Saturday, July 29, 2017


Click images to enlarge.

CAFE PASTA is located at 305 State St. in Greensboro.  State St. is located off Church St.  State St. runs through the little yuppie shopping center known as State Street Station.  The easiest way to find it is to go to the restaurant's contact page and look at the map.

CAFE PASTA is a quiet place to eat.  You can hear your partner talk on the other side of the tiny tables.  Old R&B music quietly plays in the background.  I suspect the music is older than 95% of the people who were dining and working when we were there.  It was nice.

We've been going to CAFE PASTA since our children were little pipsqueaks.  Our children are now grown.  CAFE PASTA has been around for a long time.

CAFE PASTA is just a hop, skip and a jump from our house.  It's always nice to save time and gasoline.  This explains why we did not go back to HOPS BURGER BAR for a Dunderbach Burger as we had planned.

Over the years CAFE PASTA has changed.  I remember the time when we had to wait in line to be seated.  We usually had to eat on the second floor.  The menu was extensive.  It was hard to pick out a dish.

But things have changed.  I don't know when they changed or why they changed.  It is not the place it used to be.  It's now easy to get a seat and the menu selection is limited.   The second floor is never used.

I can recall a visit when we left dissatisfied with the meal.  The service has always been good, but the quality of the food has varied from one visit to the next.

I am happy to report this visit was for the most part satisfactory, but with some problems.

Here is the first problem.

This is what we were served when we were seated.  Debbie liked the bread when it was warm, but was unimpressed as it cooled.  I was never impressed.  

The dish to the left is olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping your bread.  We both agreed it was terrible.  Our waitress told us a "sauce" for the bread was being prepared and it would be served very soon.  The olive oil and balsamic vinegar were supposed to be a temporary substitute, but the special bread "sauce" never appeared.  We have no idea what the special bread "sauce" was.

Debbie demonstrates how to eat your bread without the special bread "sauce".  Her answer was to slather butter on the bread.  I tried a single bite of bread and put it down.  Debbie ordered a second round of bread.

Although I am opposed to the generous rating, the bread was scored evenly.

This is the appetizer I ordered.  It's fried Calamari with Pomodoro sauce.  The squid was good,  It was lightly breaded and heavily peppered.  Both Debbie and I gave the squid a thumbs up, but a thumbs down on the sauce.  The sauce may have been good on something, but not the squid...maybe as the special bread sauce.  Pomodoro is made with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, sugar and salt,

We'll call the score even on the appetizer.

Here's my main dish.  It's Cajun Penne made with Penne pasta, chicken, andouille sausage, and shrimp with Parmesan cheese - lots of Parmesan.  More cheese was added after this photo was made.

The dish was also offered with a Marinara sauce which is much like Pomodoro.  I have to agree with Debbie...we don't much care for the red Italian sauces, except for the sauce on a pizza.

If you're wondering whether I liked the Cajun Penne, the answer is shown above.

That's a +1 for my dish.

Here's Debbie's dish.  It's Veal Picatta.  Veal is served over linguine with picatta sauce and spinach.  Picatta sauce is made with garlic, olive oil, flour, chicken broth and capers.  Debbie reported she only found a single caper in her dish.

According to Debbie, she would make the dish with arugula rather than spinach.  Spinach has some sort of voodoo magic over women which prevents the absorption of vitamins C and D.

Debbie may not absorb any vitamins C and D, but she cleaned her plate almost as well as I cleaned mine.

I only got a very small taste of the last bite of her dish.  It was not a fair sample, but I believe my Penne was better.

Debbie liked her Veal Picatta, so we'll also score it a +1

Debbie demonstrates the proper way to spoon twirl your linguine.  I was mesmerized by her technique. 

In case you're wondering, that's a glass of Sauvignon Blanc on the left.  I had my usual glass of water with no lemon.  Debbie never remarked on the quality of her wine.

Now Debbie demonstrates the proper way to eat your linguine.  Again I was mesmerized.

This is our dessert.  It is a Tiramisu made with four liqueurs.  I could recognize the taste of a coffee liqueur, but that was about it.  I have no idea what the other three liqueurs were.  By the way, the waitress corrected me when I called the liqueurs "liquors".  Some times I can be such a boorish brute.

The red is a raspberry sauce with little dabs of whipped cream around the edge of the dish.  Debbie does not like raspberry, so if it was red, I ate it.

The dessert was excellent.

According to our waitress, the Tiramisu is made by the owner of PASTABILITIES.  She is the sister of the male owner of CAFE PASTA.  I believe sister is doing much better financially than brother.  Her restaurant seemed much busier than CAFE PASTA when we at PASTABILITIES in July of 2016.

We scored the dessert a +1.  

Final score for CAFE PASTA is +3 out of a possible +5.

Note the menu on CAFE PASTA'S web site does not seem to match the menu we were shown at the restaurant.  I can't say for sure, but I believe there are significant differences.  I know for sure the Tiramisu on the web looks nothing like the Tiramisu we were served.

The total tab at CAFE PASTA was about $67.00 with tip.  I reduced that cost by $20 by using a $10 GROUPON which I had purchased recently.  Part of the GROUPON deal was you had to purchase two coupons for CAFE PASTA for a total of $20 for $40 worth of food.  This guarantees we will be making at least one more trip to CAFE PASTA.

Debbie said she planned to order Cajun Penne on our next visit to CAFE PASTA.  I objected - ordering the same thing twice does not add much to a food review.  We have some issues to work out until then.