Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Paula's Café:

Despite its close proximity to my current office, I’ve never been to Paula’s Café before. What I had read was that it was very good, home-cooked food, and that it was insanely busy around lunch time.

Janelle and I went about 1:00. As you can see, they were still pretty busy. We were lucky to get a table. I imagine that with a larger group, it would be difficult to get everyone in there. I recommend getting your meal to go and pushing two tables together in fountain square.

Once we were seated and our usual diet Pepsis ordered, I spent a good 5 minutes trying to decide what I wanted on the menu—there are a lot of good things to choose from. There are hot sandwiches and cold sandwiches, such as the classic BLT for $6.25, or turkey for $6.25.

The hot sandwiches, such as the hot honey ham, with forest ham, swiss and Paula’s special sauce ($6.95) looked pretty appealing, as did the Cuban ($6.95), which was actually served on pressed Cuban bread. There is also a Quiche of the day, which rotates.

The soups change daily, with turkey chili (5.25 a bowl, 3.25 a cup and 40.00 a gallon) served Monday through Thursday. Monday is cream of broccoli, Tuesday, cream of chicken and wild rice, Wednesday, Cream of potato, Thursday, vegetable, Friday, tomato bisque or clam chowder.

I was also intrigued by the seven minute burger (6.95) that is served on a grilled Shadeau wheat bun.

In then end, though, I decided on the Hot Ham and Swiss—but on a croissant. I now realize I was trying to recreate a ham and cheese (or queso y cerdo) sandwich that I had ordered from a roadside stand in Puerto Rico back in 2002. Funny how you can’t forget some things.

Not as good as the one I remembered, but things flavored with vacation always taste better

Janelle went with the Gardenburger ($6.95)

When our food arrived, there was not much talking as we gobbled down our sandwiches. I though my ham and Swiss was excellent. I’d leave off the special sauce next time, which is kind of like tangy mayo mustard sauce. Janelle really liked her gardenburger—she said it beat Hathaways pretty soundly.

The couple sitting next to us were raving about the Cuban bread—apparently authentic Cuban bread is impossible to find in Cincinnati—and were negotiating with our server about buying a loaf.

We were tempted to get some of the cake, which looked like some sort of delicious, vanilla coconut cake. But we held the line and decided that was a mission for next time.

Paula’s also serves breakfast, including omelets and muffins —but only until 10:30 AM.

I like Paula’s. David and I will probably visit on a Wednesday so that I can try the Chili or the potato soup and he can evaluate their seven minute burger.

Paula's Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. Let me tell you - the chili is fabulous, the burger is really good...but I always go on Tuesday for the cream of chicken soup - it's actually chicken, wild rice and mushrooms...omg it's the best!

    i also love the pastrami - and on a croissant - i didn't know that was an option - i'm SO doing that next time!!!!!

    i go for the 1/2 sandwich and then cup of soup - delish and yummy!

  2. I think things in Puerto Rico taste better in general, but that might be because of the good rum there.


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