Reading >Food & Dining > Savory Tastes Cafe
601 Main St, Reading, MA | Directions 0186742.523649 -71.102807
Not so great – Went to this place twice. Once for a Harpoon beer dinner (nice idea, wish the food had been much better) and once for a regular evening (were taken by friends in the neighborhood). I can't say I'd like to go back. Place was pleasant, though a bit dated in the decor department. The quality of the food was uneven and sauces were the weak point. Less fussy grill items better> Soggy fries with the steak/frites plate and a sneer when one of us inquired about a substituting a vegetable for a starch, made this less than fantastic evening. Beer dinner had some very weird, bitter skinless, boneless chicken cooked in beer accompanied by a hockey puck of a sweet potato souffle. Return visit, quite a long time later, was a bit better, but not as good as the prices seem to reflect. Why does this simple neighborhood bistro think it's entrees are worth $20+?
OK dinner in a cozy place – I wish this place were better! The location is handy, its cozy and the owner seems so nice, but the food is inconsistent and somewhat overpriced. Grilled things were best, anything with a sauce is chancy. We had 4 people in our group. Two had salads, two had soups. The salads were ice cold and a little wilted. The soups were OK. Bread was a bit stale. Steak and scallops were quite good, sides were passable. Vegetarian dish wasn't great. Desserts definitely not homemade. Creme brulee was watery. Wine list was good, but expensive.
We know people who go regularly, so maybe we were there on an off night, but it was disappointing. Might try again, tho.
All hype, no substance – Last summer I ran into the owner of Savory Tastes while taking a walk. We struck up a conversation and I decided to stop in for supper some time. Last night I took my family there and left very disappointed.
There was a gentleman walking the floor striking up conversations with the customers. He was pleasant enough, but it was a bit distracting.
First the good: The portion sizes are excellent. They don't fill a plate the size of a pizza pan with food. I ate everything on my plate and left comfortably full, not busting at the seams. The place is warm and inviting as you walk in. Multiple people greet you and bring you to your table.
Unfortunately, that is where the good ends. Now for the bad.
My wife had the Atlantic Cod with Two Sauces ($25) - "Oven roasted Atlantic Cod Loin drizzled with a mustard sauce and a light tomato sauce served with Rice Pilaf and buttered Snap Peas." The cod was cooked perfectly, but the mustard sauce was so strong that she couldn't even tell what kind of fish was under it. The rice pilaf tasted like it came out of box, not freshly made. The best part of the meal was the snap peas!
I had the Twisted Scampi ($25) - "Shrimp, Lobster and Scallops served over a bed of Jalape?o Linguine sparked by a Pico de Gallo, White Wine, Garlic Butter Sauce." I knew when I ordered this that the linguine would be spicy. I had no idea that the entire dish was be as hot as Buffalo Chicken! There was so much spice that the flavor of the lobster was completely lost. The shrimp and scallops were over-cooked to the point of being dry. The use of Pico de Gallo as a pasta sauce was actually really good, but the rest of it disappointed me.
The best part of the meal was the fresh-made fries we bought for our Daughter! She love tomato soup, so we bought her some. Big mistake. It was as spicy as everything else and tasted like someone cooked up a can of tomatoes with cayenne peppers.
We won't be going back.
Just Ok – The Service is all right if you like the Owner talking to you while your $30.00 entree gets cold. Every time I have ever been in the place, it is half full and I'm always asked whether I have a reservation. The food is average, the menu is geared toward elite foodies and the prices a little on the high side.
Spend the money on much better food in Boston. – This restaurant was an extreme disappointment to us all. Thinking that we could avoid the Boston congestion with the Head of the Charles happening, we decided to finally try this place in Reading with the fantastic sounding menu. How deceiving! Ordering from every course, we all were given the opportunity to taste a little bit of everything...and not one bite was savory. The seafood martini appetizer would have tasted better (not to mention less fishy) if a scoop of seafood salad from the grocery store was placed in the glass. The fish and sweet potato soup was basically fish boiled in water, pureed, and added to pureed sweet potato...No salt, no seasoning. Awful. The main courses were very disappointing, with the seafood all overcooked. There was no balance in the meals...either saturated with too much of one type of flavor (i.e. the scampi was just sour), or no flavor at all. We didn't even dare stay for dessert. The meal ended up coming to well over $200 for just three people (only one of the less expensive bottles of wine). We thought the atmosphere was ok...loud, but friendly...and the chef very pleasant...though boastful about his training in Paris (French equivalent of "How to Boil Water" perhaps??). Please do yourselves a favor and spend the money at a tried and true restaurant in Boston, where the food will truly be that which you can savor.
Outstanding Suburban Bistro – Savory Tastes has quickly become a Northwest suburban favorite,
with recently added live music on Tuesday & Wednesday evenings.
Locals often know one and other and enjoy the comfortable &
friendly atmosphere coupled with the fresh seasonally changing menus.
Also Savory Tastes has monthly theme dinners that consistently sell
out! Food is consistently great quality & selection.
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