So being in college is tough. I mean… there are a lot harder things in life to deal with, but everyone can agree that Whataburger runs and Pub subs can get tiresome after a while (okay maybe not the subs) when all we want is a good ol’ fashioned steak. Since most of the time we may not want to go home EVER (avoiding it as much as possible actually), we can get pretty homesick for grandma’s kitchen.
That’s why Old Town Cafe is the perfect compromise. We get great homecookin’ without the parents and without ever leaving Tallahassee (and spending lots of gas money). It’s like Santa granted our greatest wish year-round. So we get to live a groundhog’s day of food over and over again, without traveling across the state to do it.
And for those of us who don’t have time to cook (or don’t know how), this place has got us covered. We can sit back and relax. We’ll have no choice anyway after stuffing ourselves with so many prime ribs we can’t move. So here’s 6 reasons this homestyle restaurant will make you never want to go home to the kitchen ever again (sorry Mom and Dad).
1. It’s native in every sense of the word
Nothing describes this place better. The restaurant itself is symbolic of Tallahassee; “Old Town” is the original name that the Seminole Tribe called this little city. Even the new owner, Mrs. Ashley Webb, and her brother and bar manager, Blair Solberger, were born and raised in Tallahassee. She’s on a name-by-name basis with most of her customers while Blair puts Tally love into every drink he makes.
2. It has history
Although the place is aesthetically unfinished and still being renovated from its previous diner theme, the style is pretty much “Tallahassee.” And I don’t mean Florida State garnet and gold, tomahawk chop.
No, I mean every picture on the wall is a photograph of the restaurant’s 25-year history, representing its long-standing service to the people of Tallahassee and the continuous love it’s received for all its years of fine dining.
3. It has exquisite service
This place has been around so long, it’s hard to imagine a Tallahassee without it. Mrs. Webb herself was a server here from 2001-2014, before she took over the business from original owner, Marcia Harrison. Many regulars consider it a second home. Take it from Mr. and Mrs. Burnfin, two regulars who endlessly compliment the place for it’s “Accommodating service,” and “Consistently good food.” They’ve come here for nearly a decade and never been disappointed.
4. The food is fresh and local
When I say homemade, I mean it. All the seafood is bought from the local provider right next door, Southern Seafood, and the veggies are procured from Chapman Produce. Revered for its hand cut burgers, meatloaf, seafood and – best of all – prime ribs (slow cooked and simmered overnight to perfection), this gem is the queen of comfort food. You get a grandma’s cookbook worthy meal without ever having to leave Tallahassee.
5. Quality over price
This place is a pretty good deal, especially for college kids. Homecookin’ and high quality food for cheap prices? Count me in. The place has the variety of Chili’s, but all the food is local, fresh and non- processed. So you can eat out and eat healthy, while still having enough money to pay the rent.
6. It tells a story
Mrs. Webb said it herself: “Here’s the thing. You can get food and service from a vending machine, but hospitality and homecookin’ is what sets us apart.” This place has personality. Often times, the regulars ask for a specific server, like Maddie DeLoach (above). To Mrs. Webb, “every booth, every seat, every barstool tells a story of [her] life.” She had both her wedding reception and her father’s funeral reception at the restaurant.
To many folks in Tallahassee, Old Town Cafe is a home—a palace of memories. One day it could hold one for you too.