8 am-4 pm
2411 Cerrillos Road
The folks of Café Olé have set up shop in the Cerrillos Road building that used to house pdbean coffee shop (and before that, was the excessively sketch Lamplighter Liquors). While much of the building's interior and attitude have remained the same—to pdbean, not Lamplighter—the new owners have made some cool decisions, nice choices, and have whipped up a whole ton of new sandwiches.
Below the jump, check out some pictures of the interior and hear the verdict on Olé's chicken salad.
Okay, so when it comes down to it, we all know we care about the food more than anything. So here's the food first, and scroll down for interior images.
The chicken salad sandwich ($7.50) came with a side salad of mixed organic greens. I only wish your computer had smell-o-vision, because this was pretty amazing. The salad was huge—I couldn't even finish it—and dressed with just enough vinaigrette. The sandwich was on wheat bread, perfectly toasted, perhaps a little too mayonnaisey for some peoples' taste but perfect for mine.
And now, let me make sure you realize: I am a toast connoisseur. I love toast. Toast is an art form and I can appreciate a masterpiece. This was a masterpiece in toast. It was delicious. Perfectly crispy yet slightly chewy on the inside, caramelized but not burned, substantial enough to hold the contents of the sandwich but not overpowering—oh yes. Perfect toast.
The chicken salad, as I mentioned, may be too goopy for some peoples' palettes, but I loved it. The tomatoes were unfortunately bland and tasteless; many of the restaurant's dishes boast organic and natural ingredients, and I'd have hoped that the quality of the tomato would have been paid the same attention. Bummer. But, it was a forgivable offense, because that toast (!) was just so damn perfect and the salads, both chicken and green, were so good.
Oh, and yes, I got it to go. I would have loved to hang out in the charming dining room, but my dog was in the car and he wanted to hang out.
The shop has a little bookshelf full of cookbooks, the work of local authors, and other stuff of interest to the coffee-consuming crowd.
Above the bus station is a nice selection of mugs and t-shirts with the Café Olé logo. From the tablecloths to the swag, it's clear the owners have put a lot of effort into making the restaurant look cohesive, and it pays off.
Okay, so this is just me being weird. I love this little drawing. Right now the café has on display the works of Charles Jones, who works in colored pencil. A number of the small drawings have already sold off the walls. This one in particular is my favorite—anyone have $120 they can loan me? And by loan I mean, I won't pay it back.
The new owners have a keen interest in exhibiting local artists, already have some mellow live music on the weekends and hope to start up a night for poetry reading.
These folks have set up quite a menu, from soups to hot dogs. Click the image to enlarge.