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Basil Leaf Cafe

Rating: 5

cbohnstedt Basil Leaf Cafe

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!

Rating: 5

jhawk2901 Basil Leaf Cafe

This place is very good! The amount of food you get for the price is incredible!

walterbradley replies...

Thanks for dining with us and enjoying our food and little establishment it is people like you who keep us coming into work everyday and we appreciate your kind words and business. We hope you come back again soon as we have a new menu on the way as well as some other exciting news and changes soon. Again thank you and have a great day

Rating: 5

abbymama Basil Leaf Cafe

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?)

walterbradley replies...

Thank you for the positive review we strive to do our best and hearing we are achieving our goal means alot to us. We hope you join us again soon we will have a new menu coming out soon as well as some other exciting changes on the way. Again thank you for dining with us and the encouraging review

walterbradley replies...

And welcome to Lawrence by the way it is a wonderful place to live and I am certain you will love your new home so welcome home and hope to see you again soon

Rating: 5

trevorku Basil Leaf Cafe

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...

Rating: 4

Demerit Basil Leaf Cafe

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.

Rating: 5

polo66606 Basil Leaf Cafe

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!

Rating: 4

Graczyk Basil Leaf Cafe

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.

walterbradley replies...

Thank you kindly for your friendly and honest review and for coming in and dining and giving the gas station guys a chance. Hopefully we will see you again soon and may have earned another customer, look for some new menu changes in the coming weeks as we are always changing things up a bit and will have more seasonal items on the way soon. And by the way I agree on the sun dried tomatoes I am not a fan of them per say but many people are and I just pick around them anyway lol. Your review and comments were taken to heart and appreciated thanks again and please come again soon. Have a wonderful day..
Sincerely Brad Walters..."Walt"

Rating: 5

boraxo Basil Leaf Cafe

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.

Rating: 1

Kansan1 Basil Leaf Cafe

The owner of Basil Leaf would be wise to not respond to unhappy customers in public if it is done like the reply to Panamint. I was going to dine there this weekend, before I saw this.

MJFarmermac replies...

So you then give them a one star review based on words on the web, and having never eaten there? You did yourself (and them via the star) a dis-service. They could throw the food at me soup nazi-style when I got there and I wouldn't care- it's that good. I don't think these star ratings are supposed to be for web comments, are they?

ti62421 replies...

First, shame on you, because this is not a review and the 1-star rating is not deserved.

I'm curious if the response to Panamint left a bad taste in your mouth because there wasn't the typical gung-ho "the customer's always right" attitude or for some other reason? I'm not a fan of "the customer is always right" because sometimes you get crazy people with an entitlement complex that are impossible to please no matter how far you bend over backward.

I think "Chef Walt" has responded to poor reviews on here in an appropriate way. While I do think he could have benefited from a couple of proof-readings because there are moments he mistypes or repeats himself, the actual content is perfect and I think he is taking full advantage of what should be used for!

Clearly, "Chef Walt" is passionate about his business. From what I can see he...

A) wants to address any legitimate issues that people may have had (see the twieb response) so that he can prevent future customers from leaving unsatisfied and

B) he wants to address reviews that are uncalled for (the Panamint review) and reassure this person that if they just happened to be having a bad day that he would have happily heard them out and tried to remedy the situation that day and he also welcomes their business in the future if they change their mind!

I rarely eat out and have heard the buzz around town about the Basil Leaf Cafe for a while now, after reading through the reviews "Chef Walt" has gained my respect as a business owner and I will be making my way down there soon to try out his food (in hopes he also gains my respect as a kick-a chef!)

Kansan1, check out the restaurant, perhaps you have never owned a business before or worked in the food service industry but I promise, sometimes the customer is incredibly WRONG :)

Rating: 5

zxcvvasdf Basil Leaf Cafe

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!

Rating: 5

mksjohnson Basil Leaf Cafe

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 :)

walterbradley replies...

Thank your so much for your kind words, review and encouragement. You are right we cant please everyone all the time but we certainly take all comments and feedback to heart so we can improve and be better over time. New menu arrives Tuesday next week and I will have copies for preview by the weekend they are at the printers, No breakfast lasagna for now but look for it on lunch special in the coming weeks. We certainly appreciate your business as we do the repeat business from the thousands of people we have had the pleasure of serving and deeply apologize to any visitors who had a sub-par experience. Our goal is to do better and be better and with time and patience we will achieve it. Thanks for your review and all the reviews we receive good and bad for they help us see where we may be wrong or need to improve and become better. Have a great day and should you or any other customers wish to speak with me directly my email is
Sincerely Chef/Owner. Brad Walters

Rating: 1

twieb Basil Leaf Cafe

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.

walterbradley replies...

Hi, I am the owner of The Basil Leaf and am sorry to hear you had a sub-par experience at our establishment. We try to please everyone to the best of our abilities but it seems we have let you down on your visit and we do apologize, if I may inquire as to the date and time you were in the establishment I would be happy to look into whom was there and who made your food and get to the bottom of what may have happened to ensure a better experience should you decide to try us again at anytime. My email is and I would be happy to discuss your experience further should you so desire..Again we apologize and hope you try us again sometime.Thank you for your comment and calling this to my attention and we will do our best to improve each day..Also our New Menu comes out next week for spring and summer please stop in and give it a try, if I am not there to cook your food first hand and give you a better meal tell my staff to call me and I will come in and make it personally..thanks
Sincerely Brad Walters..'Chef Walt"

Rating: 3

SBerrie Basil Leaf Cafe

Are all of these posts from the owner?

Adrian Jacobs replies...

Hi, Adrian Jacobs here, moderator for the LMP reviews. Thanks for the question, I checked out a couple of the 5 star posts and can tell you that they are not from the owners of the Basil Leaf.

walterbradley replies...

Two bad reviews in a week is someone out to get me?? F.Y.I ..After working 12-14 hour days I hardly have the time ,energy, or will to come home and sit in front of a computer and make fake profiles and give out fake reviews just to boost my establishments profile. People like us and love our food on the rare occasion someone doesnt maybe we just had an off moment or someone just doesnt know what they are ordering or dont have a taste for the bold flavors..So to answer on my behalf..NO I havent made any comments or reviews on my establishment on here or any other review page. Thanks for asking though and have a great day..And if you have an unsatisfactory meal please talk to someone on staff and we will gladly take care of you and make your experience better and work with you so you are happy and leave satisfied

ti62421 replies...

Though the owner has already responded I'd like to say that it should be obvious to anyone who reads through these reviews that the owner wants to use this service at to its full advantage! He clearly wants to thank people who give good reviews and when he receives a poor review he wants to figure out what went wrong so he can remedy the situation!

He wants to be a legitimately successful business owner that pleases his customers. If he didn't want to he would probably over-price his food and completely ignore this site as most Lawrence business owners do. Instead, he pays attention to the reviews!

And check out his Facebook page! He has so much information on there including menus! I get so frustrated when I see business owners not use the internet to their advantage (especially Facebook because it is so accessible for both business owners and customers!) and not offer a menu online (so helpful when multiple people are deciding where to eat!)!

Chef Walt, your use of the internet as an accessible information outlet is refreshing! :)

ti62421 replies...

P.S. he has pictures of dishes on his Facebook page too, which is great! I love to be able to see the food so I can really get an idea of what I'll be getting if I'm stopping in for carryout-nobody likes to get home and open their food and get something they totally weren't expecting!

Rating: 5

Cindy Hart Basil Leaf Cafe

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!!

Rating: 5

Wandering Basil Leaf Cafe

...very cool.

...friendly place.

Catfish Alforno is just one of the excellent choices here.

Go ahead try it, you'll like it.

Rating: 5

whedons122700 Basil Leaf Cafe

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.

Rating: 2

Panamint Basil Leaf Cafe

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.

walterbradley replies...

The only bad attitude in this transaction was from the other side of the fence, We are always happy to accomodate customers and make all situations right when we are wrong however there is a mutual respect involved and before the staff could right the wrong said customer jumped down their throats and hung up and would'nt have an adult conversation. I am more than merely a gas station cook I am a highly skilled chef with more than 16 years experience in this field and as far as the food my following speaks for itself. We do the best we can with what we have and will continue to improve and grow and get better with age like a fine wine. And as far as being in business in a year come by and say hello and I will throw you and free meal and dessert on the house. We arent going anywhere.
We here at the Basil Leaf believe in great food, good portions and a fair price we strive to be the best everyday and grow everyday and dont hold grudges or belittle people for accidents that happen in life. It has happened to others before you and may happen again the only difference is having respect and understanding in the situation. Thanks for your business and great review and we look forward to serving you again one day. We are sincerely sorry for your bad experience but before we could offer to fix the situation you acted out and hung up before we could offer a solution, Next time take a deep breath count to ten and lets talk it out and fix it instead of escalate it to a war or words online We are sorry for your experience and wish you the best have a great day

Rating: 5

Jonathan Kealing Basil Leaf Cafe

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.

Rating: 5

phog_harris Basil Leaf Cafe

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!

Rating: 5

Bruce Liddel Basil Leaf Cafe

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.

Rating: 5

Kimberly Grosse Basil Leaf Cafe