CLOSED: The Apollo Cafe [5/5]
5 (100%) 1 vote

Apollo Cafe

Note: This restaurant is now closed.

Up in Hampton Cove, in the Walmart shopping center (not off the 431, among random houses like google maps had lead me to believe) is a small restaurant. Launched quietly last October, situated between a yoga studio and a frozen yogurt shop, The Apollo Cafe is the very embodiment of unassuming. Don’t let the humble appearance fool you though, this is a spot you can’t miss.

The hubby and I wandered in for a Friday night dinner and were quickly seated. We put in our drink orders while we studied the photos of the moon landing (Apollo being a reference to the space program) and watched a few cute kids doodle on the chalk wall in a dedicated play space.

Our server brought out complimentary bread while we perused the menu.

Apollo Cafe
The bread was soft and yielding with rosemary tucked under the crust and served with a lightly sweet cinnamon butter. The combination was fresh and a perfect starter for our meal.

I settled on the Mahi Mahi after looking one table over and seeing the dish. My hubby opted for the house burger which, at the Apollo, means caramelized onions, Gruyère cheese, and a barbecue sauce.

We continued to chat while waiting for our food to come up, noting the unique atmosphere which was both child friendly (A play zone! Kids eat free on Tuesdays!) and geared for an adult audience (Gouda macaroni and cheese! A quiet, low key atmosphere!). Once our dishes arrived, they had our rapt attention.

Apollo Cafe
My mahi-mahi came balanced on a fried grit cake which sat atop sauted spinach resting in a light sauce. Crowning the stack was a pile of fried carrots. The carrots were swoon worthy. The epitome of salty-sweet pairings, they were thinly sliced and cooked until soft–like shoestring fries. I would have happily eaten a bowl full and called it a meal. The mahi-mahi itself was tender, with a peppery exterior.

I will admit to being a bit concerned about the grit cake only because grits are often, well, too gritty for me. The texture discrepancy of little hard bits in a smooth base never sets well with me. So I was delighted to find that under the crunchy, fried exterior, my grit cake had a well blended smooth consistency. Still chunky, but without the hard/soft dichotomy the often bothers me. The entire cake had a lemon pepper flavor which nicely complimented the mahi-mahi.

The sauted spinach was tender and balanced well with the thin, tangy sauce. There was a hint of bitterness around the edges but not the sharp acidic tell tale of frozen spinach.

Apollo Cafe
The hubby raved about his burger. He loved the fries which were cut with the skins still on and cooked to have a crunchy and flavorful exterior while leaving a tender middle. He noted that the toppings were placed on the “bottom” of the burger (under the patty) and that it was delicious.

We had saved room for dessert, and upon hearing that all items were made fresh by an on staff pastry chef we expected great things of our humble bread pudding. We were not disappointed.

Apollo Cafe
It was warm, gooey, dense, and delicious. And huge. Just for reference, that is a dinner plate in the picture above. The use of brioche dough lent it a light quality while retaining the sticky sweetness that makes bread pudding what is. My hubby declared it the best bread pudding he had ever eaten. I would be hard pressed to disagree.

The Apollo Cafe offers fine dining styled meals in a low key atmosphere and at a very reasonable price point. My hubby and I will absolutely be back–for lunch, for dinner, to try their already popular Sunday brunch. If you are looking for excellent food at a price point you can enjoy often, this is the place.

Total for the meal: $31.83 (includes two soft drinks, one mahi-mahi, one house burger, and one bread pudding)

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