Friday, July 8, 2011

Cafe Chiarini: Euro Cafe Realness Comes to Santa Ana

Cafe Chiarini is "an art café celebrating food,
culture, art and life.”

I normally don’t go out to eat on my lunch break at work – I feel like I lose a lot of time driving and waiting, only to have about twenty minutes to scarf down my food before getting back. Honestly, I’d rather have the luxury of stretching out my sixty minutes by catching up on Perez Hilton, listening to Pandora and eating something portable, like yogurt or a flattened peanut butter and jelly sandwich. More time, yes. But not very delicious.

Then the Register did a review on a new place in Santa Ana called Café Chiarini and my interest was peaked. Located near the Santa Ana Civic Center, Café Chiarini’s description sounds like an Old World European café complete with patio, outdoor Italian-style oven, and fountain. On their Facebook page, the café describes itself as “an art café celebrating food, culture, art and life.”

Sandwiches are created with fresh, fluffy bread made fresh daily, and there’s also organic salads and soups. Not to mention pastries. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a menu online for them, their website needs to be updated. Still, it’s worth checking out anyway, if only for the pictures. Wow. Talk about letting the food talk for you!

Beef tri-tip sandwich with caramelized onions
and fresh baked sourdough bread
(Both photos by Kinda H)
The reviews on Yelp are overwhelmingly positive – it received 4.5 out of 5 stars (out of fourteen reviewers). From what I’ve gathered there, the food is of an excellent quality, and word is spreading fast – one reviewer commented on long lines forming. The only downside I read about tended to be a lack of organization behind the counter, which I would attribute to being a newly opened restaurant’s growing pains. Also, the café is only opened Monday through Friday, so I wouldn’t go making weekend plans to visit this place.

Still, it’s opened for lunch, so who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll close up my internet browser and head out for a change.

Cafe Chiarini

1002 W. 3rd St. (At Flower Street)Santa Ana, CA714-277-4495

Mon-Fri 6 am - 4 pm

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