Mac & Cheese Casefile #7229: Pete’s Cafe

hey ryan,

Culinary Musings by Mac and Cheese Maira few of my coworkers went to pete’s last night and they said the mac and cheese was awesome. i described the mac and cheese i had to them and it seems as though we had two different pastas. one coworker who went a few months ago said they used big pasta, unlike my thin blue box kind, and they said it was so good they’d go back. we definitely had completely diferent dishes. i’m mad that i got the gross batch. well isn’t just pete’s cafe’s luck that they gave mac ’n cheese mair the bad batch.

let me know if you would like me to make an additional statement.

k take care, are you still in boston? last night since i didn’t make the show, i slept from 8:30 til 8:30 this morning. i was one of the worst headaches i’ve ever had.


Pete’s Café
4th St and Main, Downtown

On the menu:
Macaroni and Cheese
Linguini with Prawns

I have to apologize by the infrequent cheesy pasta postings, I have seem to hit a plateau with eating good food in losanjealous. There have been a few mediocre Mac and Cheeses that I care not to write about. They were indeed mediocre, so mediocre I can not recall the name of the restaurants off the top of my head. Hold on, let me look into my food journal…

Oh, nevermind. I have written about every place I’ve been to lately beside Kate Mantilini, where Ryan did a great job of writing about our food experience (!? – ed). Kate Mantilini’s was good, but not as good as Violet. And then I found myself in Fullerton (not in losanjealous County) and I had great Mac and Cheese, yet not as good as Violet, but I need to assert, it is currently in the standings as #2 and Kate Mantilini’s in #3.

Here goes my review of Pete’s Café in Downtown losanjealous.

(MV) Pete: Miss August 2006 Commenter of the MonthPete’s is a cute restaurant that is not overdone in manners of décor, I liked the red walls and the little lights as well as the vibe of the place. Three people recommended that I try Pete’s, and how could I not since it is two blocks away from my workplace. On a Thursday, April my food photographer and I went after work for an early dinner where it was still light out and the restaurant was not yet busy. We luckily (or unluckily as I’ll describe later) found a metered spot on 4th and proceeded inside for our 6:30pm reservations.

When I read about food on menu it always sound good because I recall how certain combinations of pastas, meats and sauces are yummy together. Unfortunately for me, these past few months have disappointed me when I eat out. The tried and true restaurants from my many years eating out in losanjealous, are the only places that keep me content and excited about eating. There have not been many newbies that I want to continue patronizing.

There were classic comfort foods on the menu as well as lots of salads and sandwiches; I prefer to have pasta or a salad for dinner over sandwiches and hearty meat dishes. April and I shared the Mac and Cheese, of course, and the Linguini with Prawns. Baked Macaroni and Cheese always looks and usually smells good even if it does not taste good. It is such a tease that such fantastic looking food can end up tasting not so good.

Pete wants revengeFirst off, the macaroni they used was similar to what you would find in those blue boxes or even the organic versions, which in my book is not an acceptable macaroni noodle. Secondly, the cheese was not in sauce form combined with bread crumb goodness. Imagine a pizza from your local pizzeria or a national chain, and the cheese on the pizza and how it feels and taste if it had been sitting out for five or ten minutes. It’s kinda warm, but not hot, kinda stringy and no longer melty cheese, that is how the cheese in Pete’s Macaroni and Cheese was. The very first thing I said to my food photographer April was, “Have they heard of starting off with a rue?” which is the first essential step in a delicious Mac and Cheese, it is what brings the cheese and cream and seasonings together into a great consistency to combine with the pasta to create a heavenly concoction.

One plus Pete’s had was bread and butter at the beginning of the meal, however I do not think the bread was warm. Another plus is we sat on the 4th Street side which allowed us to people watch and look at the cars. When we left the restaurant, it was not dark and we were approached by a man who wanted money and would not stop following us to the car. As the man kept on speaking as asking for money, I was confused and fixated at the green parking meter, (how is it that I did not remember the meter was green) and then I realized, that April’s car was not parked there. I had paid no attention to the man while I was looking at the green meter. Luckily, we forgot the leftovers and had to go back to the restaurant. When we left again, we walked speedily down the street, basically jumped into the car and left Downtown losanjealous, no more scary homeless man. I promised April no more restaurants in the sketchy parts of town. Wait, the other plus doesn’t seem like a plus now looking back. Downtown can be scary at night.

This Pete’s experience was about two weeks ago. Last week, April and I with friends went to Violet so Alex can experience his first taste of their famous Baked Macaroni. He liked it and finished the whole plate. This was also the first time I finished my whole plate too, I did it because I don’t like seeing all the melted better seeping out of my leftovers. And it was sure damn good. I love their Baked Macaroni. And I’m sure you will too. Unless you do not like leeks or Gruyere cheese or Serrano ham. Again, I am not affiliated with anyone at Violet, I just appreciate good food and great service. I also went back to the Slide Bar on Friday, and their Mac and Cheese is still awesome. Their version is basic with no fancy additions and I enjoyed dipping my garlic fries into the leftover cheese. It was the thicker version of nacho cheese but it did not taste fake or from a can.

Overall, I can say that I will not be returning to Pete’s. I am a once chance only kinda girl. If you disappoint me once, I believe it won’t be the last time. A friend did say their Ceasar salad was good, but I am in the Macaroni and Cheese game. I see it ending soon, I need to be wowed with my food and lately I have not been pleased with these restaurants. Oh and Jeanette mentioned how it tastes like there was lavender or some kind of misplaced flavor in their Mac and Cheese and I agree, however I was not able to pinpoint what it was.