Painters Hall Café

~Review by Chuck Bradley
It boasts “Natural & Organic Food & Drinks in a LEED-Platinum, net-zero energy Café”.

It’s in the heart of the fledgling green community on the old Fairview Home property off old Strong RD SE in the shadow of the ancient and towering smoke stack from a bygone day. The building which houses it was where the painters, who maintained the many buildings on the then state owned facility, worked and stored their equipment and supplies. The décor is an eclectic mix and includes large tables for big groups or intimate tables and conversation groupings with easy chairs, couches and coffee tables. The walls are festooned with “fine art prints” by Wayne J. Parker and an interesting fish sculpture fashioned from keys and key-ring disks. The table at which SWMBO and I sat was fashioned from a section of Oak hardwood floor, no doubt salvaged from one of the old buildings since deconstructed on the property.

The restaurant has access to two huge depression era green houses that the developers have restored. Their goal is to provide all the fruit and vegetable ingredients they use from indoor and outdoor gardens on site.

Our server, Holly, was new and very eager and helpful.

The menu is currently in seasonal transition and is rather limited but very healthy and good. My bride chose a half Whole Wheat Pita Chicken Salad Sandwich and a cup of Lintel Soup. Both were excellent. Her cup of Soup was almost as large as my bowl of Minestrone. I had a whole Caprese; fresh Mozzarella, fresh Tomato and Basil on Cascade Baking Company French Bread and drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar and Spices and a fresh Pear and Mixed Greens Salad with Onion, Walnuts and Feta Cheese. Yum! The Sandwich prices are: $5 for a whole or a half with a cup of Soup. Soup is $5 for a bowl or $3 for a cup. Salads are $3. Fresh brewed Coffee was $1.

This gem has been open since March but seems to have slipped under the radar of most of us. It offers high quality food and service for an extraordinarily low price. We don’t think you can go wrong here. I’ll be interested to read other’s comments.

Open Monday through Friday 9 AM to 2 PM
3911 Village Center RD SE
Salem, OR 97302
 (503) 315-1055


Anonymous said...

Here's the story behind the salmon sculpture. They keys were salvaged on-site, too. The cafe is especially wonderful in the summer!

Anonymous said...

We tried going during their operating hours, and they were closed. I just assumed they were closed for the season.

Chuck Bradley said...

I wrote my review and actually visited on 10/31. I was told the menu was “in transition” to their winter menu. I was given no indication that a seasonal closing was in the offing. Sounds like a call before driving over may be advisable.


pietra said...

We go here after Jazzercice and just LOVE it. Wish I lived in the community!

Anonymous said...

I hope "lintel soup" is a clever architectural menu pun. Otherwise it sounds kinda splintery.

Chuck Bradley said...

Anon 11/10/11, I failed in cleverness and spelling prowess. Good catch!

Anonymous said...

I want to work there... is it lentil soup..yum!