Restaurant Review: Café Centro

Photo by Shannon Ginn
Cafe Centro

Peaceful setting on a busy street

By Kristen Shea

When I arrived at Café Centro at around 4:30, my first thought was that it was closed. My friend and I were the only customers the entire hour that we were there. It was peaceful to say the least.

Café Centro is located 51 Charlotte St. They have been in business for the past six months. On a nice day, you can enjoy your lunch in a stone courtyard with sea oaks providing the shade. There are several tables, but no restroom on the premises. You must go to the bar behind Café Centro to use the facilities.

The menu ranges from Mediterranean to American cuisine. The prices are very reasonable, ranging from $6 to $8 for a sandwich. Several appetizers, such as a hummus platter, make a good choice if you are not too hungry. I ordered the Venetian Garden, which is made up of mixed vegetables served on a toasted wheat panini with mozzarella cheese and a pesto dressing. It was very flavorful and just the right size. Potato salad, which was the best I have had in a while — sweet, creamy, full of potatoes — came with it.

The server was very pleasant — helpful in explaining menu items — although most of the menu is self-explanatory. We chatted about the bands that perform on the weekends. Local artists perform in the courtyard on Thursday through Saturday nights when the café is open past 5 p.m.

Overall the food and service were good, but I do have a few things to point out. The limited seating made me wonder what they would do if it started raining in the middle of my meal. There is no place to take cover in a dry area, so in essence your meal would be ruined. If there was roof over some of the courtyard this problem could be avoided. Also, the lack of a restroom, that is clean and nearby, makes it difficult to accommodate parents with small children. It is an inconvenience to all customers to have to walk into a neighboring bar to use the restroom.

Café Centro has many things going for it, a good location, good food, and good service. I’m sure they are still figuring out the best way to make sure their business stays in business.

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