Oakland >Food & Dining > Tropix Caribbean Restaurant
3814 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA | Directions 9461137.824031 -122.255365
M-Th 11:30a-9p; F 11:30a-10p; Sa 10a-10p; Su 10a-9p
Neighborhoods: Piedmont Avenue
Getting better after a bumpy start – I've been going to this place for years - it's definitely one of my favorites. It has suffered a little bit from the change of ownership, but the new owners are definitely beginning to find their groove. I've found the new owners to be very friendly and obliging. I don't know whether the cook staff has changed or not, but I don't feel the regular menu has suffered. Even with the previous owners there ocassionally was a miss, and I had to send a dish back and got something else. No bigee. If you have a bad attitude you'll probably get bad service.
The few new "specials" that I've tried so far have been very tasty and well prepared. Running a restaurant is a tough business. The new owners seem to be finding their footing.
not even worthy of a star rating!!! – The new owner is going to send this place into the ground. I wanted a good restaurant low key for my wedding reception and the stress the owner put me thru on my wedding day was awful. He not only didn't prepare his staff of 3 for my 67 people, he cheeped out on all the things we had previously agreed upon. He served the wrong appetizers no one could get a drink or a refill once they did manage to hunt down a server and my pour vegetarian guests didn't get their meals until everyone else was done eating!!!! The staff threw plates on the tables and and were so rude. I wanted good food and drinks for my wedding day (not a lot to ask for) and what I got was a head ache so much for trying to have a low key wedding at a quaint restaurant. I'll never go back. The meat was over cooked the only good thing was the plantains. JerkChicken oh no jerkowner is more like it.
The party's over? – It happens! Change! As we all know change is often difficult and a period of adjustment is necessary. So it really should not come as a surprise that the change of ownership at Tropix has greatly influenced this favorite restaurant on Piedmont Avenue. My wife and I have dined at this location for many years and have both enjoyed and suffered through several eateries of varied descriptions. Our favorite for more than ten years has been Tropix. While the food quality over that span was occasionally uneven, the owners and staff were always friendly and outgoing. We became part of their family and frequently enjoyed their hospitality on two or more occasions each week. Every Sunday evening for sure! Now Peggy Lee is singing..."The party's over!"
In addition to losing the engaging charm and friendship of the owners, many of the former staff have been replaced. The warmth and friendliness of the past has become the chill and paranoia of change and insecurity. The cooking staff has suffered several casualties. The plates and portions are smaller, and the quality of the food itself is tentative at best. On our most recent visits, both the corn bread and bread pudding were under baked and doughy in texture -- worst of all, flavorless. The Po' Boy sandwich had a less flavorful sauce and the Mango Chicken salad dressing had been changed for the worse! The specials seem dangerously inventive and simply untried resulting in a gray and confused flavor experience. We hope for the best, but fearing the worst we will take a break from this favorite spot and return when the dust has settled and the new vision, if there is one, is clear.
Tropix .... done. – I used to frequent this establishment quite often and it had a certain ambience that has obviously eroded away. The old owners, as uptight as they could be sometimes, were always willing to engage in witty banter from politics to dishwashing detergent. Often enough, they would be more than happy to share a seat at their table and pour you a glass of wine. And as their schedules were winding down, they were smart enough to place one of their longtime waitresses, Teri, as manager. She was great at getting things right and making sure you left with a smile on your face, even if the food was sub par. Her attitude and attention to detail was amazing while others waned.
My last experience at Tropix will be just that, my last experience. My fiance and I both ordered the pork, which came out cold and way over-cooked. When I approached the owner, the man with the ponytail, he rudely replied back that pork is supposed to be over-cooked. Unfortunately, there are several articles published that now give the thumbs up to serving pork medium. As I walked away, he began to yell at our waitress, Teri, for the food being bad, when he was the one who brought the food to our table. He also yelled at her for having to help her serve food, when she was the only waitress and they had a full house, which is like 20 tables. The family feel is definitely gone. If it was sold to restaurant savey people the potential would be limitless.
If none of the specials were appealing, you could always count on one of their main staples, be it the steak or chicken, but now, portions and quality have decreased and prices have gradually increased, not to mention that one of the few (and I use few sparingly) people who make the experience all the more enjoyable and worthwhile is hardly ever there and when she is she has so little support she hardly has room for 'Hello'.
Looks like we will be taking our stomaches and our memories up the road.
Great Calamari and Bistec... wonderful Wednesday nights! – We come here at least once a week, the calamari is great as is the Bistec! Terri with her amazing memory makes us welcome. She keeps the place going smoothly assisting servers and customers simultaneously with ease.
Noela is our favorite waitress, very attentive! We love Wednesdays!
The wine list is lacking, so have a mimosa or sangria!
We visited Brunch on Sat. although we had a great time the difference in service definitely noticeable. The owners (4) were just standing while poor Phil and the busgirl were running to serve a seemingly full house. The management was seemingly clueless to the customer's needs... Food was good, but the experience definitely better on Wednesdays.
Cozy, Funky, Neighborhood Haunt, Great food and Service – My wife and I have been going to Tropix for years. The food is Great and the service(overall)good. The female wait staffers(Noele, Celine & Terri) all awsome and make you feel like family. The male staffers(Mark & Phillipe) are also awesome. When Tropix is busy, watch out, they are "Moving"and "nutty"(in a good way). The Calamari(probably the best in the Bay Area), the Jerks(salmon & chicken) and the bread pudding are some of our favorites. All the times we've eaten at Tropix, the food has been awesome. When warm enough, try the sangria on the patio and just chill out.
amazing salads fresh and flavorful , neighborhood haunt, friendly – i have been going to Tropix for years... food is good and service is good for the most part. The staff is friendly and helpful.The restaurant is a neighborhood haunt . Staff is 1 server for 14 tables and boy do they hustle.
The restaurant in the winter is very small and cozy without patio seating, wonderful music and tasty flavorful food choices. Homeade soups and yummy bread puddings. Parties over 4 should definitely reserve. Summer time is a bit hectic but make reservations.
The salads are absoluteley amazing probably some of the best. Mango chicken or tropical waldorf. The special salads are always good too.
Food is fresh and flavorful.
It's great - you just have to know when to go – I have gone more times than I can count. I go when the owners are not there. The manager is nice and she has always taken care of me when something wasn't quite what I expected. The food has always been good, and you get a fair amount for the price. I think they have gone through a few chefs, but the food has kept up through the changes with minor variations. Though my selections rarely change, overall I am satisfied.
Editorial Review by Citysearch Editors – Dine on Caribbean and Creole cuisine in the brightly colored dining room or patio; also catering, takeout and vegetarian options.
TAKE YOUR CHANCES ON THE FOOD, RUDE STAFF – In the six times we have dined at Tropix, it has been about 50-50 as to whether the food is going to be either divine or totally inedible. When it is good, it is very, very good. When it is bad, you wonder what they were thinking by serving it. The one constant seems to be the gumbo, which is spicy and excellent.
The place seems to be understaffed and service is definitely rude and rushed. You definitely get a feeling of "hurry up and get out". Well, after the last time, when we got our check thrown down on the table less than a minute after we got our entrees, and the "are you ready to pay yet?", they definitely got their wish...we will NOT be back.
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