The Garden Brunch Café – Not Good

Deception. It’s a cruel word packed with untruthfulness, and disappointment.  It has absolutely no place at brunch—the most cheerful, loving meal of the week.

Unfortunately, deception seeped through the cracks in the floor at the Garden Brunch Café, turning our pleasant Sunday outing into a frustrating waste of time.

Garden Brunch Café – March 28

Pierce: Fruit Tea ($2.99)

Kristen: Mimosa ($5.50)

Shared: “Deacon’s Bench” – Steak and Eggs, Pancakes, Potatoes (?) ($16.99)

First Impression – The GBC is located in a cute little house just north of downtown Nashville off of Jefferson Street.  The place is lauded for its cozy interior that features cool local art on the walls and a jazz duo. So, at first glance, it seemed like our kind of place—but things only went downhill from there.

When we walked in, the little lobby was pretty crowded and the host told us it would an at least 30-minute wait. He was right…it was at least 30, but more like 45. Granted, their website advises that you make reservations on Sundays—so that was on us. Not a biggie. We entertained ourselves with funny/disturbing stories from The Tennessean about “prom proposals” and tweeting during labor.

The Main Event – We read online that the Garden Brunch was relatively cheap—it only received one “$” from the Nashville Scene and Urban Spoon.  Unfortunately, their extensive breakfast menu we saw online was actually a highly priced strictly brunch menu.  We decided to share a (perceivably) hearty steak and eggs meal.  Our drinks arrived pretty promptly and were overall satisfying.

But the food took much longer—another 45 minutes. Pierce was so famished he started to eat Jelly Beans out of a plastic display Easter egg. Other diners were looking around like hungry puppies.

When the goods finally came, the steak was flimsy and some of it was simply inedible due to the redness. The eggs and pancakes were smallish and nothing to rave about. Oh, and the potatoes? Yeah, they never showed.

The Aftermath – We had enough. After expressing our dissatisfaction, our waiter did his job and tried to make things right by only charging us for the drinks.  We kindly accepted and left—after more than 2 hours.

The Garden Brunch Café has a nice vibe, but behind the art and bellowing jazz singer is a vastly understaffed, mismanaged and overrated brunch experience.

1/5 Syrup Crocks

Garden Brunch Cafe on Urbanspoon

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10 responses to “The Garden Brunch Café – Not Good

  1. Dang. Did they earn the 1 syrup crock for the the jelly beans or the promptness of the drinks?

  2. Does not sound fun. I will not be going there if I end up going to grad school at Vanderbilt.

  3. Dear Pierce and Kristen,
    I’d like to apologize for your experience at The Garden. As the owner, we try and do everything we can to ensure all of our customers have a good time. Unfortunately, we miss the boat sometimes as we did with you. I don’t want to make a lot of excuses, but I will say we take your feedback seriously and will try to improve wherever we can. Thanks again, Karl

  4. Wow, that is a bad experience, and the plate looks sad. I am kind of inclined not to go there. I wonder if that is the experience of a lot of people. It sounds like everyone there when you were there was experiencing a long wait for food to come to their table. Interesting that owner Karl commented, and I hope the owner takes steps to improve timing, maybe get a better and faster breakfast cook, and provide the correct order for future customers. I haven’t tried this brunch place yet, but I may give it a few more months after Easter weekend to get their act together, if I am going to try it.

    It looks like there are better places to get steak and eggs and for cheaper. For example, Marche fills the plate, is cheaper, uses local organic free range eggs, has a decent source of beef, and the plate comes out looking beautiful.

  5. You did not make reservations. Shame on you

    Eric and Kate had no problems, nor did Carrington. You seem to have gone on a bad day and have created a permanent memorial of a solitary event, perhaps. Try going back one more time to see if there is a pattern. Otherwise your review is not fair. This is not quality citizen-driven journalism.

    • Rodger,

      We didn’t make reservations, thus didn’t count off for the original 45 minute wait. We mentioned that in the post.

      In my mind, I think that we represent “the people.” We don’t get paid to do this. We don’t tell restaurants we’re coming. We are just two college students who like brunch–and these are our experiences. If anything, the rating is based on our experience. Take from that what you may. 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

      Pierce + Kristen

  6. I’ve only been there on weekdays, and both of my experiences have been wonderful. It sounds like maybe they haven’t figured out how to handle their weekend crowds yet, though. Their different takes on eggs benedict and their bananas foster pancakes are to die for!

  7. I must also apologize for your experience. I am an absolute fan of GBC… The potatoes are so fantastic sad that you missed them. I say give them another try. I have been on many occasions and had great service and the banana foster pancakes are phenomenal. How about a Saturday. 🙂

  8. We go to brunch here on Sundays at least a couple of times a month. Make reservations! It can be really slow if you do not. I’ve had the Steak and Eggs, and they are not my favorite. I would highly recommend the blackened fish or any of the pancake varieties. The grits are to die for. If you do try it again, go on a nice day, so you can take advantage of the large front porch because the lobby is small. Karl is great and has been more than accommodating every time I have visited. You’re right, sometimes it can take a while, but they have always tried to make the experience right for us. And if you’re gonna have to wait, it might as well be in a cute house with great local art and fun music!

  9. I had an absolutely wonderful experience at the Garden Brunch Cafe. They had wonderful service, very clean, and absolutely delicious food. The food is very fresh and light. I got full without the heavy feeling that some restuarants tend to have you leaving with. I say you should try it out again on a less busy day, I recommend their spinach omelet. 🙂

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