Monday, January 26, 2009

Café Latte – St. Paul, MN

Since we were headed to the Roller Derby bout in St. Paul, we decided to hit up some new areas for food. Since my coworker, Enya Face!, ditched us for dinner, we found a place on our own. Gerd found someplace that described itself as a gourmet cafeteria. So basically cafeteria style (complete with trays) but a high end version.

We showed up at this place and after walking a half block, Gerd was already crying. Apparently, she forgot it gets cold in Minnesota (this has nothing to do with the food, I just like angering her by telling people about her loathing of cold-ness). We got inside and were totally confused at where to begin this process. Everything looked like a cafeteria, but people were popping in and out of line and not really moving in one direction. Very confusing. We peeked in between a couple of people just so we could figure out what they had, but eventually figured out the line went left to right.

We got a couple samples of salads they had (cold salads like pasta salad, but not as white-bread as that). I ended up liking the Schezuan Wild Rice salad a lot and Gerd got the Chicken Caesar Pasta salad. The next station had sammich fixin’s so I got a ham and turkey with some sprouts and tomatoes and Gerd got some pinkish-orange cream cheese sammich with lettuce and a pickle. We walked past the soup station, but since we had plenty (and Gerd wanted dessert), we skipped the soups, which looked awesome. Got our drinks in real glasses and paid.

We grabbed a seat and started with our newly discovered salads. I loved mine, though after the first 25 bites, it started to taste more like dirt. Still, it was awesome. Don’t be alarmed by my description. Gerd wasn’t thrilled with her salad after all, but I really liked hers when I tried it. I think she was put off by the chicken and pasta aspect of the Caesar salad, but it was really good.

The sandwiches were pretty good, but they ended up getting soggy pretty quickly, which was odd since we didn’t get any sauce or mayonnaise or mustard or anything to make them soggy. Must have been wet meat (TWSS) or something. Weird. They tasted pretty good, though to be honest, it was prepackaged meat like Subway uses and slaps on some bread.

Gerd went back for dessert and what she brought back was awesome. Some sort of Classic Vanilla Cheesecake and a Peanut Butter Tart Pie or something. The cheesecake was phenomenal. I can’t say enough good things about this and if you’re a regular reader, you know I’m not a dessert person at all. I didn’t attempt the peanut butter one, but they did have some signage about their not being filled with Salmonella or anything. But go here for the cheesecake – fo real.

The place is supposed to have a gourmet pizza side, which is around the corner I think and a fancy bakery as well. We didn’t see either of those places, but we saw various lines around the corner, so I’m assuming that it was just a confusing as the side we were on.

Café Latte was good, but I think calling it “gourmet” might be a bit of a stretch. Yes, it’s better than a lunch room cafeteria, but it’s not anything I’d write home about (except in a blog which my family from back home might read). It wasn’t gross, but I don’t think we’ll be back. There’s a TON of other places we need to try on Grand before we’ll be back here.

Top 5 things about Café Latte
1. Vanilla Cheesecake
2. Schezuan Wild Rice
3. Lots of desserts
4. Peanut butter tart
5. Soups looked awesome and interesting – Creamy Reuben, Split Pea Cilantro, Chicken Salsa Chili, Creamy Swiss Spinach, etc.

Bottom 5 things
1. Not designed for noobs – really confusing layout and no directionals
2. Not enough room near the food line
3. Thought it was buffet-style, but is a la carte
4. Really cold inside due to proximity of the front door to Antarctica
5. Multiple salad locations, which added to the confusion

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The deserts at Latte RULE! If you go again, get soup. I think the soups are the best items on the menu. The layout is confusing there.

Sorry, I bailed, but reading about the Bataan Death March thru the cold to get to the restaurant makes me kind of glad I did!

EnYa Face!