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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Charlie's Trio Cafe - Alhambra

In trying to clear up some of the pictures that have been sitting in the queue too long, I had forgotten about my lunch last summer when Norwegian cousin was visiting, she and her friend had wanted salad or something light for lunch. After running through various options, I don't remember exactly why I settled on Charlie's Trio Cafe in Alhambra.

Charlie's Trio Cafe - Alhambra 1

The garlic bread looked like it was slathered with butter, but was actually rather bland.

Charlie's Trio Cafe - Alhambra 2

My cousin ordered a spicy seafood linguini for about $16. The seafood was generously portioned, but except for the chili peppers, the pasta was rather bland as well. How can tomato sauce be bland? Unless the sauce was just dumped on top and then dried chili sprinkled on top?

Charlie's Trio Cafe - Alhambra 3

The southwest salad with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, corn, grilled chicken, roasted red pepper, cilantro, pepper jack cheese, blue corn tortilla strips, and ranch dressing for about $9. The salad was excellent. I love chopped salads and all these components came together really well.

Charlie's Trio Cafe - Alhambra 4

The sausage panini with fries was about $9. Hot pressed sandwich. Good, but nothing spectacular.

Charlie's Trio Cafe - Alhambra 5

While the salad was enough to satisfy us, the other dishes really didn't make this restaurant stand out, so the photos languished in my folder for more than a year.

Then after a long evening of grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner, I remembered a flyer that advertised a three piece broasted chicken and broasted potatoes with cole slaw and garlic bread for $5.95. Not a bad deal and it'd help move these photos off my queue.

Plus, my ever-curious brain really wanted to taste broasted chicken. Broasting is actually a trademarked method of cooking chicken and other ingredients in a pressure fryer to speed up frying time, while cutting down on the fat. The result? The chicken was reminiscent of heat lamp grocery store chicken. Thick breading, dry meat, and again bland. So was the cole slaw. And the bread was as lackluster as I remembered. But the potatoes! The broasted potatoes were light and airy on the inside, thin and crispy on the outside. Not greasy at all. I was unimpressed with everything else, but the broasted potatoes were spectacular.

Charlie's Trio Cafe - Alhambra 6

I also picked up a fettucini alfredo for $7.75 for lil' sis. Seriously, this was bland as well. I can, and have, made this way better.

Charlie's Trio Cafe - Alhambra 7

We ended up tossing the bread and not finishing the pasta. Good salad and good potatoes, but I need more than that.

Charlie's Trio Cafe
47 W. Main St.
Alhambra, CA 91801

1 year ago today, Tagine - Beverly Hills.

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