Café 67, located at Highway 67 and Mapleview St. in Lakeside, bills itself as “East County’s Best Kept Secret.” The café, which has recently opened a deli as well, serves breakfast and lunch from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm daily – for sit down dining and take-out as well. Well, after attending a special VIP party last Monday, June 29, I doubt if it will remain a “secret” for long. This was a rollicking party for special friends and supporters of this big little restaurant located just off the big intersection, and if the food they serve regularly is half as good as what they had that night, you should be seeing long lines waiting for a table.
The Café 67 Team: (L-R) Galin, Lavonne, Brenda, Robi
The food included an wonderful prime rib that really did melt in your mouth. I have had some very sub-standard prime rib at other restaurants and parties, but this blew them all away. They also had a fantastic pulled-pork sandwich, delicious deviled eggs, sumptuous shrimp, and a glorious green bean and tomato offering. There was also some apparently tasty cheesecake, but I was too late to get to try any of it. I also missed out on ham and their signature potato salad, but I can tell you from previous experience that the salad alone is worth a drive out there.
The Fabulous Food Line
The entertainment was quite eclectic – in keeping with the overall feeling of this unique little café. In addition to a DJ playing some classic Rock and Roll, they had invited Larry Cisewski, self-proclaimed “Worlds Greatest Knife Thrower” and arrow catcher. Because of the limited space, Larry didn’t attempt any arrow catching, but he and assistant Ariana Cowen thrilled the audience with their act. Rather than traditional knives, this evening they used something that looked like a little double-bladed hatchet. Cisewski started out simply tossing his “knives” at balloons, but quickly upped the ante by bracketing his assistant with blades. Then came the audience participation portion of their show, with Larry picking out people to hold balloons for him to break. The “height” of this was breaking a balloon held between the legs of a very trusting male volunteer. The climax of the show came with Larry tossing at Ariana as she stood behind a sheet of paper that completely covered her.
Larry Cisewski and Ariana Cowen – Thrilling Knife Show
The Hidden Target
Following the knife show, the floor was cleared for a decidedly different entertainment – belly dancer Leilainia. This extremely talented woman, trained in modern and theatrical dance as well as traditional Middle Eastern styles, thrilled the audience in a much different way. From dancing with a sword balanced on her head to performing with veils and streamers, this beautiful dancer had the watchers in the palms of her lovely hands. Even some of the youngest guests tried their hands – well, hips – at dancing with her. Several gentlemen were also “persuaded” to join Leilainia on the dance floor, as were a few of Café 67’s own.
Middle Eastern Dancing with Leilainia
Leilainia and the Veil Dance
The Café 67 VIP party was a great success, and showed just how popular this restaurant is among its regulars. It may not be located in Santee, but the short drive up Highway 67 is a small price to pay for a great time and great food. Do yourself a favor and stop by for breakfast or lunch.