Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Frite is a Frite, is a Frite

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I have been to Bar Cento a number of times, but have been too busy to write about the experience. This time I went with the sole intention of writing about my dinner. Since I was dropping our dog off at the In-Laws on the west side it was perfect timing for such an excursion.

A reader, Dave, had suggested I try the Sweet Potato Ravioli. I had no problem with that seeing, as I am a sweet potato freak. I love the stuff. There was certainly no arm twisting there.

I ordered a Chimay, the ravioli $15, and opted for the Pommes Frites with the dipping sauces (extra $2) as my side.

When the ravioli came out the first thing I thought was, “Damn, these things look like the Cranberry Bliss Bars at Starbucks!” The abundance of prosciutto, combined with the whitish, creamy color just reminded me of the general color of them, not the shape.

I loved the ravioli. The smoothness of the puree combined with the toothiness of the pasta dough was fantastic. I did have to take one home to my wife since she couldn’t come with me.

In my previous post I had made a comment about not liking the size of the frites at Bar Cento. I had been to Monk’s in Philadelphia a few times and loved the frites they had there. They were about the diameter of a pencil (only square). These were what I had come to know as Belgian frites. Dave had actually replied to the post stating that he really enjoyed the thicker ones

So it got me thinking, what is the size of a classic Belgian style pommes frite? As it turns out, those served at Bar Cento really fall into the more traditional service of the Belgian variety. Most every picture I was able to pull up showed over and over the larger fries. I stand corrected Dave.

So what the hell was I eating? What version was I enamored with? As it would turn out, as in a lot of things European, the French have a variation (skinnier) that they serve. Can you blame me? Franco…Flemmish….pretty close, huh?

The mayos are great. They’re worth the extra two bucks if you add on with the entrée. I only wish the ketchup that came with them wasn’t the sweet stuff out of the bottle.

As far as dessert goes, Bar Cento has the right idea. My Ohio ice cream favorite is Jeni's. Cento carries a handful of different ice creams. Since I'm always stocked with this stuff at home I took a pass on an after dinner treat.

When I go back I want to try the cheeseburger with the grand cru chimay cheese. If you haven’t had this cheese you’re missing out. When we were at 3 Birds a few weeks ago, it was on the cheese plate – very good!

I’m all about places that aren’t afraid to try something a little bit different and this is one of those spots.
Cardboard carry-out containers are always appreciated here at Dine-O-Mite. I'm not quite certain what the cost difference is between these and their styrofoam enemies, but I always give a place bonus points when I see no styrofoam (double bonus points for spudware instead of plastic).

Bar Cento
1948 West 25th Street
Cleveland, OH
(216) 274-1010

Bar Cento on Urbanspoon


  1. Glad you enjoyed the ravioli. Check out this event at Bar Cento in case you haven't heard about it yet. I am hoping to attend.

  2. Glad to hear that the changing of the guard hasn't hurt the food - Bar Cento is one of our favorites!