Renee Steve

Loring Pasta Bar
327 14th Avenue SE


Date of Review
May 8, 2004


Entree Price:
$10 - $15

Our Total Bill:



Casual to dressy




2 foot wood
Renee's Side Steve's Side

  • Tom Yum Soup (cup) $4.95
  • 7 oz. Steak w/ frites (‘gopher’) $16.95
  • Grand Marnier Chocolate Cake $6.50

I must confess that this is one of my favorite lunch spots. They have a great location from my work and the restaurant itself is beautiful. To have a cup of soup and their salad with pears, walnuts and blue cheese, really is a great lunch especially on a nice day and you get their early enough to get out door seating. The people watching can not be beat.

This is my first time for dinner however and compared to other restaurants it is just not that great. We did get to sit outside and the people watching was as marvelous as ever. The soup was great as usual, but that is where it fell apart. The steak and fries was not that great. The fries were soggy and cold and the steak was not that great. I have had much better for a similar price. The dessert, I really don't want to talk about the dessert it looked impressive, but it tasted terrible.

I must confess again that I will go back for lunch, I am sure, and have a soup and salad and maybe an occasional pasta dish, but I will not go back for dinner.

  • Green Pea Soup (cup) $3.95
  • King Crab Spaghetti $14.50
  • Toffee ‘nana Tart $6

I enjoyed the vibe at Loring Pasta Bar. The inside is very nice, and they have comfy chairs on the sidewalk with good people-watching in Dinkytown. It surprised me to see so many prom dresses and tuxes in Dinkytown. Loring Pasta Bar does not accept reservations, and it would be a stretch for many to take the chance of getting in and out in a realistic time frame. But maybe I’ve lost the adventure of youth, where the down side would be spending extra time with friends waiting for a table. Maybe that extra time would be remembered fondly (or maybe it would delay arriving at prom, another motive).

Notwithstanding fond memories, we were at Loring Pasta Bar in search of good food. Having read mixed reviews of Loring Pasta Bar, I decided to order things that looked good but were not in published reviews. That seemed to be a good strategy to give the restaurant a fair shake.

The green pea soup would have been good had it been served in a timely manner and thus hot. For $4 a cup, it should have been hot. Some people would have sent it back, but with a busy restaurant, who knows how long that would take? Besides, we’re not that type.

The king crab spaghetti was fairly priced, considering the volume of crab and pasta in the dish. Pastas are some of the better values on the menu, which must be very popular on campus in Dinkytown. Aside from the volume of food, the dish was bland. Not inedible, just bland. Bland, bland, bland. Sigh. The name is so enticing that it just needed some zip, some spice, some herb, something.

The toffee ‘nana tart was quite the opposite. The flavors of toffee and banana were easily discernable, and they worked together. It was a good dessert, not outstanding, not innovative, but a good finish to a sadly mediocre meal.

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