Finally got to eat at City Lights Cafe and it was delicious! Actually, I’ve eaten there twice this week. That’s how much I liked it.
Some years ago, I went to Paris with my boyfriend and got engaged at the top of the Eiffel Tower. I did not end up getting married and this is a long story for another time that only intersects my current topic at one point: crepes. While in Paris, we ate so much delicious food! I don’t care what they say about how French women stay skinny–they’ve got to all be bulimic because you could not live in a place with food that good and not eat All The Time. One of the last restaurants we visited was a creperie. It had some sort of horse stable theme and it was the only place we actually encountered French people who were impolite. But Oh! The Crepes! Savory and sweet with every kind of imaginable yumminess inside.
And City Lights Cafe has crepes that approach the goodness of these crepes I had in Paris without all the irritating Frenchyness. For lunch today I had a savory Italian Chicken Crepe that had grilled chicken, fresh spinach and a lovely-and-not-too-heavy pesto cream sauce. All wrapped up in a light and delicious crepe! But who could stop with just one? I also had a sweet crepe with brie and raspberry.
On Sunday I had a creamy chicken salad sandwich with swiss cheese and a sweet crepe with dark chocolate and sliced strawberries. Oh yeah, it was every bit as good as you’re thinking it would be.
There are some things that set this incarnation of the restaurant below City Lights Bookstore apart from the previous two. I say previous two because that’s all I have experienced. There have been more in the past. For one thing, you order at the counter when you come in rather than your server taking your order at the table. This sets the casual mood and it also has a bit of buzz about it when you come it. Sure, no one wants to wait, but a bit of milling about at the entrance does make things seem more intriguing. For another, the atmosphere itself seems less pretentious. Ok, not that all the previous restaurants here were really super pretentious, but it’s a restaurant in an old house and in Charlotte (where I was born and raised) restaurants in cute little old houses are pretentious. And this one is not.
There are also other aspects of the menu I have not yet explored, including a variety of coffee and coffee type beverages, Mexican Coke (which is made with cane sugar and not corn syrup), wine (which I’m not clear if it is served or only sold by the bottle) and our very own locally brewed Heinzelmannchen beer. There’s outside seating as well as inside and a local artist’s work on display. And, of course last but most assuredly not least is City Lights Bookstore upstairs which still is one of my favorite places in town.
Also, they are open seven days a week–that means they are open on Monday and it always seems like no one is open on Monday around here.
I’ll be going back again soon. And you should too.