The Basil Leaf Cafe 785-856-0459
616 W. 9th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044 Opens Monday at 5 p.m.
When I moved to Lawrence, I was distraught that I was giving up my beloved Olive Garden.... And then a coworker recommended Basil Leaf, and I really don't remember why I liked Olive Garden in the first place. The food is absolutely perfect and the portions usually last me two or three days! I've tried everything on the takeout menu and I really couldn't pick a favorite; they're all so delicious! I'm glad to see that Basil Leaf is thriving, because it's really the BEST Italian food I've ever had!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the sweet potato risotto! It was so delicious, I could barely stop myself from eating too much. My husband and I got 2 entrees and 1 dessert, and we have enough leftover for tomorrow night's dinner if I can resist a midnight snack of the rest of the risotto! Keep up the good work! (It was kind of hard to find you; we're new in town. How about a bigger sign with some neon?)
Great place and truly outstanding food, even when they are off it's better than most places when they are on the mark. Been eating here since they opened and hope they find a bigger space soon love to see what they could do in a real dining establishment. Never had a disappointing or bad meal though my lasagna seemed rather salty this last week someone must of tipped over the salt jar in the meat or sauce. Like I said though great food even when their off its still good for me check them out give it a try.Sure do miss the breakfast potatoes and breakfast lasgna though should do it for a lunch special sometime hint...
Went there for the first time tonight. Had the BBQ Thai Pulled Pork pasta. It was very good as was the breadstick. Huge portion. Probably will last me a couple more meals...but I keep sneaking into the fridge to snack on it, so we'll see.
Professional, friendly service. I'll definitely go back and try out their other offerings.
My friend convinced me to come to this place. I had the penne abruzzi with chicken instead of meatballs. It was by far the best Italian food I've had in Lawrence, and a great price. So delicious. And one meal has currently lasted me four. Thank you for being so awesome and helpful with my dislike of meatballs!
I ate at the Basil Leaf for the first time this evening. I called in my order for pick-up and the person who answered the phone was both helpful and pleasant. I ordered two entrees and a side of bread sticks. I thought the bread sticks were tasty, but perhaps somewhat under cooked - just by a bit. My wife didn't think the marinara sauce was that special, but I thought it was excellent and I am the one writing the review, so...
I had the Penne Abruzzi. This is a fantastic dish. I didn't really like the sun-dried tomatoes in the sauce, however. They were an almost startling contrast to the other flavors of the dish - almost briny. Criticism aside, I would still order this dish again. My wife had the Five Layer Lasagna. That is an all around fabulous dish - other than having perhaps a little too much noticeable salt.
One note about the great container controversy that you may have read about from a previous review. Basil Leaf Cafe uses typical to-go containers and serves very large portions. They have posted a sign that warns customers to be careful when transporting food. I heeded the sign but still ended up with a little sauce on the outside of box, but it was contained in the bag. No big deal. Maybe they could cut back their portion sizes so that the sauce has less chance of escaping? (Just kidding.) The place is a great value and the two meals my wife and I enjoyed were fantastic. I highly recommend it.
Because there is no such thing as a spill proof container for food items, I will continue to eat at the Basil Leaf gladly; and if I spill on the way home, I will blame myself where the blame belongs, not blame someone else for my mistakes. The food is excellent.
So good and huge portions. The lobster fettuccine alfredo is my personal favorite but everything I've tried has been great. I was going to eat there tonight for the second time this week but they just closed. See you tomorrow, Basil Leaf!
Keep your head up Basil Leaf you can't please everyone everytime. I have personally eaten at your establishment more times than I can count on my hands and have enjoyed every dish I have had, and the one time I did get food that wasnt up to previous experiences I have to admit it was still better than what you get at most other places in town. Having worked in the bizz myself for many years I understand your time and space constraints with your current location and am sure you do more than your best to keep up the pace and still produce quality products each and every time. I feel you do an outstanding job, ( even when the chef is a bit cranky) and I am a life long customer. I ate there on St. Patricks day with my wife and LOVED the special with the corn beef and cabbage with sweet pea sauce and potatoes. I dont even like corn beef or cabbage but you changed my mind, and the other dishes I loved were your tender flavor packed beef tips, warm red cabbage salad (unique and tasty) and of course my stand by go to the Tortellinin cordon blue. So be proud of what you are doing and keep up the good work and good things will come for you guys, I respect and appreciate what your doing, your two bad reviews must just be bad luck have a good day. When does the new menu come out and when can I get a copy?? BRING BACK BREAKFAST LASAGNA ALSO :)
Went there for the first time the other night based off these reviews and from what friends told me, I got the Chefs Special, breadsticks and calamari. The calamari was about like eating old fast food french fries, the Chefs Special was like progresso soup and the breadsticks were soggy and terrible. I wiped down my own table and threw away over 75% of my food then went home and made a sandwich. I even got some alfredo sauce hoping to drown out the taste of the breadsticks but the sauce was terrible too so i just left hungry.
Love. Love. Love this place. This is our "go to" place when we want an amazing, comforting "home cooked" meal without doing any cooking ourselves! We've eaten in the restaurant once and it was fun for the kids. Always since have called in the order and picked up in the drive thru. Which, by the way, is one of the reasons that it's a favorite - when you have two kiddos in car seats and you desperately want to grab dinner that is NOT fast food, your options are very minimal. To drive thru and get this quality of food is amazing! The portions are incredibly generous. We tried the Tortellini Cordon Bleu after reading another review and LOVE it. Lasagna, catfish salad & mac-n-cheese are other favorites. There's also a wonderful spicy pasta dish that I don't remember the name of. Hasn't been anything we've ordered that we didn't like. Please keep up the great work and this mom thanks you so much for the drive-thru!!
We ate here for the first time tonight. My husband had the Tortellini Cordon Bleu. He does not normally eat pasta but after hearing rave reviews from his best friend and knowing that I love pasta, we decided to give it a try. He cannot stop talking about how wonderful it was. My daughter and I both tried it and thought it was great as well. My daughter tried the Mac & Cheese. She is seven and said it is the best that she has ever had. My husband and I swiped a few bites and had to agree that it is fabulous! I had the 5 layer Lasagne, and it was excellent. I am not a huge fan of Italian Seasoning but this was seasoned perfectly, not too much, just enough. Let's talk portion size...we all have leftovers for at least one more meal. My daughter could probably eat off of hers for a week. We just may have to help her with that. ;~P While I have the agree that their packaging does leave a little to be desired, I understand constraints, and I would hate to see their prices skyrocket to accommodate better packaging. It would be awesome if they got out of the gas station, but in a town where real estate can be costly, it is understandable that they would want to get a firm start prior to getting into a costly lease. Anyway, Food is fabulous, portion size is incredible. Prices are fair. We will be back...again...and again.
Food is OK but service and attitude is flawed. Got a take out order from this place. They mispacked it and a couple of items spilled completely over the bag. We suggested that they should have packed it better and they blamed us for sloppy transport.
Food was OK, but heavy and not superb. The attitude was not acceptable. I would steer clear of this place.
The BBQ place there before was great, and is not in business at the old Bucky's site. The Chinese place there before that was good, and I think the woman that ran that has a business still. Basil Leaf has a bad attitude, and will not be in business in another year.
Hands down, the best local Italian restaurant. The atmosphere is what you'd expect for being in a gas station, but the food is unbelievably good. I'm cheering for these guys to break out into their own location and keep up the excellent service and good food. Huge portions are a plus.
My wife and I eat here almost every week. So far we have tried almost half the menu and it has all been great! The quality, quantity, price, and convenience factor make this one of the best places in town.
I would also be remiss if I failed to mention the great soups. They're all great!
Basil Leaf Cafe is not just another Italian sub or pizza shoppe, nor am I a reviewer who gives more than three stars easily. Never mind the gas station, this is a first-class dining establishment. Yes, you order from the counter, and no, there are no candles. This is about the food, and not about the atmosphere. If you want atmosphere, then go to Bambino's or an Olive Garden, or maybe someplace in NYC. If you want a world-class authentic gourmet Italian dining experience, then visit Lawrence's best kept secret: The Basil Leaf.