It's easy to overlook Patrix Café. It's tucked inside the Hill House Association's Kaufmann Center, and there's not even a sidewalk sign outside.
But folks are finding this offshoot of caterer Patrick Polk's Patrix Gourmet Foods. Nine months after opening, the café has just added breakfast to its eclectic menu.
Polk, who grew up on the North Side, started catering four years ago. He'd been (and still is) a musician, touring as a keyboardist and vocalist with his inspirational/gospel group. But his mom and her friends loved the caramel apples he whipped up for her birthday once, and the dessert business that resulted segued into catering for the likes of the Urban League.
Another client, Hill House, wanted a lunch option for employees in its renovated Kaufmann Center. Now Patrix Cafe draws customers from as far away as Monroeville for everything from a tomato-and-goat-cheese tart to burgers and comfort-food Wednesdays. (Think fried catfish and four-cheese mac.) At $6.95, the tasty grilled chicken salad — mixed greens, blue cheese, walnuts and red onions — is about the priciest thing on the menu. Most sandwiches and wraps, and even hot dishes like agave chipotle-crusted salmon, are under $6.
Don't forget the popular green-tea ginger punch — or desserts like Polk's signature
banana pudding. "We sell out of that almost every day," he says.