitchen stood over our table and told my husband that if he didn't like it that it was too bad that he wasn't cooking for nothing and that he would have to pay for the dinner whether he ate it or not. Unacceptable and unprecendented behavior for a restaurant owner at least in all my years of dining. We had to pay for the uneaten meal and we promptly left the restaurant. Don't consider going here unless you are absoulutely sure that you are going to love what you order. Don't even consider sending back your meal. TERRIBLE!!!
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