Cafe Raymond prides itself on being local and fast
Raymond Mikesell is serious when he says he likes to “go local as much as I can” at his Strip District restaurant.
Part of that locality is right inside Cafe Raymond, where he makes tempting pastries and what he estimates to be 80 percent of the bread products used for sandwiches.
Cafe Raymond is an understated lunch spot in the middle of the always-jumping Strip that specializes in hefty sandwiches and fresh, crisply appointed salads.
But don't forget those pastries (or, if you are being disciplined, maybe you had better).
Mikesell says he founded the restaurant five years ago to be a “good lunch spot” that he also wanted to be oriented to local vendors and farmers.
Being in the Strip helps the latter goal a good bit. He is surrounded by meats and produce. The 20 percent of the bread products that he does not produce comes from Breadworks on the North Side, where he worked 13 years.
Freshness comes into play in creation of meals, as well as ingredients. Don't expect to find sandwiches in plastic wrap or salads on plastic plates easing the way to a quick lunch order. Nope, orders are made as they are received, but done so quickly there isn't much difference.
Just behind the tables that seat about 25 is a . Orders are placed there, then given to the kitchen crew that puts them together.
Estimating how much lunch will cost at the cafe is rather easy. Most sandwiches and salads are $7.99. Some are not, simply because of higher-priced ingredients. The smoked salmon sandwich, for instance, is $8.50 to cover its smoked salmon, cucumbers, spring mix, tomatoes, red onions, capers and honey mustard.
There also is the banh mi, a Vietnamese sandwich with pork belly, pickled carrots, cilantro and jalapenos for $8.99.
But the cast of regulars includes a roast beef with blue cheese, spring mix, tomatoes, red onions and roasted garlic mayo on ciabatta and a BLT with applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo on ciabatta.
There also are specials every day. Mikesell says Thursdays are extra-special, with the Cafe Raymond Burger of ground pork and beef with bacon.
He says the Mediterranean salad and the BLT are two of his favorite menu items. That salad is made of spring mix, feta cheese, roasted red tomatoes, olives, capers, kalamata olives, cucumbers, red onions and house lemon vinaigrette.
It leads a list that includes the Nicoise, with tuna, french green beans, red onions, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, kalamata olives, roasted red tomatoes, capers, cucumbers and a lemon vinaigrette. Another rich platter is the chef salad with spring mix, romaine hearts, turkey, ham, Swiss and cheddar cheese, cucumbers, red onions and ranch dressing.
Those pastries are still there for anyone needing some sugar. Slices of pie are $5.95, pieces of baklava are $3.25, biscotti is $1.50 and cookies are $1 each.
Fast and fresh make Cafe Raymond the “good lunch spot” Mikesell wants.
Cafe Raymond, 2103 Penn Ave., Strip District. Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesdays -Fridays; 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays; 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays. The restaurant is closed, but catering is available Monday. Details: 412-281-4670; www.caferaymond.com
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7852.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers rising fast in mediocre AFC
- Steelers offense learning to slam door
- Steelers clinch trip to postseason with big victory over Chiefs
- Pittsburgh police doubling up on duty after potential threats
- Steelers-Bengals game to start at 8:30 p.m.
- Renowned strength coach set to visit Kittanning
- Pittsburgh mayor Peduto goes ‘Undercover’ for CBS reality show
- Heyward, swarming defense get best of Chiefs in Steelers’ win
- Allegheny County district attorney prosecutors move on to state office
- Downie, Farnham bringing a much-needed edge to the Penguins
- Steelers notebook: Gay respects ‘anything’ referees call