Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Will This Place Cut the Mustard?

Mustard Cafe
41 Auto Center Drive
Foothill Ranch, CA 92610

I admit it, I like using coupons to save on food. I mean, I eat out about 150 times a year, so any savings I can get I am all for. To increase my coupon collection I buy the Entertainment Book every year. I know the restaurants in the Entertainment Book are usually not the best, but there are some coupons and offers that I make sure to use every year. Mr. Stox, Five Crowns, and La Cave come to mind. I even use the Entertainment Book to find new restaurants that we have not yet tried. This was how we arrived at Mustard Cafe.

Mustard Cafe is kind of on its own island in Foothill Ranch. It's located in the desolate remains of the Foothill Ranch Auto Center. Separated from the much more popular Foothill Ranch Towne Center by Bake Parkway, I imagine that foot traffic for this shopping area has diminished with the loss of all the car dealerships in the area. Surprisingly, when we arrived there were about ten people that had stumbled upon this restaurant, or maybe they had sought out this place for the food.

Mustard Cafe is a casual sandwich place. Think upscale sandwich shop. The menu features a variety of sandwiches, panini's, soups and salads. They have also just started serving dinners, which is what Katie took advantage of. There used to be two locations, but the Orange location is no more. Let's see how the food turned out.

I was pretty hungry, and not sure how big my sandwich was going to be, so I started with a Caesar salad. Here the Caesar was kind of plain tasting. The salad definitely needed more dressing, and the asiago was not very flavorful. The salad was not awful, but very average.

I had been thinking about Reuben sandwiches all day at work, so I already knew what I would be getting when I came here. One small problem, they were out of rye bread. The counter lady asked if I would mind having it on another bread, so I went that route. When it came out it was on whole grain bread. I should have gone for a different sandwich. Not only was the bread wrong, but the rest of the sandwich failed to satisfy as well. The corned beef was cut to thin, and they really skimped on the amount of meat, as you can see from the picture. The house made Reuben sauce was good, but the sauerkraut pushed both the meat and cheese to the side, so I did not notice either. I would not get this again.

Katie did not feel like a sandwich, so she tried one of their new dinner options. The Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo was her choice. She described the Alfredo sauce as, "laid back and light". I would describe it as flavor challenged, but that is just me. The shrimp and pasta were cooked fine, but this dish really did not pop or make us want to order this again. The bread served with this was soggy, with a faint garlic flavor. The one bright spot of the dinner was that it was served with a free glass of wine. Katie went with the white wine, and almost finished the glass. Not a big wine drinker, that girlfriend of mine.

The food here was not awful, but it was not anything we would come back for. They do have a wide variety of sandwiches, so there might be something worth having if you want to explore their menu a little more. A few items I have read say that the Roast Beef and Bleu sandwich is a decent bet. The service was fair, and I felt the value was just okay. My sandwich was $7.95, and Katie's dinner was $13. So, once again the Entertainment Card has led me astray, but at least we did not pay full price.

Out of five game pieces, (because one of my favorite board games, Clue, features the character Colonel Mustard), five being best to zero being worst, Mustard Cafe gets 2 game pieces.

For more information on Mustard Cafe, click here:

Mustard Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. Mustard cafe is kind of a breakfast only place for me now. The breakfast isn't amazing but its good. There is a Mustard's in Irvine, just to let you know.

  2. Taylor - Thanks for the tip about the breakfast. I am not sure that the Mustard's Delicatessen in Irvine is owned by the same people. The Mustard Cafe web site only lists the Foothill Ranch location. Thanks for the comment.