Fabulous. this is why you need patience when dining.
I've been to TP many times. It has a small menu, but every item on the menu is original and delicious. You will find your favorite menu item, mine being penne with pink leek sauce, and most likely start craving it weekly.
Rico does a wonderful job with the limited amount of space he has. The building is iconic, although he could branch out, he maintains a wonderful garden and kitchen which gives him no reason to leave.
Fresh are the ingredients, as they come from the garden. His recipes are one of a kind. The Di Positano pizza is amazing. A rare experience in a chain-restaurant infested area.
Service is as challenging for the staff as it tests the patience of the customers. It's a tight area to work in, usually always busy. Rico cannot afford to have more than 3 waitresses at a time and a couple of extra hands in the kitchen due to limited amounts of space. You will get your food. You may have to wait a little longer than usual and flag down your busy waiter/waitress if you need a refill. DEAL WITH IT. IT'S WORTH IT.
Cross this one off my list.
I had wanted to try Tomato Pie for years after driving by daily. I had heard the limited selection of food was good and thoughtfully prepared. Despite many reviews of mediocre food and terrible service on other sites, I finally tried it for myself last night.
On a not very busy night we were instructed to seat ourselves and someone might stop by at some point to clear the table! After more than 15 minutes of a waitress bringing other tables water and food, we had not even been acknowledged. I doubt you could find such expert avoiders of eye contact in any large city!
We finally had enough and wanted to go somewhere we could get service and food. Not even as we walked out past the same waitress who we encountered on our way in and had been expertly avoiding us was our presence even acknowledged.
On the bright side, we had a wonderful meal and excellent service at Magoo's. I prefer to support small local restaurants whenever possible, but Tomato Pie is definitely one less on my short list that I care to see remain open.
It is what it is....
After residing in North Park for almost 5 years, I decided to give this place a try.
On the plus side, the atmosphere is adorable and has a coziness to it that you could only find in a small suburban cafe. And although other posters mentioned experiences with poor service, our server was friendly and observant to our needs.
That being said, my real disappointment with Tomato Pie Cafe was the food. My friend and I went for lunch, and the menu? Minimal variety. You're looking at a few salads, a few bread-based apps, a few hoagies, and two different pizzas (with a selecton of toppings.)
Trying to make the best of the small selection, I ordered a hoagie....only to find that they were out of hoagie buns.
The hoagie (on a different type of bread)was served with blue tortilla chips. Maybe it's just me, but I felt like that was an odd side for a hoagie. It didn't fit the theme of the restaurant, nor did it really mesh with the bunless hoagie.
So in summary, I say try this place, but just expect a good experience....not a great experience.
Overrated!. Friends of mine have always talked about this place, I've driven past it on my way to workout in North Park. But today was actually the first time I've ever eaten there and will probably be the last. My boyfriend and I finished a 6 mile hike today and went there to grab something to eat, needless to say we were both starving after that adventure. We ordered 2 side salads and a large cheese and mushroom pizza. The only good thing about the salad was the dressing, emulsified balsamic...the salad itself was just a bunch of greens and one slice of tomato and one ring of onion. When the pizza came it looked wonderful, bubbling cheese and fresh mushrooms...one bite and.... NO TASTE! I didn't taste or see any spice in the sauce and the crust was still a little doughy. After a hike like that, anything would have tasted good at that point except that. I won't be back --- not sure what all the fuss is about at that place.
Dear RUDE SERVICE AND LONG WAIT.
After reading your review I was quite saddened and embarrassed by the quality of your experience and treatment at Tomato Pie. As a waitress at Tomato Pie and a friend to my fellow co-workers at the restaurant I will assume partial responsibility and offer an apology on behalf of all the staff members at Tomato Pie. From experience I understand how hectic and crazy the atmosphere can become at the restaurant, although that is never an excuse for unfair service and unacceptable treatment towards our customer. I can assure you that this experience has been and will be reported to our boss, Rico, and this behavior will not be tolerated...
I urge you to visit Tomato Pie again in the future, and I can almost guarantee that you will be delighted by the friendly and comfortable neighborhood atmosphere created at the restaurant by our staff and customers alike. Your best bet for timely service is usually around 4-5pm. So plan to dine at Tomato Pie for an early dinner, grab a seat on the patio next to the fragrant flower beds, bring a bottle of wine and a few glasses, and enjoy the finest Italian food around.
Again, I apologize for your past experience, thank you for your feedback, and please come back again for a more enjoyable experience.
Sincerely, Tomato Pie staff member
Great pizza and more!!!. We just moved to the North Hills and have been lucky enough to be living really close to a great little restaurant, The Tomato Pie Cafe! We've been there a few times already and have had no problems with service or a wait. I'm not sure how somebody could complain about a wait... if you're going there at prime time and it's a good restaurant that doesn't take reservations, then you're just going to have to wait. That's not a bad thing if you're in good company. As for service, it has been great... warm welcome and warm goodbye (by the owner, I think). It's a quaint little place and proves that you don't need a 'fancy' restaurant to sell food... you just need good food!
RUDE SERVICE and LONG WAIT. Our experience at Tomato Pie Cafe was awful. Several friends have recommended the food but warned us of the poor service. When we arrived, there was a wait for a table. We were told that it was first come first serve and that a waiting list was not used. After waiting for 15 minutes, a table became available and our party was seating by one waitress. Soon afterwards, a nasty, hefty waitress approached our table and started yelling at us that the table was meant for a younger couple who had been waiting before us. Although our party had witnessed that the younger couple arrived minutes after us, we offered to move and was further berated by the ignorant waitress. We also sat for more than 15 minutes while being ignored by the rude waitress. I know we should have left...and trust me, I was all for leaving but half of our party wanted to stay. We later found out from the waitress that sat us that the younger couple was friends of the rude waitress and not to take it personally. Here's a tip for the owner of Tomato Pie Cafe...hire competant, adult wait staff and maybe you will not lose further customers like you have lost a party of four.
Tomatoe Pie Cafe.
Beautiful gardens and plants, terrific food and excellent service.
This is a very popular North Hills restaurant with a great North Park location. Rico maintains his outdoor areas beautifully and flawlessly. The pastas are amazing - fresh, fresh, fresh ingredients and great taste. The chicken salad is delicious - beautiful baby lettuces and field grrens, tender chicken and the best balsamic dressing! I
Out in the north, near the batting cages of North Park, sits a labor of love for a man named Rico Lorenzini..
It's not fancy, it lacks a liquor license and when it's too cold to sit outside, it's packed. But Rico man has a passion for good Italian food, and those living in the North Hills are grateful for it. Rico maintains a garden by the front door where he grows his own herbs, though he could never grow enough basil for his dishes.
There is a Dipositano pizza, which is whole wheat dough, tomato, spinach basil, garlic and oregano, topped with mozzarella, provolone and feta. Salads are made with mixed baby greens, and he doesn't cheapen the focaccia sandwiches with iceberg, either. But to leave without trying the linguine with pink leek sauce would be a shame. His light, delicate sauce of leeks, cream and, sun-dried tomatoes is sublime.
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