I found my latest “Hotspot of the Week”, in a most unusual way! My friend, Ofelia had been asking me to meet her for lunch at the Café de AVPH inside her work place for quite some time. She kept insisting it was delicious and very inexpensive. So, last week we planned on meeting there so I could give it a try. I had no idea it was not only open to the public but they also serve meals at the senior center, have a food pantry, a conference center (seats 20-288) and catering services all under one roof.
Upon entering the café door, I noticed a few hi-top tables with chairs and a long table with chairs for a bigger party. When I walked up to the counter to order I had a chance to speak with the server who informed me that both chefs; Autumn Layton and Georgia Aranzazu have degrees in Culinary Arts. The profits go directly back to Antelope Valley Partners for Health a non-profit agency promoting health and wellness in our community that houses the café. A triple win for everyone—delicious, healthy meal, great prices and helps people locally all at the same time. Right then and there I decided to feature this café which turned out to be a really yummy decision!
Both breakfast and lunch are served from open to close (Monday-Thursday 7AM-1:30PM). The breakfast menu has options like Bacon or Sausage and Eggs—Pancakes—Waffles—Oatmeal—English Muffin Sandwich—Breakfast Wrap—Yogurt & Granola plus Muffins and Bagels with cream cheese.
The lunch menu includes: Buffalo Chicken, Southwestern Chipotle Chicken, BBQ Chicken, Blackened Chicken Caesar & Asian Chicken prepared as a wrap, sandwich or salad—your choice. If you prefer something hot off the grill, they offer Chicken Quesadillas, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, the Bishop Burger (black bean burger patty with cheddar or pepper jack cheese) and Build Your Own Burgers.
Our lunch consisted of Veggie Scramble-$5, BBQ Chicken Wrap-$6.50, Chicken Quesadilla-$5, Asian Chicken Salad-$6.50 and a Burger-$5.50. As you can see that was quite a feast, but we managed to tackle most of it with some leftovers for the next day. For our beverages, I chose lemonade and Ofelia chose Iced Tea. Next time I meet her for lunch we will have one of the delicious sounding smoothies—Peanut Butter and Banana would be my pick as it is made with cocoa powder, maple syrup & milk. Or, if we meet for breakfast, I would have to try one of the specialty coffee drinks—most likely it would be the Chai Latte as it sounds amazing especially with fall on its way (cinnamon, clove, other warming spices combined with steamed milk).
The vegetable omelet arrived first, so we split that in half and gobbled it right up. Eggs scrambled together with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, bell peppers and cheddar cheese (we opted to omit the bell peppers)—the combination of these vegetables were delicious and the eggs were cooked to perfection and I saved a little for breakfast the next day.
Asian chicken salad is one of my favorite salads, so my taste buds were dancing up and down in anticipation! Grilled chicken breast with Asian zing sauce, carrots, wonton strips, cilantro and cabbage slaw served on romaine lettuce tossed with a freshly made sesame dressing. Well, they had me at cilantro and kept me with the fabulous Asian zing! It was just as delicious as it sounds—The chicken was incredibly moist and the rest of the salad was fresh, cool and crisp with the sesame seeds adding a delightful touch.
My favorite of the day was the quesadilla—grilled chicken and cheddar cheese melted in a wheat tortilla with a side of salsa & sour cream. I noticed on the menu, you could add grilled veggies for a $1, which sounded so wonderful, I decided to add them. The quesadilla, turned out to be surprisingly filling, extremely fresh and well balanced, creating a very pleasing taste to my palate! Ofelia decided to add the salsa & sour cream to her slice, but I was just satisfied eating it just like it was prepared. I saved a slice to bring home for my lunch the following day (15 seconds in the microwave and voila another fabulous lunch).
We both enjoyed the BBQ chicken wrap—grilled chicken breast with a smoky BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese, romaine, house-made croutons and ranch dressing. Tender, juicy bite size pieces of chicken with fresh lettuce and a sauce that knocks every bite out of the park. The flavors and textures in this wrap were incredible! You have the sweet tang from the BBQ sauce, the meaty chicken, the zesty cheddar, crunchy croutons and crispy bacon with a side of house-made ranch for dipping—delicioso!
Building your own burger or (BYOB) as they call it, was fun—we had our choice of burger patty (grass-fed beef, turkey or black bean), toppings (cheddar or pepper jack cheese, lettuce tomatoes, onions or pickles), sauce and/or dressings (mayo, mustard, buffalo, BBQ, ranch, sesame or avocado-cilantro). WOW, that was a lot of choices and we ended up with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, bacon and avocado. The presentation was picturesque with vibrant colors of reds, greens, and oranges. The flavor of the oversized, thick, juicy patty stood out among everything but also lends itself well to the other ingredients.
Café de AVPH is located at 44226 10th Street West, Lancaster, (661) 942-4719. Bon Appetit!