I am an Australian freelance writer living in Adelaide.
Published November 25th 2011
Café Primo (or simply "Primo" as it's often shortened to) is a reliable family restaurant, with enough meal choices to keep everyone happy. I dined at the Marion location (there are 21 stores Adelaide-wide) which used to be the New York, New York restaurant. Therefore, aspects of the previous design remains, including three enlarged photos of New York, including a haunting one of the Twin Towers when there were two.
The Twin Towers, photo taken March 2001
There were about 70 of us there for an early work Christmas party. We were only able to choose from a set menu of six dishes (there are fifty dishes on the usual menu) but considering we weren't paying, we couldn't complain. Primo offers several dishes under the headings of Seafood/Salad/Pizza/Risotto/ Chicken/Pasta/Meat/Focaccia/Kids Meals and Light Meals & Sides.
We could choose from a Seafood Platter (crumbed and fried fish, prawns and calamari with chips and salad), Pizza (Margherita/The Lot/Ham & Pineapple) and the Primo Burger. The fish was the most popular choice and the pizzas (10") had lots of toppings. I chose the burger and it had the lot, including an egg, bacon, tomato, lettuce and onion on a bun with chips. There aren't any surprises with the food here, which makes it a comfortable place to come back to because you know what you're going to get.
Hamburger with the lot
Some dishes escape the ordinary. The Primo Parmy ($18.90) has crumbed pieces of veal topped with bolognese sauce and cheese (the parmagiana) and is served over spaghetti Bolognese. The Primo Mixed Grill is exceptional value for $21.90 for chargrilled Porterhouse steak, chicken, bacon, cheese kransky, fried calamari and prawns with chips, salad and garlic sauce. And the lasagne ($16.90) is layered with pasta, ham, egg, salami, cheese and a rich meaty sauce, served with salad.
The most memorable part of a meal at Primo is the free garlic bread with a main meal at lunch and a pancake (although it's more like a pikelet) for dessert after a main meal at dinner. These are organised promptly by the waitress after collecting dirty plates and come warm, served with maple syrup and cream. They're just the right size to squeeze in without doing too much damage to the waistline or digestion.
Enjoy your next function or family dinner at Café Primo.