INEXPENSIVE CARPET. RUGGED GEAR GUN RACK.
Cristo's Cafe - Did Jack Kerouac eat here?
REVIEW By Tim DiGravin - Orlando CityBeat - January 25 2007 The Down Low: Nestled a couple blocks away from the somewhat plastic and trendy gentrification of its neighbors on Edgewater Drive in College Park, it's good to see that inexpensive down-home diner Christo's Cafe continues to do booming business. I stopped by recently for a late lunch and while there were some minor hiccups in the delivery, the tasty comfort food made everything all right. The Digs: Moodiness and style be damned, Christo's is an old-school diner where looks don't mean a thing. Indoor/outdoor carpeting, vinyl checkerboard tablecloths, folding chairs, and dry-erase boards dominate the small 10-table dining area that overlooks Edgewater Drive on three sides. The counter seats five and a few tables outside border the parking lot. Atmosphere in a place like this is set by the regulars, during my visit an equal mix of seniors perusing newspapers, families and young adults. The people at the table next to me told the waitress they didn't need menus and chose all their dishes and sides from memory. The Delivery: The place was packed shortly after we arrived. My guest and I chose one of the two open tables and had to wait a little more than we would have liked to place our order. The waitress was very friendly and seemed to be running the entire place on her own, hence the wait. A few minor mistakes with my order didn't hamper the meal. I ordered my catfish grilled, but it arrived fried and sans hushpuppies. The Dish: Burgers, hot melts, gyros, fish plates, and steaks fill the lunch/dinner menu, and the list of sides is monumental. I chose the delicious two-piece fresh catfish ($11.45), which was supposed to come with hushpuppies and two sides. Again, the hushpuppies were AWOL, but my chosen sides of collard greens and homemade mashed potatoes with gravy were more than enough to complement the golden-brown bread-crusted fish. They're not kidding when they call it fresh; it was easily the best catfish I've eaten. The stew-heavy greens were too smoky for my liking, but the mashed potatoes had a fine consistency and the surprisingly light gravy was delightful. My guest went with the chicken gyro ($6.75), with ample amounts of grilled chicken breast, lettuce, tomatoes, and onion covered in mouth-watering cucumber sauce and wrapped in a soft, thick pita. The gyro comes with one side, and she wisely chose the sweet potato french fries, which is a $1 upgrade from the other sides but worth it. These skinny fries showed no signs of grease, and their sweet aftertaste sat well alongside the Chicago-style gyro. To sample more items, I ordered the Philly melt ($6.75) with a fresh sliced tomato as a side to go. It's a somewhat small sandwich served on white toast. The roast beef, grilled green peppers, and onions were all cooked to perfection, but I didn't notice a hint of Swiss cheese, and the side of horseradish wasn't included in my to-go box. The Damage: Especially in an area with condos priced five times what they're worth, the food at Christo's Cafe is a great bargain. The Deduction: Christo's Cafe doesn't pretend to be anything more than it is, a quaint diner serving tasty and comforting meals, mostly to regulars and other locals. It's been around for as long as most people can remember, and hopefully it'll continue to be a local hangout long after College Park stops trying to become Thornton Park.Mom seems uncertain about her lemon pound cake
Me: "Don't look uncertain, you look fantastic!" Mom: [laughs] I was looking uncertain! Me: And that's your lemon cake. Mom: Yes! And see those roses? They were little rose toothpicks, and they were my treasures when I found them. Me: Where did you find them? Mom: There were stores on Flatbush Avenue that had all sorts of kinda inexpensive things like that. Oh, and those were my spritz cookies.
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