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July 3, 2005

Cafe Deluxe: Not your ordinary bistro

by Hokuma Karimova, Foreign Desk Editor
Bethesda is known for its many restaurants that attract people from around the area for its variety in food, price and location. One of Bethesda's well known eateries, located on Elm Street, is Cafe Deluxe. Named the "favorite neighborhood place" by the Washingtonian Magazine Reader's Survey, Cafe Deluxe has plenty to offer.

For someone who just walked in through the doors of Cafe Deluxe, the cafe might remind them of a European bistro. The walls are covered with full-size mirrors and vintage posters, while the floor's checkerboard design and the upbeat music give the place a 60s diner vibe.

Whether it is the design or the appeal of American "comfort food," such as meatloaf or strawberry cobbler, Cafe Deluxe has something for everybody's taste buds at a very affordable price. If you are into fast and fried food, you might want to pick up the crispy onion strings which are made from fresh onions fried in cheddar cheese and flour. The strings are sprinkled with black pepper for flavor, but are not too spicy. The plate was big enough to feed two people, but the food looked bunched up, resembling a pile of brown, crispy earthworms. The black bean soup, just as the crispy onion strings, did not look very appetizing and certainly did not taste good either. The beans were floating on the surface of the brownish purple water and had a mushy and overcooked flavor, leaving a sour tang.

The creamed spinach dip and chips, comes with thin and crispy tortilla chips that are served warm, and taste fantastic. This dish is very rich, it is made of fresh spinach, marinated in cream, leaves you wanting more. The platter comes with a small bowl of salsa, just in case one may not like the rich spinach dip and would prefer something spicier and thicker.

The pizza with chicken is a delicious entree with thick, well cooked dough and a lip smacking bronze crust. The pizza is topped with cheddar cheese, mixed with chunks of chicken, and is covered with fresh roma tomatoes and fresh basil. The pizza not only smells good, but one bite will make your mouth water. The angel hair pomodoro is made with thin pasta and roma tomatoes, with a hint of basil and garlic. Add the sauteed shrimp, and the angel hair promodo is filling and scrumptious.

The caramelized onion and goat cheese tart is made with onions, stuffed with goat cheese, and is served with a side of various herbs. While everything was tasty, however, the entree was not filling and felt more like an appetizer than a full course dish.

After a big meal, you can order one of the great tasting deserts offered at Cafe Deluxe. First on the list is the rich apple crumble fried apples with cinnamon, inside a fluffy dough pie, along with vanilla ice-cream that quickly dissolves in the mouth.

The strawberry cobbler was served hot with fresh strawberries inside a golden brown pie crust, topped with vanilla ice cream. Another great dessert is the mixed berries with creme fraiche, which is a mix of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, topped with fraiche creme and served in a tall wine glass. This dessert is healthy and at the same time delectable.

All in all, Cafe Deluxe has something for everyone, with its assortment of tasty foods, in addition to affordable prices.

Cafe Deluxe is located at 4910 Elm Street, Bethesda, MD. To contact the restaurant, call 301-656-3131.



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  • Meaghan on July 3, 2005 at 11:24 AM
    YEA HOKUMA!!!
  • cafe deluxe fan on July 7, 2005 at 3:47 PM
    there's also one across the street from the national cathedral in Washington, D.C.!
    my family has been going there for 3 years!
    CAFE DELXE ROCKS MY SOCKS!
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