Walking into Caffe Central, I had my expectations set fairly high for this coffee shop which just recently replaced La Panotiq, a place I had previously enjoyed. This cafe had a very similar atmosphere, very comfortable and modern with a cute aesthetic. There were plenty of benches and chairs around small tables, furnished with flower pots. The place was fairly full, with families and students sitting around tables, either talking or studying.
It took about five minutes for me to comb through the extensive menu and debate what I should get. The menu offered various types of sandwiches, pastries and coffees, with prices ranging from about $4-$7. The service was very efficient and the cashiers and servers were very patient and friendly. I ended up ordering a mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwich, a iced chai tea and a chocolate mousse tart with raspberries.
My food arrived after about three minutes. The sandwich tasted pretty good and fresh, but was obviously preassembled and a little soggy. It came with a small side salad which was a welcome addition. Because I am not a huge coffee person, this place did not seem like it would be the most appealing to me, but my iced chai tea was definitely a drink I would order again. It was very refreshing and great for people like me, who have a huge sweet tooth. The chocolate raspberry tart was also really delicious, not overpoweringly sweet or rich.
Hopefully Caffe Central will stay in business longer than La Panotiq because their food manages to stand out in the dozens of different food chains available throughout Burlingame Avenue. Unlike the other cafes throughout Burlingame Avenue, Caffe Central produces more than just good coffee, but also many tasty savory and sweet items on their menu. Compared to Starbucks, Peet’s and Philz, this coffee shop provides a better environment to unwind in, because it is not overly cramped and loud. Overall, Caffe Central presented some pretty good flavors and great presentation and I would definitely want to try more of their menu options. The prices for desserts were a little high ($6) but the cost of the sandwiches and drinks were reasonable considering the quality and quantity given. In the future, this seems like the place to relax or crack down and study in, with a cup of coffee and a pastry.