By Bob T. at 2016-09-12
Reasonably priced and nicely... nice. I stopped off for breakfast during the Frederick street something-or-other. The service was a bit slow (maybe appropriate for Frederick) and the servers were very friendly (also possibly appropriate). The food, in my case a Western Ommlet, was fresh, hot, tastey, good sized, and reasonably priced.
The next time I'm in Frederick I'll definately go to Brewers Alley because I used to really like that place and haven't been there in a very long time. However, the visit after that I'll give Isabella's another try.
By Mark G. at 2016-11-13
This used to be a fabulous place. its popularity has resulted in a complacency that moved it to mediocrity. I had time to spend in Frederick before returning to Columbia, so I visited a wine bar and then made my way to the happy hour at Isabela's. I had hoped for a seat at the bar and a chance to order several tapas, but I had to stand at the end, right next to the "buffet." In forty years of seeking out happy hour buffets, this is among the worst. It is made even more appalling by the fact that this kitchen, a few years ago, could produce absolutely unmatched tapas.
I soon found a seat at the bar, but the only improvement was comfort and a chance to try a few tapas. The fried asparagus remains special, but I am just too old for a bar scene without any special friends. There were a few perks, as I recieved an extra order item. This only pushed the negatives a little into the background. In the end, I decided that I was not enjoying my time there, and I moved on.
I did meet a few local characters, and enjoyed a few minutes of conversation. I think that if I came regularly and brought a friend or two, I would probably end up elsewhere.
In the end, the check was wrong, but I did not complain--it was in my favor. I am still curious about what makes it happy hour, because I left quite dissatisfied.
Social engimeering fail, I guess. And the food failed too.
Eat well, tip well.
By Isabel L. at 2016-08-23
Let me start off by saying that my server was amazing, couldn't have asked for a nicer guy. With that being said, here we go. My boyfriend made a reservation for our 2 year anniversary at 7pm on 8/20/2016, we arrived a little early but they actually weren't that busy and the manager said they could seat us. THE MANAGER on shift took us to our table where I kindly asked him if there was any way we could have a booth since it was our 2 year anniversary.
He proceeded to snatch the menus off the table, directed us to a booth with a tall drink of attitude and then made it a point to tell me that I was inconveniencing the next reservation for asking for a booth. ARE YOU SERIOUS?????
I have been in the restaurant business for 20 years and I have never been treated that way by a manager. To not make a scene, I let it go because I wanted to have a nice dinner and I wasn't going to let him ruin it.
Ugh. The food was incredibly salty, all of it. From the calamari (which we couldn't even finish) to the shrimp and the coffee filet. The only food I can rave about are the asparagus fries and the avocado topped with jumbo lump crab salad.
Needless to say, I will NEVER be coming back to this establishment and I've already told a few of my friends who were curious about this restaurant to not spend their money here either. Go down the street to Casique, they have better food and much better service.
By Natasha S. at 2016-06-28
This place was super busy one Sunday morning for brunch, so we thought it would be a winner. We were actually very disappointed.
Service was good.
Prices are a little high - especially for what you get.
My mom and her boyfriend ordered brunch, they had the classic benedict and western omelet. They both thought it was decent, but that portions were tiny based on pricing.
I had the goat cheese, strawberry and walnut salad. Which was decent, but again they were not very generous with the ingredients. We also ordered the asparagus fries as an appetizer, which was good. But it only came with 4 pieces. And it was $8. YIKES.
We won't be returning. We didn't like it enough to want to come back.
By R H. at 2016-09-30
This is one of my favorite restaurants. Low prices for expertly crafted tapas. We got four plates for about $20, what a steal! Excellent service too.
We recommend the asparagus fries and the homemade potato chips with goat cheese and siracha
By Dylan Keith W. at 2015-10-14
I showed up before happy hour had even started, but the bar was already completely full of patrons. So with no other choice, I opted for a table close enough to the bar. I then ordered a couple drinks,
but was told that happy hour discounts only apply
to people physically sitting at the bar. God forbid my 10 foot distance. Yeah, screw that noise. You can do that in DC, but this is Frederick. C'mon now.
The tapas were tasty, so I am at least merciful on that point. But, I probably won't be going back.
By Meg T. at 2016-11-25
Tapas are amazing. Have been here for lunch and happy hour and have yet to be disappointed. Shrimp in oil is amazing. Sauce is phenomenal for bread dipping. Also enjoyed the white sangria, nice and light. The lunch deal of 3 tapas for 10 bucks is great. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.
By Steve L. at 2016-08-07
In search of a Mediterranean food experience, I joined a family group for lunch at Isabella's Taverna & Tapas Bar (44 North Market Street, Frederick, MD 21701). The establishment was set comfortably in the historic district of this conspicuous Maryland burg and offered authentic Spanish cuisine.
My party was waited on by Brian Klitch, who offered his vast knowledge and experience to our menu selections and provided quality service. General Manager Jaime Ellis supervised the restaurant operations and ensured customers were satisfied with their encounter with this "Slice of Spain."
Always one for an 'a la carte' approach to traditional food restaurants, I opted for items from the Ensaladas (salads), Pescados y Mariscos (fish & seafood), Verduras (vegetables) and Postre (dessert) sections of the diverse menu. I started with a tasty glass of lemonade and a bold appetizer of Esparragos Fritos con Aioli, which consisted of panco-encrusted asparagus fries dipped in a smoked tomato aioli sauce. This was followed by Piquillo Relleno, a beautiful, red Spanish pepper stuffed with goat cheese and scallions in a balsamic reduction. On the side, I enjoyed what I considered to be the most profound taste of this meal, the Ensalada Sandia, watermelon cubes topped with feta cheese, balsamic glaze, fresh mint, olive oil and black sea salt. For my main entree, I chose the classic dish, Ceviche, a spirited concoction of shrimp & bay scallops marinated in fresh lime juice, ripe tomato, cilantro, jalapeno and red onion. I topped off this notable meal with a dessert of Flan Creme, a creamy custard covered in a light caramel sauce.
The restaurant was clean and illuminated in a welcoming fashion. Dining was available inside and on the front sidewalk. Ample metered (Monday-Saturday) street parking was available.
By Michelle R. at 2016-08-03
Still a meh place, but now has pokestops. I set up a lure and caught a handsome 4 rattatas. Great.........
Food great, as always. Our waiter was cool, young tough looking guy. Wish they had some soup on the menu.
We were seated quickly without a reservation on a Saturday around 7pm. Again, couldn't pull my seat out because there was already someone sitting behind me. I was chest-to-table the whole time.
By Brian O. at 2016-06-24
Where to start...
I've heard that there are great restaurants in Frederick, this is not one of them (in my opinion).
Makes you feeling like you went back in time to a chi-chi's mixed with rio grande.
All the plates were mismatching as if they just randomly buy plates (even salads came out on two completely different plates - one clear and one ceramic with designs...)
No sear on pork belly, felt like they boiled it instead?
Under salted with an exception of the Ceviche, which was super salty
Short Rib sandwiches were very anti climatic. dry and had zero hint of truffle mayo. Truffle is a very strong taste and not to taste it at all is odd.
Portion sizes were good
For the price 6 tapas 4 drinks and 20% tip = $120ish I would say I can find a much better tapas meal in for cheaper or even drive into the city and pay 10% more for a 1000% better experience and meal.
By Denise V. at 2016-11-26
Omg!!! Love this delish layed back place!!! Great atmosphere! Amazing food and gigantic sangrias with apples and oranges! Wonderful time every time. Fri night- happy hr w table of food laid out. Nice. I love the tapas here. My daughter and I ordered 4, and each had a huge glass of sangria, it filled us up!! They kept bring the crispy little airy loaves if bread w olive oil, (could hv made that a meal!). The meat balls are only chopmeat in ball shapes, no taste, rubbery in a plain brown gravy w a tiny bit of oinions, blahhh. Everything else was great. Not quiet if that's what u r looking for......its got great 70 s music!!! Very quaint! Great town. Nice to walk around and shop afterwards! If I could change anything....I would add lace curtains only about 3 feet high, across the windows,(low). It would be cute and more private. Felt like a puppy in a pet shop window the whole time. Great service. The manager never spoke to anyone and never smiled. That's weird. Other than a few small changes it would be perfect. My daughter who lives there said they hv live music at night sometimes and the whole place changes mood. Check with the restaurant to see which days. So that's cool. Frederick is such a great place!
By Hannah W. at 2016-09-24
One of my favorite places to eat here in Frederick! With so much to choose from, and reasonably priced for what you're getting, I never leave disappointed. Breakfast here is amazing. Dinner here is even better! I cannot remember the gentleman's name, but he is a young, blonde server there who helped my boyfriend and I navigate through the menu during our first time there for dinner. He was so knowledgable about the menu and was very attentive and on point! Next time we came in, he wasn't even our server and gave us a friendly hello at our table! Get the pear salad and their homemade potato chips. I'd recommend more entrees but there's just too many too name and its always so delicious no matter what I order. My grandfather even loves this place, and he's a REALLY picky man. Love this place.
By Foody T. at 2016-09-24
Services is very excellent and the food is excellent as well. We ordered the paella seafood it was very good and on point. Also the topas is very good as well. We had the calamari and the chicken stew.
Will definitely recommend this place to anyone is looking for good Spanish cuisine. This place is specialized in topas and their entre is just as good.
By Victoria W. at 2016-07-23
Let me start by saying that the food here is amazing, the service is pretty great too. Hence the 3 stars.
It would have gotten 5 stars but TWICE out of maybe 4 times going there we have found a hair in our food. The first time we said something, the second we just scooped it out and kept eating it. It's unfortunate, that can really end a business. Please be careful, and guys, get it together.
By Katy A. at 2016-03-20
Nothing spectacular to report on Isabella's. I arrived with a reservation on a busy weekday night and was seated promptly. The restaurant was pretty busy and it looked like our waitress had too many tables for one person. Her service wasn't very good, but I honestly can't blame her. She seemed overwhelmed. I ordered a a bunch of different tapas and they arrived sporadically, which was fine as my table really couldn't have fit everything. Nothing I tasted was exceptional, or really interesting. Most things I could make better at home. It was decent, average food. Nothing was terrible, but nothing stood out as really good either. I don't think I'd go back again. I'd love to try other tapas places around and try to get a more authentic experience.
By Tracy N. at 2016-10-04
I absolutely adore this place! I haven't had anything bad yet. The daily specials are just that: SPECIAL. And the paellas are varied and tasty.
By Brian W. at 2015-07-26
An associate and I ate here while in town for business after hearing good things about it. The vibe is Spanish, and the decor is nice; although it feels like the tables are really close together in the layout of the restaurant. We were seated in the back with some kind of bull head decoration piece looking down at us, which was odd.
The restaurant is tapas style for the most part with lots of choices organized by veggie, fish, and meats. There were also a number of specials on the menu to choose from. The waitress was kind enough to explain tapas to us even though I'd iterated that we knew the scoop. This seems like what happens at every tapas restaurant.
Our food came in waves as things were completed like at every other tapas I've been to. The food was good, although at times I thought the dishes may have sat too long before being served (making them cold). We probably ordered 1 maybe 2 plates too many as it was just a little too much food between the two of us. Some of the portions are larger than others depending on what you get. This always seems to happen to me at tapas places, but it's a great way to try a number of different things.
The food was generally good, but I wasn't blown away. I didn't think it was as good as I was expecting from the referrals.
By Kim M. at 2015-08-02
Tapas. Paella. Sangria. What more do you need??! True deliciousness. Fabulous atmosphere. Live music. Super friendly waitstaff. Isabella's has it all!!! Did I mention deliciousness??! Yea. So. Freakin'. Wonderful. I wish I could eat here every night!!
By Warunee G. at 2015-12-24
Spanish tapas we had for dinner on Friday night good crowd. We ordered drinks while we were waiting for a table weren't so good. It was their popular red sangria and mojitos. We ordered 7 tapas dishes to share. Gambas was great. Fried asparagus was Delish! Came back the next morning for brunch wasn't that great. Services were awesome. Try them yourself some dishes are great some ain't so much...
By Brandon E. at 2015-06-22
I think A-OK sums up Isabella's. We came in with some family while visiting Frederick. This is a tapas restaurant, I'm not usually a fan of tapas, mostly because I like to eat a hearty meal. You can come out full but you pay for it.
Service was pretty good, took a bit to get drinks but overall good. They have local beer on tap, I guess it's owned by the people who own Brewer's Ally. The "new" old fashioned was good but a little too much cinnamon for my taste. The Brewers Ally IPA was delicious.
The food overall was good. Only one thing truly stood out to me and that was the dates wrapped in bacon stuffed with chorizo and goat cheese. These were absolutely phenomenal and by far the highlight of the night. I would order multiple plates of these if we came back. Nothing else really stuck out as memorable, the lamb was ok. By far the worst was the chicken croquettes, these were down right unappetizing. It was dry shredded chicken and just bland and kinda just bleh.
I will say the portions are tapas, some are decent some are not. I was hungry when we left and we spent quite a bit. The food was pretty average and to be hungry afterwards I wasn't thrilled. But overall it was AOK and I would probably come back if our family in town chose it, but it may not be my first choice personally.