By Linda Cooper Persyn
When I was asked to write a restaurant column for the Helotes Echo, I replied that I don’t know haute cuisine, am not a culinary expert and am far from a gourmet cook. I do love to eat and dine out at every opportunity. They said that made me perfect for the job, because they weren’t planning on paying me anyway. I really know how to negotiate in the business world. I did come up with the catchy title because every mother knows we always get the bent fork and give family and friends the “good cutlery”. Not sure what I’m doing here and I’m sure that you, the reader, will let me know of all of my shortcomings in due time. Just remember, you have been warned and are getting your money’s worth every month! Bon appetite!
The other day I was invited by friend and former neighbor of 40 years, Mary Lou Bottoms, to meet her at a great little eatery in the charming and historic town of Castroville, not far from us. We met at the Castroville Café just across from the memorial square to the Castro Colony founders of the city. It was a pleasant day and we dined on the patio, though the interior is also charming. The lunch menu is light fare. Sandwiches, quiches, fine homemade soups and salads made the choice of what to order difficult. I settled on one of my personal favorites, a hot Reuben sandwich and chose a delicious pasta salad as my side. The Reuben was good, but the pasta salad was the best I’ve ever had! The garlic, vinegar and oil dressing was perfection and mixed with the pasta were bits of fresh yellow squash and zucchini. Mary ordered the Schnitzel sandwich and it looked wonderful. She chose potato salad as her side and it tasted great! (I have a habit of sticking my fork where it doesn’t belong.)
The service was excellent and our waitress, Orie, made sure we were never lacking for more ice cold tea. She was a doll and very personable. I have only one comment, not a complaint, really. I went to the powder room before heading back to town. The quaint little building interior has many antique touches. The antique porcelain doorknob came off in my hand and I was inside and at a loss for how to get out. Luckily the post was on my end of the failed doorknob. The other half lay on the floor out in the hall. I retrieved it and gave it to the waitress, who promptly thanked me for my honesty and integrity. I just know I would have hated to be the next person to enter the room with no way out!
You might consider a nice drive to this little dining pleasure when you’re itching for a little road trip. Don’t forget to stop by Dziuk’s on your way home for some fresh parisa, and Haby’s Bakery for some baked goodies for that sweet tooth later.
Castroville Café is located at 309 Lafayette Street in Castroville. The Café is open everyday for lunch from 11am to 3pm, and Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 9pm for dinner. You may log onto www.castroville.net for their daily menu.