About On The Square

115 East St. James Street
Tarboro, NC 27886
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Located in Historic Downtown Tarboro, one of the oldest towns in North Carolina, On the Square Restaurant offers seasonal, sustainable ingredients that are celebrated throughout the ever-changing menu. Open for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and for lunch on Monday through Friday, we are as proud of our food and comfortable atmosphere as we are of our eclectic and value-driven wine list.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary American

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Thursday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Main Street

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(252) 823-8268

Website:
http://www.onthesquarenc.com/

Catering:
We offer catering of every kind. From box lunches to weddings, we are happy and able to provide food and wine for your special event.

Executive Chef:
Stephen Ribustello

Private Party Facilities:
Our private dining area seats 38 people comfortably. It is available any night of the week. On Sunday-Wednesday, the minimum is $1500 ++, and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, the minimum is $2000 ++. Of course, we also cater off-premise so please contact us for more information if you already have a space in mind.

Private Party Contact:
Frances Liverman: 2528238268

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

  • Cod Sandwich - On The Square, Tarboro, NC
  • Corned-Beef Ruben - On The Square, Tarboro, NC
Cod Sandwich - On The Square, Tarboro, NC
Corned-Beef Ruben - On The Square, Tarboro, NC

On The Square Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.5

ambience

4.2

value

4.4

noise

Moderate

98% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Special Occasion
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Contemporary American
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Special Occasion
Raleigh
Best Restaurants in Tarboro ›

Special Occasion (29)
Notable Wine List (21)
Fit for Foodies (18)
See All
Worth the Drive (17)
Creative Cuisine (16)
Good for Birthdays (15)
Neighborhood Gem (14)
Local Ingredients (13)
Good for Anniversaries (13)
Good for a Date (12)
Romantic (11)
Authentic (8)
Business Meals (8)
Fun (7)
Good for Groups (7)
Great for Lunch (7)
Cozy (7)
Quiet Conversation (6)
Casual (5)
Bar Seating (5)
Great for Brunch (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (4)
Organic (4)
Healthy (4)
Hot Spot (3)
Outstanding Value (3)
Historic (3)
Modern Decor (2)
Comfort Food (2)
Private Room (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Scenic View (2)
Fireplace (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Live Music (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Tapas (1)
Great Beer (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Open Kitchen (1)
Wood Oven (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
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887 reviews
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Was in town for a funeral, but slipped a ...

 
 (Houston)·Dined 4 days ago

Was in town for a funeral, but slipped away to celebrate wedding anniversary. Wine service was particularly good. Rachel was very helpful.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderful place. Lunch is good. We had o ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 5 days ago

Wonderful place. Lunch is good. We had our annual Christmas luncheon there for our lunch group but dinner is what one needs to go for. Farm grown food and home made desserts. No other food like it in Eastern NC.

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food5
ambience3
service5

As always a wonderful meal. Guests comme ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 27, 2016

As always a wonderful meal. Guests commented on the tuna ....excellent!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

We live 30 miles away but it is always w ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 26, 2016

We live 30 miles away but it is always worth the drive to go to OTS. Food is very good, wine selection great and reasonably priced and service superior. I highly recommend it.

E. Elliott

Tags: Worth the Drive, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My wife and I have eaten at On the Squar ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 20, 2016

My wife and I have eaten at On the Square many times over the years. It is probably our favorite restaurant. This past Saturday night was not the normal experience for this restaurant. The food was still outstanding but the service was significantly less than expected. We were not sure if it was a kitchen problem or a wait staff problem. But we waited significantly longer than normal throughout all phases of the dinner. It took a while for the the waitress to greet us and take the drink order, it took longer than normal for the appetizer to arrive and far longer than normal for the entree to arrive. We were almost ready to leave when the main course arrived. This was the first time over many times that this has happened. We are hoping that this was just a bad night for a great restaurant.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Organic, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

Our dinner was absolutely delicious. To ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Our dinner was absolutely delicious. Top notch! With an excellent glass of wine.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Music was a bit too loud, but our meal w ...

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 17, 2016

Music was a bit too loud, but our meal was perfect!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Fun, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A coworker who lives in Tarboro recommen ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 11, 2016

A coworker who lives in Tarboro recommended OTS as a stop on our way to the beach. Truly a small town gem. Understand that dinner is really outstanding but a great bistro lunch in an quaint historic setting. One warning - peanut oil is used for the fries if you have allergies which disappointed my allergic son - and it is not indicated anywhere.

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food4
ambience5
service5

Steven was once again a great host and c ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Steven was once again a great host and chef. Staff as always was great and the wine was outstanding.

Tags: Cozy, Casual, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Outstanding outing for a family or coupl ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Outstanding outing for a family or couple. We go 2-3 times a year.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating, Historic, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Great meal !! Highly recommend

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 5, 2016

Great meal !! Highly recommend

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Our extended family of cousins enjoyed a ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 5, 2016

Our extended family of cousins enjoyed a walking tour of Tarboro family sites and the enjoyed a wonderful dinner later at On the Square. All eight of us had a wonderful meal with great wine. It was the perfect end to a perfect day. We will be back!

Tags: Comfort Food, Good for a Date, Outstanding Value, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Meh. Anniversary dinner. Average food/se ...

 
 (Tampa)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Meh. Anniversary dinner. Average food/service. Meh.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

I never do this, (not because I do not W ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 25, 2016

I never do this, (not because I do not WANT to!) but have had 5 meals there --for business and friends gathering--in the last two weeks. All were wonderful.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Historic, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The pulled duck breast risotto was pheno ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 21, 2016

The pulled duck breast risotto was phenomenal... Sooo delicious! Grilled romaine salad & fried calamari also!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Casual
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Wonderful restaurant. Excellent food yet ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 20, 2016

Wonderful restaurant. Excellent food yet at a reasonable price for the high quality. Friendly atmosphere. Terrific wines. Definitely one of our favorites

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Outstanding Value
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

It is always good no matter what is goin ...

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on October 15, 2016

It is always good no matter what is going on around the state/world!! Which this visit happened to be right around the hurricane, they were not busy at all, but that was not because PEOPLE didn't want to be there, they COULD not get to the restaurant because of water... it was nice and quiet, but you could tell they were not used to quiet.. Hopefully the area is getting somewhat back to normal! and life is moving forward!!!

Tags: Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Great Beer
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Dinner was absolutely terrific. Atmosphe ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 2, 2016

Dinner was absolutely terrific. Atmosphere was perfect. Overall fantastic experience!

Tags: Tapas, Creative Cuisine, Healthy, Organic, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Fun, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We enjoyed celebrating my wife's birthda ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 1, 2016

We enjoyed celebrating my wife's birthday at your restaurant. However, we would have liked some smooth jazz or some sort of easy listening music to have been playing softly and that would have possibly encouraged people to talk not quite as loud. We did not care to hear other's conversations. The lighting could have been a little softer to compliment the candles on the table.

We really enjoyed our waiter! He was very knowledgeable about the menu and the wines. When my wife had to return her fish because it was too salty, he made the perfect suggestion for another choice! We do plan to return in the future.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Fireplace, Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients, Bar Seating, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Live Music, Great for Brunch, Tasting Menu, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience1
service5
value4

Never disappointing. Outstanding service ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 1, 2016

Never disappointing. Outstanding service. Excellent food. Amazing wine options. Fun atmosphere. We drive an hour one way to dine here.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fun, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

On the Square never disappoints!! My hu ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 29, 2016

On the Square never disappoints!! My husband and I enjoyed every facet of our experience at this little gem of a restaurant. We shall return!

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always pleasurable. Had one very loud g ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 10, 2016

Always pleasurable. Had one very loud group that detracted from experience.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

An enjoyable evening for a Birthday Din ...

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on September 10, 2016

An enjoyable evening for a Birthday Dinner. Food was great as always. Service was outstanding. This is a great restaurant for dinner every week as well as for special occasions.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Disabled Access, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Healthy
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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

Had an absolutely exceptional meal on Sa ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 9, 2016

Had an absolutely exceptional meal on Saturday night. Chicken dish paired perfectly with the red recommended by the in-house sommelier. Juicy flavorful dishes that are well spiced and fresh. Bigger portions than expected but perfectly sized for a dinner. Also ordered house-made ice cream sandwiches which were a perfect ending to the evening. Will return!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Organic, Good for a Date, Authentic, Sunday Lunch, Private Room, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Outstanding Value, Notable Wine List, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

There aren't many places in eastern Nort ...

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 7, 2016

There aren't many places in eastern North Carolina where you can get vegetarian meals outside of a salad or veggie burger. On The Square is one of the few places you get fresh innovative vegetarian. Many of their vegetarian are specials so best to call before hand.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

Food was well prepared and delicious. Wa ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 3, 2016

Food was well prepared and delicious. Waitress was pleasant took the time to taste different wines before ordering.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Modern Decor, Notable Wine List, Business Meals
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food5
ambience3
service3
value4

It is always delicious and beautifully p ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 30, 2016

It is always delicious and beautifully presented. The service is always attentive, and everything you need, but also non-intrusive. I love the creative specials! This time it was an open face avocado BLT. Delicious!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Gluten Free Options, Business Meals, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Healthy, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Notable Wine List, Great for Lunch, Good Vegetarian Options, Romantic, Organic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Lovely dinner with some great food. A li ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 28, 2016

Lovely dinner with some great food. A little pricey for the portion sizes but very tasty! Excellent wine selection.

Tags: Romantic, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Business Meals, Casual, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Cozy, Good for a Date, Historic
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

We always love coming to and eating at O ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on August 27, 2016

We always love coming to and eating at On The Square. We've been coming from Aulander (45 minutes north) for about 10 or more years now. It will continue to be our choice when we want a special [but good value] dinner out. OTS rocks!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Great for Brunch, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

On the Square never fails to delight us. ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 27, 2016

On the Square never fails to delight us. at our table of six three of us tried the shellfish cacciucco which had a rich tomato sauce with the shellfish. The rest of us tried the shrimp/scallop en croute which was divine-- puff pastry with a wonderful sauce with the seafood. We all enjoyed our experience.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Healthy, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderful food.

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 26, 2016

Wonderful food.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Nothing tremendously exciting on the men ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 20, 2016

Nothing tremendously exciting on the menu. The restaurant smelled slightly of mildew, which we stopped noticing by the time our entrees arrived. Oil was a bit cool for our fried items, so the calamari was tougher than we hoped and the parmesan fries that came with my steak were soggy. Not sure if I'll go back.

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food3
ambience2
service3

I as surprised that you order at the bar ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 16, 2016

I as surprised that you order at the bar, and that was fine! A nice menu with several salads and sandwiches. The wait was not long. We both had Cobb salads (honey mustard for one and blue cheese for the other). I immediately noticed how good it smelled. The dressings were excellent, and the salad was one of the best that I have had in a long time. Ate the whole thing!! We will definitely go back anytime we are near Tarboro. What a gem!!

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food5
ambience4
service5

Rough start to this experience. Placed ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 13, 2016

Rough start to this experience. Placed in a dark corner with a wobbly table top. Took the server 10 minutes to come take the drink order, and another 5-7 minutes to bring it back. Server came back into dining room several times while we were waiting, nothing from the bar just tea and coke. Had to request a steak knife with the New York Strip. Silverware had soap spots. No candle, flower, or salt and pepper on table.

Having said all that, the food was amazing. We ordered the chicken livers, New York Strip, and chicken and waffles. The only critique was the chicken livers with mushroom and red wine reduction did not have all the alcohol cooked off, however, it was so delicious I highly recommend it. The chicken livers were perfectly cooked, tender and delicious. The New York Strip was cooked to order, tender and juicy. The chicken and waffles had a bacon maple "gravy" that was addictive. Our compliments to the chef.

Even with the questionable beginning we will be going back again. The food makes the drive from Greenville completely worth it.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience3
service3
value3

This was a return visit for me after 2 y ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 30, 2016

This was a return visit for me after 2 years. The service was excellent with a well paced meal. The wine list was exceptional and the sommelier a great help. The food was a gourmand's delight .

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Good food. No ambiance.

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 23, 2016

Good food. No ambiance.

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food4
ambience3
service4

We are new to the area and wanted to try ...

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on July 17, 2016

We are new to the area and wanted to try this restaurant, which was recommended by many as one of the best in eastern NC. We arrived a little early for our reservation. There was no obvious hostess. Unfortunately we were not seated until about 30 min after our reserved time. Then it was another 15 min before a server came to our table. Once we ordered, our food arrived promptly. More importantly, the food was great. There were no problems in the kitchen. But you shouldn't have to ask for a spoon when you order soup. Lol. The wine list was great and had good, but reasonably priced options. Perhaps service was off just on this occasion. We will give it another chance because of the food. This restaurant could be great. But they have to get their service up to the standards of their kitchen. It was a frustrating experience.

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food5
ambience3
service2

On the Square never fails to please! Wo ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 16, 2016

On the Square never fails to please! Wonderful food in a small atmosphere where service is wonderful. Their wines are the best! Love having a special dinner here!

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I've eaten here a few times before and a ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 16, 2016

I've eaten here a few times before and always enjoyed the experience and the food. This particular visit, I brought some friends as part of a "girls weekend". This was the only night we planned to eat out for dinner. I was hugely disappointed. Our server was not knowledgeable and with every question seemed to say, "I can check". She knew nothing about wines, but also, did not offer to get someone who did. The calamari appetizer was great. When we received our meals, the friend who ordered the filet was very happy, the friend who ordered the ribeye was not (much of it was not edible and this is someone who knows ribeyes and what is expected), I ordered the salmon and altho' the flavor was very good, the fish was overcooked. I didn't even finish half. We decided to skip dessert. I'm not going to go back any time soon, there is nothing more frustrating than paying a good sum of money for a meal that would have been better at home.

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food2
ambience4
service1
value2

Without a doubt, this will be one of the ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 15, 2016

Without a doubt, this will be one of the best dining experiences of your life. This place is nestled into eastern North Carolina, and the food has the flare of the big city world class dinning, yet served with southern charm and an accent! Stephen and Inez, indeed, go out of their way to make you feel like you're in their home. I've eaten in big cities all across this country, yet I still can't wait to get back to their table. If you're disappointed, may God help you.

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food5
ambience5
service5

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