You know where that really old, big white building is down on Fourth? I’m not sure which bank it’s named after this week, but behind it, across the alley, is this annex building. Down in the basement of the annex, through the alley entrance, is where you’ll find Café de Vine. A little off the beaten path? Yeah. Kind of nice that way: You can usually find a table at lunch. As a matter of fact, there seem to be a lot of people eating here who act like they don’t want anyone at the office to know where they’re eating. The decor, menu, and prices are somewhat of a throwback. For the most part the breakfasts are real basic comfort food (like French toast, pictured above) with a few tricks thrown in, like the Southwestern breakfast burrito. Lunch includes all the basics: burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, and a big list of big salads that surely includes a favorite for everyone. If you’re in the mood for more of a meal, they have lemon pepper tilapia, blackened chicken breast, and a Cajun chicken quesadilla. Oh, and fries. They still know how to fry fries here without the froufrou seasonings. And grilled cheese? They do a triple-decker grilled cheese here. That’s serious cholesterol for people who are running a quart low on waxy lipids in their diet. Café de Vine is one of those places that’s like it used to be. True, we still have a few of those downtown, but this is one of the better hidden ones.
Café de Vine
309 Vine St., downtown
Originally published in the December 2011 issue