Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 21, 2011

By Robin M. Perry
For the Salisbury Post
ROCKWELL — Curtis Leach reopened the East Rowan Café earlier this month, adding his name to the diner and his personal desire to offer quality, fresh food at an affordable price for the family.
So far, his friendly café is busy and folks are enjoying the food and the reasonable prices.
Many in Rockwell know Curtis Leach. He owns the This ‘N That Trading Post on N.C. 52 and Curt’s Auction House in Albemarle. He used to own Curt’s Café in Albemarle too.
Recently, he learned from the former owner of the East Rowan Café that she was interested in selling.
“It happened fast,” he said.
They opened three weeks ago and are getting busier each day, according to manager, Jeremy Hale. With his new café, Curtis wants to provide diners with more than just the typical pizza, barbecue or burger fair.
“I grew up here and remember going to Beatty’s Open Kitchen in Salisbury for fresh vegetable plates,” Leach says. “We offer vegetable plates and they have been quite popular.”
He said, “Anything we can buy local, we do.”
That includes vegetables from local markets and meats from Frank Corriher Beef and Sausage in China Grove and B&M Packing in Albemarle.
The café is open from 5:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday, serving breakfast and lunch. Leach hopes to be open for dinner once he gets a cook and evening staff in place.
The menu offers a variety of breakfast favorites and lunch time salads, sandwiches and daily specials.
For breakfast, several customers raved about the western omelette ($4.75). Grady Howard said he has traveled all over the world, and not had an omelette anywhere as good as Curt’s.
First time visitor Kate Hendrix agreed.
We tried the homemade waffles with pecans ($3) and found them to be excellent. Other items include French toast ($2.69), eggs with meat sides ($3.25) and biscuits.
For lunch, there are daily specials that have been quite popular, especially the meat loaf on Thursdays.
“We sell out of it,” Hale says. Other specials include spaghetti, country-style steak, grilled chicken breast and Curt’s Favorite Burger. They all cost $5.25 and come with two sides and bread. The servings are hearty.
Vegetable plates run from $2.69 to $4.59 and you can choose from green beans, lima beans, pintos, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, baked apples, squash, okra and mixed vegetables. All are cooked to order.
Desserts are also fresh and reasonable. You can get pecan pie, strawberry cake, peanut butter pie or Cheerwine cake for $1.75 per slice.
As an opening special, Curt’s is offering certain lunch items for $1, such as burgers, bologna sandwich, chicken salad or a BLT and fries or chips and onion rings. These specials are dine-in only.
The walls of the café still have pictures and memorabilia from local schools. Leach welcomes folks to bring new items from their schools to post on the walls. He remembers the café being the spot where many East Rowan team members liked to eat. Many of the pictures are from those days, dating back quite a few years. He welcomes all area schools to make the East Rowan Café their regular spot.
“I love seeing people happy,” Leach says, “when they eat here and feel like they get their money’s worth, and leave with a smile on their face, that is what makes it all worthwhile,” he states.
Curt’s also has a children’s menu, take-out and catering, and you can reserve a room for your own party or group. You can do so by calling 704-279-2008.