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New owners, same great steaks at Centercut Phillip Brents | Wed, Jul 07 2010 01:21 AM

Centercut Steakhouse restaurant is under new management but steaks remain at the top of the menu, according to owner Jose Contreras, who took over control of the west side Chula Vista eatery with his wife Teresa in April.

"We are definitely a steakhouse but we also have a good-size menu of traditional grilled Mexican cuisine," Contreras said. "So, we're a steakhouse first and a Mexican grill second, you might say."

Jose and Teresa have been in the restaurant business for three years. They own the popular La Casita establishment near City College in downtown San Diego.

"We heard through the grapevine that this place was available," Contreras said. "Centercut has a history here (since 1991) and we've kept that going."

The new owners have done a good job of brightening up the restaurant's interior and making it more cheerful and welcoming.  The kitchen is under the supervision of head chef Nohelia Herandez.

Popular menu items include the 12 oz. New York strip steak ($19.95), seafood pasta dishes ($12.95 to $14.95) and a variety of handmade Mexican specialties that include tacos, gorditas, huaraches and sopes. The dough is made from fresh corn masa.

Traditional Mexican items include el chivo barbacoa (steamed goat meat in red chile) and lengua de res (beef tongue in green or red sauce).

The Mexican grilled specials also include a fabulous feast called a parillada, which comes complete with carne asada, chicken breast, pork chops and chorizo sausage, garnished with fresh nopal (cactus) and roasted scallions served with a pitcher of margaritas. It feeds four and costs $49.95.

Fajitas, also popular, are served sizzling on a platter and come with a choice of carne asada, pork carnitas, pork al pastor, pollo asado, grilled fish or shrimp.

A popular vegetarian item is the chile relleno, also made to authentic tastes - that is, a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with mozzarella cheese and coated in egg batter, then deep-fried and topped with tomato sauce.

A veggie-only fajita plate also is available.

Soups and appetizers also are included in the menu.

A $4.95 kids menu (12-under) benefits large families.

"Our goal is to serve great food at great prices," Contreras said. "I love to see people clean their plates."
The restaurant is located in the same building with a karaoke bar that adds spice to the menu at no extra charge. There are separate entrances to both businesses but they do share a mutual entryway inside.
"It's a good relationship," Contreras said. "We help them and they help us."

Centercut is offering 99-cent (Tijuana street-style) taco specials on Tuesday as well as daily $5 breakfast and lunch specials. The breakfast menu includes both American and Mexican items and don't forget to ask about dessert, specifically the deep fried ice cream.

The restaurant, located at 534 Broadway, is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; the bar is open until 2 a.m. For information, call 476-114.

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