Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Alcyone Cafe & Catering

(NOTE: There is a part 2, posted April 2012)

Alcyone, located in downtown Salem, Oregon, is a cafe and catering business in Pringle Park Plaza. You can get coffee (and all its various forms like in a coffee house), paninis, wraps, and salads.

The decor is awesome. A great place to take your spouse or significant other.

I previously had the chicken pesto wrap here. In my opinion, that was a successful dish. The pesto, chicken, and cheese worked well together.

This time, I wanted to order a signature item, and here, it appears that their Turkey Cranberry panini is one of them. The Turkey Cranberry panini comes with their signature cranberry cream cheese, turkey, and provolone. I also added some onions and tomato to the sandwich.

When I got my sandwich, I saw they gave me a bag of kettle chips and a dill pickle spear, like the last time with the chicken pesto wrap. I immediately got rid of the chips. I prefer to avoid chips when I can, and certainly here, when the chips aren't even made in-house. I'd respect a place a lot more if they made their own chips or even made their own fries. They could bake chips or fries if they wanted to, or even offer to let me have a side of one of their pasta salads or green salads instead. The bag of chips is just too informal here, a cop-out, in my book.

The panini was not that great. First, despite me taking my first bite almost immediately after I got it, the bread was not crunchy. I had choice of wheat, white, or rye, when ciabatta or rosetta would have been better choices. The wheat bread I picked got soggy pretty fast when put in the to-go box...not good.

I was also disappointed in the cranberry cream cheese. I got no hint of cranberry at all. While it could be argued that the onion may have overpowered the taste buds and masked the cranberry flavor a little too much, I added some strawberry jam and orange marmalade to the sandwich when I got home, and I could taste the fruits in the sandwich. I basically had turned my sandwich into a full-blown Monte Cristo. I paid $8.95 for the meal, and it was not worth the price.

I still ate the entire sandwich, but I think I'll stick with the wraps from now on, or at least until they can make the bread for the panini crunchier and more fresh. This place gets mixed reviews from me.

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