Okay, I’m a sucker for a wood-burning fire, so it is no surprise that when I stepped into Café Caturra with its not one, but two wood-burning fireplaces (one inside and one gracing the outdoor seating area) I was hooked. The fireplaces, along with the wooden cross-beamed ceiling, leather chairs, and soothing landscapes combine to […]
Okay, I’m a sucker for a wood-burning fire, so it is no surprise that when I stepped into Café Caturra with its not one, but two wood-burning fireplaces (one inside and one gracing the outdoor seating area) I was hooked.
The fireplaces, along with the wooden cross-beamed ceiling, leather chairs, and soothing landscapes combine to create a cozy atmosphere. The newly opened Café Caturra located in Short Pump Crossing is the fourth location of the local chain.
Though locally operated, it sports none of the learn-as-you-go mom and pop type atmosphere, instead the café has the polished sheen of experienced restauranteurs with eyes on creating a successful franchise, and in this reviewers opinion they are well on their way.
Enough about the atmosphere, let’s cut to the chase about the food. The menu includes breakfast items, pastries, paninis, sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, and “wine fare“ (cheeses, breads, and other appetizers). I ordered a roast beef and horseradish panini with provolone cheese that came to my table hot and delicious.
The campagne bread was thinly sliced and nicely toasted. The panini had just enough horseradish to flavor it, but didn’t overwhelm the roast beef. The menu describes the roast beef as rare, but I didn’t find that to be the case. Having said that, the roast beef was a quality cut of meat. Alongside the panini, I enjoyed a cup of tomato basil soup with melted brie that added a nice flavor and creamy texture. I opted for half a sandwich with a cup of soup for $6.95 and found this a filling portion size.
Café Caturra offers a wide spectrum of beverages from coffees and milkshakes to wine and beer. The prices of the coffees were comparable to Starbucks, and the quality of the Mocha Frappe I drank was equally comparable. I found the Mocha Frappe quite tasty and especially appreciated the smoothness of the texture, which is far superior to a similar drink at McDonald’s.
The beer selection includes several international offerings with beers from Germany, Belgium, and England. Also included on the beer menu is St. George Nut Brown Ale from Virginia. Pregnant ladies and other non-drinkers might enjoy the non-alcoholic Clausthaler from Germany as a refreshing change from O’Doul’s.
Café Caturra offers 25 wines by the glass. The wine list features a number of wines from up and coming wine regions in South America and offers a wide variety of wines including Gewürztraminers, Viognier, and Rieslings. Customers are allowed to taste any of the wines and as many as they’d like. I sampled several wines from the “fruit bomb,” “big, bad reds,” and “spicy, rich reds” categories. While these wines offered pleasing flavors, I was disappointed that none of them offered the “jamminess” found in many California and Australian reds. I was also hoping the “spicy, rich reds” would be more peppery.
Café Caturra celebrates happy hour every day from 3-6 during which all beers are $3, small plates of wine fare are $4, and all glasses of wine are $5. What a bargain!
I would be remiss to complete this review without mentioning the quality of the customer service I found at Café Caturra. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable without being intrusive. Their patience while I drilled them with questions was commendable and their recommendations were excellent. When a mistake was made on my bill they handled the situation with quick professionalism.
If you haven’t already checked out Café Caturra, you should. With its wi-fi access, it’s a great spot for a business lunch. They also offer wine tastings several times a week and live music. Personally, I look forward to working my way through their wine menu and trying out the wine fare and pastries on my next visit.