Headline news: Off Center Cafe cleans!

Off Center Cafe is now Iggy's Cafe

Thursday morning on my way to work, I glanced over at the Off Center Cafe, with happy memories of yummy breakfasts coming to mind. The papered over windows caught me by surprise. What happened!?

Driving over for a look-see, the windows sported a yellow sign that said: "Open again this Friday morning. We're cleaning; really, really cleaning."


The word "clean" front and center on the windows of the Off Center is enough to make anyone perk up and take notice. There were some things I love about Off Center... but pretty much everyone who ever tried the place, especially this year, agreed the conditions were gross. Booths had enough crumbs on/in them to testify to the lack of routine cleaning. Sticky tables. Everything covered in a layer of grease. Don't look up or down, or into corners. Just... don't. We didn't dare think how this translated to the condition of the kitchen.

According to the most recently published restaurant inspection scores, it was worse than we'd let ourselves consider. A score of 70, just one shy of failing, is recorded on 8/11/09. The report for the follow-up on 8/25/09 appears incomplete. I do not know what, if anything, happened more recently.

Whatever it was, though, it's apparently motivated change. As I drove by this morning (the Friday it was to open), it was about 8:30am and the paper was off of one window, but it didn't look open, so perhaps the cleaning continues.

I'm looking forward to giving them a try again; I'd be a happy camper to support the cleaner, reformed ways of my favorite breakfast places in Salem!

Anyone else have any scoop on this issue?


Anonymous said...

Our favorite breakfast in Salem (Busick, WOM, and White's are all good as well).

The service is all over the board from great to horrible.

The coffee is the best in town in my opinion - and I drink a lot of coffee at all the big places.

Annie's Eggs, homemade toast, a cup of coffee and a New York Times and I am all set.

I am a fan on facebook and got an email that they were re-opening this Saturday morning. I'll be there Sunday morning.

Anonymous said...

Now that's I've read your post I'll be wanting to give this one a try -- especially now that's it clean! Thanks for the post :)

Anonymous said...

Well Thank You for being a FB fan we appreciate the support. The changes yes were much needed, with the promise of it never getting that way again. Please give us a shot our food is amazing the floor is new the paint is fresh and the food amazing everyone has a fabulous attitude a fresh breeze through the cafe.

AMY said...

We always love to hear from the owners/operators/staff of a Salem eatery here. Thanks for stopping by! Create an account with Google, OpenID or one of the other methods so you will be anonymous no longer!

Anonymous said...

New owner of the Off Center! Same great food. Rosie (previous owners daughter) will brighten the place and keep things clean. Looking forward to going back. Hope many will come out and support her new venture.

Anonymous said...

Off Center is not only clean now...it still has the most interesting customers, the best food,and the best coffee in this still sleepy little burg.

Anonymous said...

I just had some friends take me here for the first time ever. Great experience! It was clean inside, though had a smell of cleanser permeating the air.

Everything looked nice, cozy and diner-y, just like it should. It was a Saturday morning and the place was packed; even so, we found a table the right size for us straight away. The service was average for a diner like this.. not intrusive, but maybe not as available as one might wish. We were out to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and conversation, though, so we didn't mind a bit.

We all paid with cash or checks because they don't accept credit cards.... correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what we heard.

The food was good! I loved seeing things like homemade toast and handmade sausages on the menu. I liked hearing the music coming from the kitchen and picturing that the cooks were enjoying their work. My friends raved about their food, and I ordered a jalapeno omlette which was really tasty. Cooked perfectly with gooey cheddar cheese inside, soft onions and hot jalapenos throughout, topped with sour cream. It came with toast and potatoes.... I didn't care for the potatoes. They were a bit slimy; I prefer them to be crisp. The omelette was great though!

We will be making this breakfast a monthly tradition at Off Center!

Chuck Bradley said...

Recent reviews on this and other sites compelled me to reconsider my previous comment (on another site) about the last time, being the last time I'd eat here, the gist of them being that the place had undergone some serious clean-up and food quality improvements. I had a bacon and (local) egg breakfast with homemade whole wheat bread. The servers were proficient and seemed to be living in the current decade. (Unlike last time) The meal was excellent. One would think that a $7.75 B& E breakfast should result in a sufficient margin to afford accepting credit cards, but they don't. I must also mention that the floor was obscenely filthy and appeared to have not seen he benefit of a mop for weeks, if not months. With all the other improvements I observed, just a bit more attention here, would cost little yet be greatly appreciated by their patrons. All things considered, I am changing my vote to an "I like it".