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Robin Garr

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The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Robin Garr » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:32 am

The Café enjoys enduring popularity

LEO's Eats with Robin Garr

Strata alla Cucina, The Cafe’s take on strata, an old-school casserole based on a savory bread pudding.
Image

I love The Café on Brent. I go there for lunch or breakfast – or both – about as often as I can go to any eatery that I’m not reviewing. It’s almost always crowded, and there’s a reason for that: It’s good.

It’s doubly to The Café’s credit, too, that people come even though it’s not that easy to find your way through a sharp S-curve under the railroad viaduct off Broadway. What’s more, it can be hard to find parking when the lunch crowd has already claimed all the slots in the small parking lot and nearby streets.

But you’ll want to go anyway. Just about everybody does.

What’s the secret of The Café’s success? I think my friend Laura nailed it: “I think The Café is a homey kind of place,” she said. “Hospitable, warm, competent, welcoming service. The food is tasty and well prepared.”

Yes to all that, and I’ll add another: Tradition. It’s been going for more than a decade in this location, and it preceded that by another long stretch as the popular restaurant inside the old Louisville Antique Mall on Goss Avenue (now converted into fancy condos as the Germantown Mill Lofts).

I loved that old mall, and to tell you the truth, one of the best things about a trip there was not just discovering an old china cabinet or ginger-jar lamp, but also sitting down to lunch in The Café.

Then as now, its extensive menu featured breakfast and lunch dishes that defy categorization. other than just “really good things that Louisville families love to eat.” ...

Read the full review on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/cafes ... popularity

You'll also find this review in LEO Weekly’s Food & Drink section today.
http://www.leoweekly.com/category/food-drink/

The Café on Brent
712 Brent St.
637-6869
http://thecafetogo.com
https://facebook.com/thecafelouisville

Robin Garr's rating: 85 points

Noise level: When the large space with its close-spaced tables is full at lunchtime, the noise level can be deafening, making conversation difficult. After 1 p.m., though, the crowd and sound fall back to a more comfortable place. (Average sound level 77-86 dB during crowded periods, 74-80 dB later.)

Accessibility: Level entrance and floors pose no physical barrier to wheelchair users, but closely spaced tables could make wheelchair navigation difficult, and large entrance doors on the parking lot side are heavy, requiring some arm strength to open.
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Jimmy R

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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Jimmy R » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:42 am

Thanks so much for this review, Robin. I too LOVE The Cafe. We get carryout breakfast from them at least once a week, and they are THE NICEST people. Years ago, I had a very minor issue, let them know, and I was bombarded with love. They wrote me cards, offered me a free meal, apologized profusely. Nice place, good people. And their food is consistently tasty!
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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Robin Garr » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:55 am

Great testimony, Jimmy! Sal and Cindy Rubino, the owners, have been around the local food scene for a long time, and they know how to do it right.
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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by BevP » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:37 pm

We love The Cafe and have been going since the antique mall days.Have not been in a while ,thanks for the reminder. I love the tomato dill soup and pretty much every thing else on the menu.
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Gordon M Lowe

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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Gordon M Lowe » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:23 pm

I need to go back, soon. It's been a little while(my fault).
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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Carla G » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:31 pm

I love The Cafe and really miss the restaurant Sal had on DuPont Square. It was a seafood place whose name now escapes me. They always had the nicest service people that made the place so welcoming.
"She did not so much cook as assassinate food." - Storm Jameson
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Gordon M Lowe

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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Gordon M Lowe » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:45 pm

Carla G wrote:a seafood place whose name now escapes me. They always had the nicest service people that made the place so welcoming.

Rubino's Sea Shells?
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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Ed Vermillion » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:26 am

Fondly remember the restaurant they had in Middletown (after Dupont) simply named "Rubino's". The best roast chicken anywhere. Would visit The Cafe more often if that dish made a comeback. To this day we've found no better version of that dish anywhere.
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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Carla G » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:30 pm

Gordon M Lowe wrote:
Carla G wrote:a seafood place whose name now escapes me. They always had the nicest service people that made the place so welcoming.

Rubino's Sea Shells?

That doesn’t sound like it. It was in DuPont Square where the old Bennigans used to be. Maybe it was just called Rubinos.
"She did not so much cook as assassinate food." - Storm Jameson
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Robin Garr

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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Robin Garr » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:07 pm

Carla G wrote:It was in DuPont Square where the old Bennigans used to be. Maybe it was just called Rubinos.

I think maybe it was called Rubino's.
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Gordon M Lowe

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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Gordon M Lowe » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:42 pm

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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Carla G » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:50 pm



What a great article! Thanks for posting Gordon. And I bow to your healthier memory, you were right. I kept trying to envision their sign at the restaurant and just couldn’t. Totally escaped me. Thanks for bringing me up to speed. :D
"She did not so much cook as assassinate food." - Storm Jameson
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Gordon M Lowe

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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Gordon M Lowe » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:05 pm

Well, it's funny because Rubino's Seashells sticks in my mind because of the alliteration, I guess. We never ate there.
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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by RonnieD » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:00 am

I was too young to enjoy Rubino's in its day, but I do recall the awesome little cartoons they used to run as ads in the CJ.
Ronnie Dingman.
Head Cook, The Kitchen at Gerstle's Place
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Re: The Café enjoys enduring popularity

by Carla G » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:26 am

We ate at the DuPont location maybe 2-3 times a month. Took my cousin in law there for crab night and, to this day, he says it was the most memorable, fun, night out dining he’s ever had. They also had a lovely Jamaican woman serving tables named Jerri that my daughter adored.

Sal, I don’t know if you’re reading this, but you and your wife didn’t just answer a supply and demand for dining, you gave some of us fond memories we will take with us for our lives. Many thanks.
(Darn! No “heart” emoticon.)
"She did not so much cook as assassinate food." - Storm Jameson
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