Grand Central Café: good brick-oven pizza
Tucked away next to Railroad Square Cinema, Grand Central Café boasts a wide variety of fresh sandwiches, quesadillas and salads. What really keeps customers lining up at the door on weekend nights, however, are the restaurant’s delicious brick-oven pizzas.
When I first went to the Grand Central Café, I was a bit skeptical. It’s one of those hole-in-the wall eateries that can be either really amazing or absolutely underwhelming, and I wasn’t sure which it would be. But after my first bite of their amazing homemade pizza crust, I knew I would be coming back.
What I really like about Grand Central is that I have the healthy option of loading my pizza with sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers or I can go with more a more meaty alternative that has wall-to-wall pepperoni, smoked gouda and oregano.
One college student favorite is the buffalo chicken pizza, which is loaded with chicken, hot sauce, gorgonzola and mozzarella cheese, or I could opt for a no-sauce pizza like the Al Fresco, which has fresh mozzarella slices, feta, olives, tomato and garlic. Add a nice glass of wine to the mix and you’re all set!
Every time I’ve been to Grand Central, the waitresses have been very nice and do an impressive job of taking care of a full house. The atmosphere there is both relaxing and eclectic, with various local magazines hangin g from the ceiling, books and flyers cluttering the register, and a mix of plastic and wooden tables and chairs to accommodate the big rush of dinner customers.
The pizza at Grand Central Café only takes about 10 to 15 minutes depending on how busy it is, but if you go between 5-6 p.m. you’re likely to find a good seat without having to wait too long. You could also stop in for take-out and avoid the crowd of people waiting at the door for a table, though I would definitely argue that pizza is best when eaten straight out of the oven.
The restaurant’s prices are reasonable: a small pizza will cost around 10 dollars and is just enough to satisfy one person’s appetite. If you’re still hungry, accompany your pizza with a salad or a dessert—they always have chocolate cake waiting at the register—or opt for a large pizza, which will cost you around 18 dollars.
At Grand Central Café you can split any pizza, even the small ones, into two halves with different toppings if you’re indecisive like me. You can even create your own pizza if you don’t see one you like on the menu. They also sell their homemade bread for a relatively good price (around five dollars per pound) if you want something to take home.
In a small town like Waterville, it’s refreshing to find good, fresh, brick-oven pizza for an affordable price, and after you’re done eating at Grand Central Café, you can mosey on over to Railroad Square Cinema to see a movie or go get dessert somewhere down the road.