Restaurant Reviews

An Open Letter to Tiburon Tavern

May 22, 2015

What was supposed to be a normal review became so much more when what used to be the best grilled cheese turned to utter disappointment.

The Shut-Up-and-Give-it-to-Me-Quick Version:

Orgasmic (at least it used to be).

The I-Like-to-be-Wrapped-Up-in-All-the-Details Version:

Since I’ve been living in Marin, Tiburon Tavern has been a go-to place for the boyfriend and I (and two of our friends). Any opportunity we could take to go there, we would. Margaritas and grilled cheese were a must!The grilled cheese was literal perfection… stringy, oozing cheese, crispy and buttery bread with the most delicious tomato soup for dipping. The grilled cheese was even cut into strips for easy dunking. I can’t explain how perfect it tasted, it was just amazing (and I took numerous people there who felt the same)! 

Fast forward to earlier this year when I took a trip to Tiburon Tavern, I looked at their menu and my grilled cheese was altered! I inquired with the waiter and he informed me that there was a new chef, but assured me that the grilled cheese was just as good as the old one and the only thing that had changed was the addition of ham. He said the chef was told that the grilled cheese was the most popular thing on the menu and, therefore, he knew it had to live up to the standards. I was a little skeptical, but I was not about to forgo the very thing I came for, so I ordered it. It arrived, I tried it and I almost cried! Complete disappointment with every bite, there was very little cheese (each end was bare) and one thin slice of ham, which I might add also came with a $5 increase in price! We pointed it out to the waiter when he came to ask our opinion, he then backpedaled and said they had ordered the wrong cheese and the one they currently had didn’t melt as well, but as soon as they had the right cheese it would be back to normal. It was so sad, but I refused to believe that this was how the story was going to end. It took a while to muster up the desire to return, this past Friday we decided to be daring.

We got there, sat at the bar and I asked the bartender if the grilled cheese was back to the way it was before. I prefaced my question with “I know this is a weird question, but…” to which he replied that he knew exactly what I was talking about because other customers had expressed the same feelings, but the chef refused to change it back. He told us the alternative was to order the kids’ grilled cheese and substitute the fries for tomato soup. We did and, while this was good, it had regular bread and not the good bread so it just didn’t compare. I decided to ask for the regular grilled cheese from the regular menu, he mentioned they were out ham, which I didn’t mind. We got it and although it was much better it didn’t stand a chance against the old one. The bread wasn’t as crispy or buttery, the cheese wasn’t right and it didn’t have that wow factor. The real kicker is they wanted to charge me the $15 even though they were out of ham, eventually they agreed to lower it to $12, but the bad taste in my mouth stayed. The issue isn’t money, it’s the feeling of being ripped off…paying higher for a product that is lower quality. It breaks my heart that one chef has ruined the entire experience and his unwillingness to change shows disregard to his customers. Until there is change I am officially breaking up with you Tiburon Tavern.

If anyone knows who the previous chef was please let me know, I would love to know where he/she is currently working or get any leads on where I can find another grilled cheese as amazing as his/hers!


Grilled cheese, tomato soup, Marin, Tiburon Tavern, eat and escape, restaurant reviews

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