There’s a whole lot cookin’ at the Cookin’ Café and Grille, the Allston eatery that’s been holding court at Packard’s Corner for more than five years. Though a good portion of its menu consists of roll-ups and subs, Cookin’ Café offers much more, including Mediterranean dishes, dinner specials, pizza, calzones, and 50 flavors of frozen yogurt. The eatery does take-out and delivery, as many Boston University students know, but it also has a large dining room with bright-red walls and booths with prime people-watching views.
The huge chicken-kebab dinner ($9.95), served with rice and a salad, barely fits on a plate. Though the salad is nothing special, the chicken is moist and flavorful. Cookin’ also offers sliced beef, spicy ground beef, and lamb-kebab dinners. For something more American, you can’t get much more red, white, and blue than chicken fingers. Order the dinner ($7.25), which comes with fries and the aforementioned salad. Chicken fingers may not require a huge amount of preparation and skill, but these are still darn good as far as breaded chicken goes — not too heavy or greasy and very tender. Cookin’ also offers Italian favorites, such as chicken parmesan or veal parmesan with pasta (both $7.25), and meatball parmesan or eggplant parmesan with pasta (both $6.95).
Cookin’ Café’s sandwich selection ranges from your basic burger ($2.95) or Reuben sandwich ($4.95) to the chicken-cordon-bleu roll-up ($5.95). And you can order a pizza — with dough made fresh daily — almost any way you want it, from Hawaiian to Aegean. Small cheese pizzas are $5.50; specialty pizzas start at $8.75. Finish off your meal with frozen yogurt or, as we did, with a slice of moist and buttery coffee cake. At $1 a slice, it’s a better way to spend a buck than making a Carrot Top–endorsed collect call.
Cookin’ Café and Grille, located at 1096 Comm Ave, in Allston, is open daily, from 8 a.m. to midnight. Call (617) 566-4144.