March 22, 2016
This past weekend, I visited my parents in Satellite Beach, Florida – my hometown. One of my favorite things to do while on vacation in Florida – aside from drink my body weight in red wine and sleep until noon – is eat.
The number of quality restaurants in Brevard County compared to New York City is about 300 to 1, but my parents, the dining connoisseurs that they are, assured me that there was a brand new restaurant that had opened up a few minutes from our house and it was “So Cool.”
Afraid of trying new places, especially when I know I am going to be hungry and grumpy from flying all day, I pleaded with her and said, “Can’t we just go to The Outback or Carrabbas or Burger King? I need some comfort food!” to which my mom replied, “Oh, James – get this. This restaurant has macaroni and cheese and they add BACON to it! I mean, I couldn’t believe it when I saw it on their menu on The Yelp! Bacon and macaroni and cheese! What will they think of next?”
Apparently my mom doesn’t follow my Instagram account, because it has been documented that I eat bacon mac & cheese at least three times a month. So, if this restaurant’s claim to fame was just adding greasy pork to noodles and cheese, I wasn’t interested. (I mean, of course I was, but…)
When my dad heard my complaining, he grabbed the phone receiver out of my mom’s hand and said, “Stop your whining. This is where we’re going!!!” So I conceded and, wanting to look up the menu online, I asked, “So, what’s the name of this place?”
“Too Cool Café.”
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For my meal, I had to listen to both my parents and the waitress’ suggestion and order the Bacon (and chicken) macaroni and cheese – which was actually AMAZING. It was more of a pasta in a cream sauce topped with chicken, bacon, and cheese – but all those ingredients rock, so I was satisfied.
And, if you think the name was bad, wait until you see the location.
Growing up as a child, there used to be this place called ‘Mister Donut’ – a cheaper and sketchier version of a Dunkin’ Donuts - where retired men would sit at the counter, drink their coffee and talk about the war. A breakfast VFW, if you will, with dark brown walls and orange leather stools, this place was in dire need of a re-vamp. And aside from the lack of square footage and interior design, this building is attached to a self-service car wash.
So, when the owners of the Too Cool Café were scouting locations to serve over-priced sangria and “inventive” macaroni and cheese dishes, I cannot believe this is the place they chose.
And since I had a pretty verbose opening, I will keep it short and sweet with all the food talk (on my food blog). To start off we had the calamari, which was just okay. Instead of being served with marinara sauce, it was served with some Polynesian Ginger dressing #florida
My parents decided to be adventurous and order the lobster roll which had a “MP” instead of a dollar amount, so they were taking a big risk when it came time to close out. When I asked them how they liked their lobster rolls they replied, “Eh, they’re better in Boston.” No shit.
All in all, the Too Cool Café is just too awkward. The menu had 13 burgers on it but only 3 appetizers. The waiters wear suspenders and fedoras not ironically and when you ask for a dessert menu, they point you to the “dessert case” meaning you have to physically get up out of your chair, walk over and look at the desserts behind glass, like you’re visiting a cake in jail.
Don’t get me wrong. This place is not awful, the food is good and my parents and I had a great time. But I would recommend coming for lunch before getting your car washed.
Peanut Butter Pie
"Authentic" Florida Lobster Roll
Bacon Mac & Cheese