597 Centre St, Jamaica Plain; (617) 524-9217 This is a place to discover, tucked into a little storefront near Pond Street. Taking Jamaica Plain’s blend of cultures to heart with a nouvelle cuisine approach, Centre St. Cafe serves up huge, tasty platters from 5 P.M. to 10 p.M. each night
Start off with a zippy, tomatoey gazpacho ($1.90 a cup), fresh guaca-mole and chips ($4.25) or a Caesar salad ($3.95). Drinks include a homemade cranberry cooler (non-alcoholic; there is no liquor served) and gingerade, made fresh and tangy with lemon juice.
The menu always includes a que-sadilla of the day (brie?), as well as daily pasta and fish specials. The rest of the choices, all priced around $5.95 to $7.95, include a yummy Pad Thai and the South American Stir Fry, rice cooked up spicy in chili butter with black beans, onions, broccoli, and carrots. With many of these dishes you may add your choice of tofu ($1 extra), chicken ($2), or shrimp ($4).
Take some of the meal home and save room for dessert, which includes such doozies as chocolate mousse brownie pie ($2.75). Mine also advises you to arrive early, because after 7:30 or so it’s hard to get one of the eight tables and you’ll have to wait outside or place an order to take out Centre St. also serves up a big brunch from 9 am. to 3 pm. on weekends; most selections run $4.95 to $6.95.
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