Off Center Cafe

Off Center Cafe is now Iggy's Cafe

When was the last time you ate at the Off Center Cafe

I'll admit it, I was in that camp that was put off by the torn upholstery, the general dinginess and oft told insect tales circulating around town.  I hadn't been back since 2005.  Then in December 2009 there was news (here's Amy's eatsalem post) the Off Center Cafe had closed their doors to clean.  This morning, N and I walked in their door to see fresh paint everywhere.

The waitress came to take our drink and food orders after N and I had time to give the menu a scan.  She brought me a sturdy mug of sturdy Allan Bros coffee and N a glass of pulpy, deep orange OJ.  :>) 
My breakfast choice was influenced by a Twitter pal's recent mention of "Annie's Eggs".  They were out of their orange date bread, so I asked for their homemade bread instead.  N ordered Bibble & Squib with ham and mushrooms.  (When the two of us lived in the Longview, WA area, 30 years ago, a local cafe served up huge orders of bibble and squib family style.  They were aptly named, Stuffy's.) 

Our food arrived quickly. The homemade bread was thick sliced, nutty, tender and slightly sweet.  So good!  My plate of Annie's Eggs made me feel healthy and virtuous.  The eggs weren't smothered in cheese or swimming in butter, they were cooked just right--still tender and moist.  While N enjoyed his breakfast of Bibble and Squib, he wished he'd added curry to his order to give it more flavor.

As we sat and enjoyed our meal, a young woman and her father walked in.  She was happy to see the yellow submarine up on the wall.  It was a fun enough touch that we wanted to take a picture of the wall art after seeing them do the same.

Don't forget your cash or checks when you visit.  They don't take debit or credit cards.
1741 Center St. NE
Mon.-Fri.: 7 AM-11AM
Sat.-Sun.:  8 AM-2 PM


Sarah said...

I haven't been to Off Center for years, either -- same reason you mentioned. I'll have to check it out again. What is bibble and squib???

KandN said...

I googled it and was surprised there wasn't a definition (or a thousand) out there. From what I've seen at two cafes I'll guess that it's a dish built on a base of pan fried potatoes and eggs.

Anonymous said...

I was just logging on to post a review of the Off Center. I have been a long time fan.

The place is cleaned up. Looks very good.

The food is great as always. The coffee is good and strong.

THE BIG CHANGE: SERVICE!!!! We went in on Friday late morning and the server was fantastic. She hustled. She smiled. She served us well.

Very very happy. All good changes. One of my favorite spots in Salem.

Anonymous said...

This was a place that I always wanted to like. The food has always been great with vegan options, but it was dirty. I loved all the political stuff too. Well, the food is still great and no more gross feeling. Fresh squeezed juice, home made bread, all you can eat jam.....awesome. Unfortunately, the pro Democrat stuff on the walls is gone. :(

One thing: They should ask their employeees to smoke away from the front doors...they should be out-of-sight when smoking...and stop spitting!

Everyone should give this place a try. Great little neighborhood joint.

Angela said...

I have never had a problem with Off Center, my husband and I have been going there for years. I love Word of Mouth too, but it is good to support different local places. I miss the old place a bit, less personality now. It seems like to succeed in Salem now you have to yuppie-fy everyting. We'll always go back for the blueberry pancakes (best in town) and the green chile tortoise.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that they have cleaned up. I'm not a yuppy - I just don't like ants crawling all over the pancake syrup bottle. This really did happen to us the last time I was there. yuk.

Anonymous said...

Horrible experience. Met 5 friends there for breakfast (4/23/2010). I had to sponge the grease off of my food to make it eatable. When we were ready to pay, the waitress announced that they weren't set up to take credit/debit cards, and that we would need to pay by cash or check (no advance warning), and we would need to pay before they closed at 2:30. This necessitated a trip to the ATM for many of us (who needed to get to work mind you). I drove to an ATM, paid, then later in the day got a phone call that it was after 2:30 and I hadn't paid yet. The caller demanded I bring my receipt down to prove I had paid (apparently they hadn't kept track). Even if the place had decent food (which it doesn't), it wouldn't be worth the aggravation. Poor way to run a business.

Anonymous said...

Definitely should have it clearly posted that they only take cash/checks.

If you go when the cook that has been around for a long time, the food is the best around. Have been there when there are younger cooks and it is not as good, but I still like it as much as most bfast joints in town.

Recently, the service has gotten a LOT better. There is a younger girl who is excellent. Smiles/hustles. There are a couple of other waitresses that are sllloooww and in attentive. We have always over looked that because we like the food.

I am a fan of the Off Center and have been going there for 15 years.

Anonymous said...

I understand the owners daughter took it over the first of the year. She is a full time student, mom and now cafe manager. She was left with quite a bit of debt. I hope the community supports her endeavor. I think she will welcome the criticism as a means to make better. Hang in there Rosie.

Anonymous said...

It was always way to dirty for me.

lavachickie said...

But that's the great thing, Anon.... IT'S NOT DIRTY ANYMORE! All the great food, and great service, now without a drawback. =-)