This weekend, Jenn, the sister of one of my dearests, Nikki, was getting married in Catalina. I came along to do the hair and makeup for the bride and bridesmaids. Catalina is so freaking cute that if you have not been, or if the last time you went was on the hellish trip your parents were so sure you would enjoy
in the eighth grade, then you need to go. Eating on the island presents some problems, however. There are two small Vons with enough food to get you by should you need it, but on the last day there, I went out on a mission for some good vegetarian food, and it was not the easiest of tasks for three reasons. 1. There’s just a lot of meat on the island. 2. You can get a burrito or something, but mega-grease is not always what you are looking for. 3. Not every place accepts a debit or credit card.
Our first night there, Nikki and I ate dinner at Mi Casita. We both ordered cheese enchiladas, which was fine. I also could have also had stuffed jalapenos, nachos, or chili relleno. I had breakfast the day of the wedding at Pete’s Cafe, eating a cheese and tomato omelet with hash browns, which was also okay, but it was hangover food, and since I did not have a hangover, it was a bit greasy for my taste; however, if you do have a hangover, have at it! By day three, I really wanted something a little cleaner, and I had already done the box of cherry tomatoes the night before, so I was seeking an actual meal. I found a burger joint that did have a garden burger. Not what I wanted, but I figured it would do, so I put in an order. As I went to pay, I was informed I could only pay in cash. I had no more cash, and I was disinterested in paying an ATM fee, so I cancelled the order and kept moving, and then I saw it, the sun hitting a cafe as if angels themselves were beckoning me to go there.
Never one to mess with angels trying to feed me, I followed the light to Cafe Metropole. Before even noticing the corner cafe’s adorable bistro lean, I located those magical stickers with the pictures of a variety of credit cards. With my now sure knowledge of MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, and Discover acceptance, I knew this was place for me. After reviewing the menu, I was delighted. My choices included the following sandwiches: caprese, roasted veggie, fresh veggie, peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese with tomato and/or avocado. There were also salads, a variety of house teas, and meat-free snacks. I ordered the caprese to go with a side cucumber salad tossed in sesame oil.
I headed back to Pete’s to meet up with Nikki and her nephew, Skyler, to eat my sandwich. I’ve sure my craving for real food added to the deliciousness of it, but the sandwich was fantastic. It was served on a French bread roll, which was flakey and crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Perfect. The olive oil was light, the mozzarella and tomatoes tasted fresh, and the basil was noticeable, but not overwhelming. From what I could tell, the cucumbers were only dressed in sesame oil. They may have had a little salt added, but they were great; although, I did need to tap each one on a napkin to wipe some of the oil off before eating. The serving size of sandwich was appropriate, but the cucumber side salad was actually served in the small container you get at the Chinese place when you order that extra side of teriyaki sauce. It was fine. I was full, but I did think it was funny.
For Catalinaers looking for some healthier and lighter options, check this place out. I was glad I stumbled upon it, so I could make sure I was filled up before boarding the boat back to the mainland, and as an aside, we had the most hilarious boat ride back of all time. Traveling with us: yummy in more ways than one.
Cafe Metropole is located at 205 Crescent Avenue, Avalon, CA, 90704, or on Catalina Island in the Metropole Marketplace. It is open Monday – Thursday from 11 am – 4 pm, Friday from 11 am – 9 pm, and Saturday from 10 am – 9 pm. The website does not boast a Sunday time frame, but I was there on a Sunday, so it is also open on Sunday. The prices are comparable to any other overprices and tourist-trapped place on the island. My meal, including a drink, cost just slightly over $10. My food, though, was under $8. I had to get a soda to meet the $8 minimum for card usage, so consider the food reasonable, but the cans of Diet Pepsi: terribly overpriced.