Monday, May 15, 2006

Cafe Ole

Another fine review, compliments of guest blogger RJA.

Cafe Ole
2127 Young Avenue

Yesterday being Mother’s Day, it was Kristy’s choice of where to eat. It being in the low 70s and sunny, it only made sense to sit on a patio someplace. She chose Café Ole and what must be the nicest patio in all of Midtown. In the early 90s, when Café Ole first opened, and before we had kids, we would go with the express purpose of trying to empty that frozen margarita machine. We never did empty it, not that I remember anyway. Now that we have our little monkeys, dining there is a whole different dynamic.

Eating outside with kids is always a safe bet because there are things like birds and bugs to keep them entertained and no one is really worried about spillage. We began with drinks and sat around waiting while S decided what she would have – the waitress ended up going for everyone else’s drinks and coming back for the little princess’s beverage order. I had a couple of margaritas because I was the only one who was over 21 and not pregnant. They were every bit as good as I remember. The menu at Café Ole has not changed at all in the 15 or so years I’ve been going there, which is unfortunate. Not that the food is bad, but I’ve had EVERYTHING on the menu. We started with white cheese dip which S and C dug into until it was all gone; JP loves the chips, but with no dip. I went with the Monterey, a vegetarian dish, which was good in the way that all of the other menu items are good. Much like Taco Bell, no matter what I order, it all tastes the same to me. Kristy had the Acapulco, which she devoured, later complaining of being overstuffed. S didn’t eat a soft taco, so C ate his and hers. JP, in typical fashion, had a basket of fries.

The Trio, for the most part, behaved themselves. Whether it was some sort of subtle Mother’s Day gift, or whether the tequila consumed those many years ago by their parents at this very establishment has worked its way into their bloodstreams, mellowing them out on pleasant Sundays such as this, I just don’t know. Only S refused her food and one out of three ain’t bad at all. The boys did start to get antsy there towards the end of lunch and since they were outside already it only seemed natural to get up and start exploring the area around our table and testing its usefulness as a jungle gym. But by then it was time to go and the whole experience had been a good one instead of its usual tolerable one. The waitress was very good and very patient as she waited for S to make decisions and dodged the boys. All kids’ drinks were brought out in Styrofoam cups with lids without asking, and she wished Kristy a Happy Mother’s Day as we were leaving.

Café Ole has really done a nice job with the patio, adding a raised deck at one end with a pergola covering it and sturdier plastic chairs than I remember from the last time. There are several large shade trees so I can see this being a regular stop this summer, even with our Memphis heat. And with the summer heat and humidity, maybe I’ll be able to make a dent in that frozen margarita machine.

Café Ole on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I have to say, having been a bartender at cafe Ole back when we were both younger, hipper, and better looking, it kind of depresses me to see the new corporate-wanna-be decor inside. But like the man said, it really is the nicest patio in midtown. And once I squeeze this last baby out, I'm so going to have a margarita while I sit there!

Anonymous said...

Not that the food is bad? Really? Has it changed? It's always been awful on my visits. I guess the roaches aren't as obvious outside.

Anonymous said...

The food isn't as good as it used to be (and I mean way back in the day), but in my opinion it's no worse than that at the million variations of El Porton to be found in the metro area. It depends on what you get, too. And hey, kids+chips and dip as soon as you sit down=happy. When we are able to go out to eat alone, we look for good food and gravitate toward Lolo's, or Bari, or McEwan's. With the kids, it's more about acceptable food and a pleasant experience. As for roaches, eh. I waitressed at Dino's and still eat there. You can't scare me, baby.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with tater. Every time I go to Cafe Ole the food sucks worse than it did the time before. And the servers always seem very disinterested in me and my hunger. However, it's worth the bad food to sit on that patio - far and away the best in Memphis.

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