Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cafe Tu-O-Tu Food Review

Fusion Panini

It's hard to find a Georgetown eatery that sells a complete lunch for less than 10 bucks; but Cafe Tu-O-Tu does, and often with delicious results. Located just a few doors down from the Four Season Hotel, this tiny Mediterranean cafe (with a Turkish twist) offers an impressive array of paninis, wraps and salads, served seven days a week. And... they boast one of my favorite (albeit odd) views in town.

Although the food here is very good, customer service remains pretty inconsistent. I've dined in, perhaps a dozen times; and you never know how you'll be greeted, until you step inside. One day, they're nice... the next, not so much. After placing my order with a young woman, the owner rang me up. Said owner grabbed my credit card from my hand, and stared at the back of it for a good while before handing it back to me (That's right, I'm the one who scams restaurants for a sandwich and soda with stolen credit cards.) From there, I had to wait for my receipt while the owner hugged and spoke to his daughter for more than 20 seconds. I asked, "Is it OK if I take my receipt?" to which he replied, "Yeah, sure." A customer shouldn't have to tear off his own receipt from the register's printer... yet alone have to ask for it in the first place. So far, not so great.

I made my way into the cafe's back room, after placing an order for a Fusion Panini (Grilled Chicken, Caramelized Onions, Roasted Red Peppers with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto in Ciabatta Bread... minus the onions) and a Sprite. The panini runs $8.25 and comes with a small bag of chips. $1.15 for the pop. I love eating here, even though the enclosed patio is cramped and warm. Maybe it's the quirky decor (which includes hanging silver dollars) or the cool view of a vine-covered brick wall: Whatever the reason, it's one of my favorite little hideaways in DC.

View from enclosed patio
Service took a turn for the better, when the owner's daughter delivered my order to my table (with a smile.) It took less than five minutes for a full reversal of fortune, as I must declare... the Fusion Panini is a simple, yet oh-so-tasty and well-prepared sandwich. Roasted red peppers and tomato pesto are a match made in Heaven, and spread over ciabatta bread? Forget about it! Best of all, I had the whole patio to myself... a temporary sanctuary, made all the better thanks to a great sandwich. Upon leaving, I paid a compliment to the chef; and both remaining employees (including the sandwich maker herself) cheerfully bade me farewell and thanks. Too bad they're not this nice all the time. Thankfully their food usually is... and then some.