This week we picked Charlie’s Café for our lunch experience. We have driven past Charlie’s a thousand times and have just never stopped there to eat. What we found was a little jewel in the community that we had simply overlooked.
Ambiance: If you’re looking for a cookie-cutter restaurant experience you definitely don’t want to go to Charlie’s Café. It is dated in its decor but that is what is quaint about it in my opinion. Sometimes an older restaurant is creepy and not always clean, but Charlie’s is spick and span clean. It’s not very big inside but there is plenty of room between patron tables. Part of the ambiance that tickled me was the light banter between patrons and staff. Our server was definitely comfortable interacting with her regulars and as an observer to this I couldn’t help but think how much fun it would be if I were a regular.
Seating: There is a mix of tables and chairs with a few booths. We sat at a round table in the corner which gave us plenty of room to see patrons and staff interacting. The booths didn’t look to be very roomy, so I avoided them. There are several seating areas if you would rather distance yourself from the main dining room, but in doing so you would miss half the fun.
Noise: I wouldn’t categorize this as a noisy restaurant because we couldn’t hear a peep from the kitchen but as mentioned above, the server would glide around the dining room talking and joking with other patrons. I’m sure if you weren’t comfortable engaging in this fun the server would quickly catch on and you would be left to eat your meal without interruption.
Service: The restaurant wasn’t overly busy but there were about a dozen patrons dining when we arrived at just past 1:00 P.M. We found our own seat and our server greeted us less than a minute later to hand us a menu and take our beverage order. We waited about fifteen minutes for our food but I don’t think that was a problem. Our beverages were topped off without our asking, a clear trait of good service in my book.
Food: I ordered a three-egg-omelet with ham and cheese while Cheryl ordered a chef special sandwich. Both of our meals provided us with more food than we could eat. I’m a picky breakfast customer but the chef didn’t give me a thing to gripe about. My omelet was perfectly cooked with just the right amount of cheese and ham on the inside. I got tater-tots rather than hash browns and they were delicious as well. The fry sauce at Charlie’s was particularly yummy. The sandwich Cheryl ordered was generously proportioned and came with a side of fries. The tomatoes were perfectly ripened, and the lettuce was crisp and delicious. We both commented that we could order the same meals on our next visit and be content.
Bathrooms: One of the traits of a small restaurant like Charlie’s is that there isn’t a lot of room in the kitchen or the bathrooms. There are separate men’s and women’s pottys but unless you were in a desperate way I wouldn’t venture into them. They were as clean as a bathroom in an older building could be, but they are very small. The sink is so close to the commode that you could wash your hands while seated. Better to plan ahead and not need to visit the loo when dining at Charlie’s.
Value: We spent $24.90 on our lunch plus a tip. This is pretty steep for a lunch in my book, but the experience was well worth what we paid. We would have saved $4 if we had ordered water instead of soft drinks. There were other menu items for less than what we paid so you can get by with spending less.
Charley’s is located at 615 East Main in Burley, directly across from the fairgrounds.