December 18, 2008 | 10:38am
The Veggie Garden: Love the hand-cut fries.
There's a relatively new bistro on Central that I hadn't heard of until Monday morning. That night, as I was researching watering holes along the light-rail system, I coincidentally stumbled upon
Maizie's Cafe & Bistro
. This charming little place just north of Campbell has somehow escaped my notice for the past six months. It's been my loss, but at least I know about it now. And it appears I'm not the only one.
On two different nights this week (Monday and Wednesday, even), the place was hopping with a nice mix of people: boomer couples, a nuclear-looking family, lots of bright-eyed 20-somethings. No doubt they were drawn to the cozy yet modern vibe at Maizie's. Really, the place is quite small, yet it felt wide-open and welcoming at the same time. A neat, wall-size wine rack separates the dining room from the kitchen. A low dining counter, perpendicular to the wine rack, also serves as a bar, where you can quaff a nice selection of wine, a huge selection of bottled beers, and some liquor, too. There's probably one too many big-screen TVs in this place, but that's a minor complaint.
Bistro Burger: Fresh and juicy.
I tried the Bistro Burger, a half-pound hand-made patty cooked medium and served on fresh toasted ciabatta. It was $9.50 with a slice of Swiss. Frankly, there's no need to pay that much for hamburger (even though this one happened to be very good), and under most circumstances, I wouldn't order a $9.50 cheeseburger. But I wanted to try it to make sure that I could recommend one for when they are priced reasonably: Mondays. That's when they serve these things for $3, a Budget Beat-type deal if ever there was one. You can bet I'll be back for a $3 burger that tastes as good as Maizie's.
I'm quite pleased that Maizie's represents another high-quality dining option in this area. I can see it become a semi-regular place for me and the missus. On a cool December night, it just felt right to me, especially as I sat there eating my burger watching the new light-rail trains pass each other on the tracks. A cool scene, to be sure.
Let me know what you think of Maizie's if you go. Also, if you have the time amidst your holiday shopping, shoot me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you've got what you think is a Budget Beat-worthy restaurant in mind. -- Jay Bennett
Maizie's Cafe & Bistro
4750 North Central Avenue
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Saturday, 9 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.