San Marcos – The Price Center Tea Room
The Price Center chef smiles when I ask if he minds if I take his picture. He removes his glasses, sitting opposite me, commenting, “Tell them it is a picture of Robert De Niro.”
I study his face. He does look like Robert De Niro, but in fact, he is Chef Ray Abiza, Albanian-born, spending most of his culinary career in hotel and country club restaurants in Chicago, and then somehow, landing in San Marcos. “My daughter,” he tells me.
He is charming. His food is good—more than good—it’s as delightful as the chef who created it.
A community center seems such an unlikely place to have lunch, much less a very pleasant lunch with good food and good friends and good conversation. However, the four of us who sit here can attest to the fact that lunch at the Price Center in San Marcos is indeed a treat.
The Moussaka I order is delicious. Devoid of the heavy béchamel sauce that is in so many recipes it is surprisingly light; made with layers of eggplant, ground meat, a tasty tomato sauce and the Greek addition of a few sliced potatoes. Chicken Salad, in the form of either a stuffed avocado or sandwich for my three friends, is equally as good. The coconut orange cake is a scrumptious, decadent surprise; a single layer of unfrosted cake dense with coconut, swimming in a pool of delicate orange sauce, topped with slivers of fresh fruit and a mound of airy whipped cream.
Before we depart, Chef Ray tells me a few insider secrets; we can bring our own wine if we prefer it to the iced tea and coffee offered on the menu, and there is a brunch buffet on the first Sunday of each month.
Yes, I’ll be back.
222 W. San Antonio St.
San Marcos, Texas 78666
Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Daily specials, soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts
The first Sunday of every month. Call for reservations.