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Dining On A Budget

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Café South has something for everyone

By Robin Domeier

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  • Café South

    7901 Forest Pine Dr. PHONE: 980-224-7328 HOURS: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 7 a.m.- 3 p.m. Sunday. PRICES: $2.45 (soup of the day) - $19.95 (surf and turf). CREDIT: All major. WEB: www.cafesouthcharlotte.com

    Tale of the tape

    Café meatloaf with macaroni and corn: $8.25

    Grilled chicken tenders salad: $7.95

    Spaghetti with meat sauce: $7.95

    Patty melt with onion rings: $7.95



The lovely thing about Café South is it’s one of those catch-all kind of places. Spaghetti with meat sauce, grilled chicken salad, meatloaf and a patty melt all came to the table. This meant everyone got what they wanted and for the most part, were reasonably happy with their food.

Pete Kakouras and his son Paul opened Café South in June . Pete also owns the Tryon House restaurant on Woodlawn Road and has been in the restaurant business for 40 years. Café South is located off Arrowood Road on Forest Pine Drive.

The restaurant definitely has a family-friendly vibe and the servers are as sweet as they want to be (that’s a Southernism that means they’re nice).

The meatloaf and grilled chicken salad were the best of what I tried. You’re given a choice between tomato sauce or brown gravy to cover the meatloaf. We went for the tomato, which had the thickness of a marinara sauce and was a perfect accompaniment to the savory moist slabs of meatloaf.

Side items include more than a dozen options, including a mild cheddar mac and cheese (a little crisp on top, creamy underneath) and sweet corn.

There were a couple of things I liked about the spaghetti with meat, the first being that the spaghetti was thankfully cooked al dente. I also appreciated that there was a plentiful amount of the garlicky meat sauce.

Given the new year was upon me, I thought I’d indulge in the patty melt before I recommit to my diet. But this was not the patty melt experience I’d hoped for. The beef patty was under seasoned and the onions needed to be cooked longer to develop that sweet caramelization.

The marbled rye bread was equally also timid in flavor. The side of onion rings with its cracker-meal crust, was more of a success.

A better and undoubtedly healthier menu choice was the grilled chicken salad which featured some herby chicken tenders as its star.

If you are in the Southwest Charlotte area and need a restaurant that can accommodate a wide variety of tastes, Café South is a worthy choice.

Robin Domeier is owner of Nibbles Personal Chef. Please send restaurant suggestions to rdomeier@carolina.rr.com
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