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Mar 22, 2010 10:39 AM

Center Cafe, Needham, formerly Fava

This restaurant opened in Needham at the former Fava restaurant about 2 weeks ago as the waitress told me on my 1st visit Saturday night. The owner told me that he owned and operated an Inn in the Berkshires for 12 years and brought his chef with him to Needham. The restaurant was fairly quiet when we arrived at approx. 7:30 PM but as we were later told they have done no advertising as they wanted to have a "soft" opening to avoid being overwhelmed right away (very smart idea). I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality and the freshness of the food and the overall friendliness of the waitress and owner who was greeting everyone, thanking and saying goodbye to everyone and even sat down to talk with us about the restaurant and the food business in general. The couple next to us suggested the onion rings which they proclaimed "the best they ever had." We started with the onion rings as an appetizer ($6.). The 1st order came out cold but they replaced them within 5 minutes with a delicious, light battered, non-greasy order. My wife ordered a Cheeseburger topped with grilled onions and served with excellent potato strings for $8.00, she loved it. I ordered the fish and chips at $16.00 which came with the same excellent fries and 3 pieces of delicious, lightly fried, extremely fresh, non-greasy Haddock, not a huge order but quite satisfying. Also, as an example of the kitchen's attention to detail and quality, the fish came with what appeared to be a delicious homemade tarter sauce, which I thought was a real nice touch and exemplified how much they cared about the food they were serving. We didn't try them but the couple next to us ordered an appetizer, I think it was called lamb lollipops and they loved them so much they ordered a 2nd order when they finished the 1st. I thought that the prices were very reasonable with no entrees over $20, I believe that they had 2 steaks on the menu, one at $17 and one at $19. Again, the owner seemed to be a real nice guy and I am so pleased to have an excellent quality, reasonably priced restaurant close by that serves fresh, simple, delicious food.

Fava Restaurant
1027 Great Plain Ave., Needham, MA 02492

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  1. Wow - an $8 burger? I may have to head there this weekend.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nsenada

      And burger comes with fries, lettuce, tomato and a choice of 2 toppings which include among other things: choice of cheese, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, grilled onions, etc. An excellent value! Burger was probably between 1/3 and 1/2 lb.

      1. re: bakerboyz

        Just had it last night, with caramelized onions and cheddar. It was a really good burger, the bun was like a small, soft kaiser roll. The burger definitely looked hand-formed, was good and thick, but not massive. The fries were good and crispy, though looked underdone. Even better than the burger were the hone soy wings. I could have eaten five bazillion of them. They were crunchy, yet moist, and the glaze was perfectly balanced between sweet and salty.