CLEARFIELD — Tasty food can be found in unexpected places.
Driving through the winding roads of Clearfield’s Freeport Center, a complex of industrial buildings, you wouldn’t guess that you’re in the neighborhood of a popular lunch joint.
Called Cafe Central, this neighborhood favorite doesn’t need to hang a sign. You could drive past the building without seeing that it’s there — but the cafe is still hopping every day at lunchtime.
“We don’t ever advertise,” said Kim Foust, manager of the cafe, who has been an employee there for 15 of the 22 years it’s been open. “It’s all word-of-mouth.”
The cafe serves breakfast and lunch, and it has some regulars who come for both meals, Foust said.
“We’ve made connections with a lot of our customers, too,” Foust said. “We know their kids. We’ve watched them grow up.”
The cafe is run by Davis School District Nutrition Services, which is located in the same building. The facility is equipped with a large central kitchen that makes much of the food served in the district’s school lunches. The cafe uses some of the food made in the central kitchen and prepares some of its own.
“We serve comfort food,” Foust said, not anything trendy.
About 200 patrons are served each day during lunch — unless chicken cordon bleu is on the menu that day. Then, the cafe serves 200 chicken cordon bleu meals in addition to other lunchtime orders.
People also flock to the cafe on days when meatloaf — yes, meatloaf — is served.
The bulk of the lunch menu is made up of paninis and sandwiches, which each cost $7.
One of the most popular paninis is the Southwest, which has roasted turkey, pepper jack cheese, red onion, tomato, cilantro, ancho chili, mandarin orange and mayo.
Another favorite is the Prime Cut Panini, made of roast beef, Swiss cheese, roasted mushrooms and horseradish sauce, Foust said.
There is also a daily special, which is $7 and includes a fountain drink.
While lunch is popular, the cafe also serves breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and takes catering orders.
This writer can recommend the Breakfast Sandwich (your choice of meat, egg and cheese on sourdough toast), the Scramble Bowl (a daily special — potatoes and scrambled eggs smothered in gravy with sausage, bacon, cheese, green onions and jalapeños), and the Breakfast Steak Burrito.
You also won’t go wrong with a large cinnamon roll smothered in frosting.
These meals are a steal of deal, at $5 for the scramble bowl or breakfast sandwich, $3.25 for the steak burrito, and $2 for the cinnamon roll. Nothing on the menu is more than $7.
The cafe is famous in the area for its peanut butter bars (last fiscal year they sold 1,600 big sheet pans worth). But it has a variety of other dessert offerings — including brownies, lemon bars and pumpkin bars.
While desserts once made up the majority of the catering orders, the catering side of the business has steadily grown, Foust said.
They’ve even had people drive up from St. George to pick up catering orders — the peanut butter bars are just that good.