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Monday, July 30, 2012

Frank Reviews... Caldone's Restaurant in Joplin, Missouri

When I was planning out ideas for a food blog, part of it was to include reviews of food & drink related venues, occasionally. Last week, I met my wife for a lunch deal at a local Italian restaurant called Caldone's, in downtown Joplin. We had never had the opportunity to check it out. We thought it was a great time to try it, since my wife had claimed a Facebook deal for two lunch buffets including teas, for $7.99. After our experience there, I decided to type up a review for Urbanspoon. I'd like to share it with my Frank About Food readers:

July 27, 2012

I was meeting my wife for lunch, today, and she had an offer from Facebook for buy one get one free on their $7.99 lunch buffet. So, we decided to check it out. We had never had the opportunity to dine at Caldone's, before. And I'm very supportive of eating and drinking locally.
When I arrived at the restaurant, my wife already had seated herself and was waiting for several minutes for the one server to come take a drink order. The buffet comes with ice tea. She opted for water. I asked for unsweetened tea. I was informed that they don't have unsweet tea. So, water it is... and neither of us got our lemon we asked for in our waters.
The buffet was nothing like I had expected. When we walked up to it and looked around, we wouldn't have stayed to eat, but we weren't paying much, with the deal, and thought we would try it. There was a chafing dish of hot dog buns on one table. The salad on that table was a bowl of lettuce on a small bowl of ice, alongside two multi-compartment dishes, not chilled with the salad toppings. There were only two dressings: Ranch and Raspberry Vinaigrette (which was an odd pinkish creamy dressing). There was only one spoon for all the toppings, including the cucumber slices and tomato slices that were not fresh looking, at all, soggy and not appetizing. The pizza selection was pepperoni, sausage, a combo of olives, onions and sausage, and a pineapple/Canadian bacon pizza. My wife was fortunate enough to get a slice of BBQ chicken pizza. There were also cinnamon rolls that my wife enjoyed. The pizza was fairly average, and the crust was not much to our liking, and hard. One slice of my pizza had a light colored whisker baked into the cheese. I originally thought it was a string of cheese, until I found the follicle on the end of the hair. Wasn't happy about that finding.
The other table had a three pot warmer with marinara, chili, and pesto alfredo, and a chafing dish with the hot dogs and a fettuccine. The pasta was rather dry, and stuck together. The hot dogs seemed to be all beef, and were actually really good. The chili was good. The pesto alfredo sauce was bland, and broken. I think perhaps the warmer kept the sauce too hot, and caused it to break. It was thin, and not very flavorful. So, the pasta was disappointing, as well. The hotdogs were good. I even observed another patron ask someone about any other dressings for the salad... "maybe an Italian dressing, or vinegar and oil?" The gentleman came back from the back, empty handed.
There was one server for the entire lunch rush, but it was never that busy, besides, it was a buffet. It shouldn't have been too hard to keep up. We had to wait a long time for water refills, had to track her down for silverware and napkins, and when we finally got our ticket, it was incorrect. She still charged for two full price buffets, and a Coke that no one ordered. She got it corrected for us, and offered an apology for the whisker pizza topping.
I won't be going back for their lunch buffet, ever. We would like to give them one chance for dinner, sometime.


  1. don't have to take us there to eat when we visit

  2. Frank! Love to have you come back in! We have new ownership and I will personally ensure you get to experience the new and vastly improved Caldones!

    -Ash Wise

    1. Thanks for the reply, Ashley!
      Sounds great! I look forward to making it again, soon. I'm sure my wife and I are due for a date night, very soon!!!