Published on September 10th, 2012 | by Wendy Lee0
Have you ever enjoyed a gourmet meal in a laundromat?
We did last week when we discovered the newest bistro in town, Café Verde, located behind Clancy’s at 301 Flagler Ave.
“We are a work in progress,” explains Margaret Michelbrick, co-owner.
Although Café Verde is open to the public, there is still a lot of work ahead explains designer Dian Marshall who painted the large mural of banana trees behind the spacious bar. Her designs reflect the Mexican motif. The grand opening will be delayed until this fall when the interior work is complete.
On our first visit we sat down with Matthew and Margaret to discover the excitement of the new restaurant that is billed, Fresh, Casual and Gourmet.
They brought in Chef Gama Corando from Colorado to assist Chef Jimmy Abrams with the menu which features dishes from Mexico and Peru that will tempt the most discriminating pallets for gourmets and gourmands.
The menu is posted on a large chalk board just to the left of the open kitchen. They plan seating in an open patio area when the parking permits are issued.
“Prices are reasonable and our service is quick but you are invited to linger,” says host Margaret.
Work started last January when the owners decided to convert a vacant laundromat into a small restaurant that seats 40, offering a selection of gourmet dishes prepared by chefs in an open kitchen.
On my first visit I selected the Verde Vegetable Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and artichokes with a mustard vinaigrette dressing priced at $7.00.
We were so excited about Café Verde that I invited my son and daughter in law who remembers doing her laundry at the local laundromat. Guests included their teenage daughter and Doug, a close friend. The occasion, celebrating my birthday.
We chose from a good selection of beers and wine plus several refreshing nectors and teas. Next we ordered from the varied menu and decided to share our entrees and hors’oeuvres. Doug selected the Quinoa Cucumber Salad (pictured above) with tomatoes avocados and toasted pepitas. Salsa and chips were also shared.
The entrée specials that evening included pan fried wild salmon cake with grilled zucchini and squash- Four stars to the chef.
I shared the Shrimp Ceviche (pictured left), citrus shrimp, avocado and watermelon for $6.00. Nice flavors and refreshing.
Selections for lunch and dinner include pork, vegetarian entrée and tacos. To supplement your choice there are Yuca Fries, Red Rice, Side Salad and Epazote Black Beans.
“My favorite dishes were the Salmon Cakes Special and definitely the Quinoa-Cucumber Salad, though everything was fantastic, including the prices,” said Doug. “I will return to Café Verde.”
To top our meal Margaret said dessert was her treat, “Which one do you want?” she asked with our quick reply “All three.” The chocolate and espresso flans were rich and delicious but we all voted bravos for the Banana Empanadas (pictured right). Priced at $3.00.
You can reach Café Verde at 386-957-3958. Open Tues-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
On my first visit and again last Thursday our hosts bid goodbye and thanked us for coming. Good food brings a lot of good times.
Check them out on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ClancysCafeVerdeNewSmyrna