Breaking bread is a bonding experience, encouraging new friendships and testing the strength of communal sledgehammers. Swing into sustenance with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of upscale café fare at Caffe Fresca in Metairie.
Caffe Fresca's recently remodeled dining area contains hungry diners as they choose from a hearty menu of creative sandwiches, salads, and entrees. Sandwich sojourns can commence with the portobello deluxe ($12), which showcases grilled mushroom gussied up with eggplant, onions, and cheeses on eight-grain bread, or the greek grilled chicken ($13), whose aegean dressing evokes Mediterranean flavors and memories of squatting in the local-history museum's antiquities wing. Center-cut Prime fillets ($29) are served fresh from the grill, and the 8-ounce Fresca burger ($8) stacks up on plates with layers of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, and cheese inside of a kaiser bun.
Daily soups ($4 for a cup, $6 for a bowl) satisfy calendars and cold mouths in varieties such as baked potato, chicken-and-sausage gumbo, and red bean. Seafood combo platters ($17) deliver a triumvirate of butterflied shrimp, farm-raised catfish, and crawfish cakes, and the 10-ounce center-cut pork chop with creole mustard glaze ($17) is, like an entitled robbery suspect, grilled to order.
Affable waiters emerge from Caffe Fresca's kitchen toting bowls of piping hot soup du jour, homemade desserts, and gourmet entrees. Ten specialty sandwiches tempt guests with fillings such as grilled portobello mushrooms, Genoa salami, and smoked turkey. Fresh seafood platters, steaks and chops, and pasta entrees round out the menu and pair palatably with homemade desserts. A recently remodeled dining area with three-toned tiled flooring, wood tables, and chandeliers encourages diners to linger and sip a libation from the bar or discuss the latest in drinking straw innovations.