For lunch and early dinner, add the Breadbox Café to your list of possibilities.
You’ll need to keep a sharp lookout for the little eatery that opened earlier this year. It’s on Essen Lane, on the edge of a little retail cluster on the right before the train tracks if you’re coming from Perkins Road. If you pass up the restaurant the first time, just go ahead and turn around and come back.
There’s an elegant simplicity about the decor, and an elegant creativity about the menu offerings.
A variety of sandwiches, paninis, wraps and salads are available. Make your order a combo for an extra $1.75, and you can get a side choice of a green salad, pasta salad, homemade potato chips or a cup of the soup of the day.
We were pleased with each of our entrées on our first visit and plan to make a return trip.
The California BLT ($5.50) was a handsome sandwich that served up the traditional bacon (nice and crisp), lettuce and tomato, but with the new additions of avocado and pepper jack cheese. It comes on toasted white or wheat bread, with the diner’s choice of one mayonnaise (from five choices, including chive mayo and chipotle mayo) and one mustard (from four choices).
The homemade chips chosen as a side were nicely thick, fresh and crisp.
A roasted turkey and artichoke panini ($7.75), made with sourdough bread, was a delicious feast, with the artichoke hearts serving as a creamy spread. Baby spinach, red onions, roasted red peppers, provolone cheese and mozzarella cheese were the other highlights.
I made my meal a combo, adding the pasta salad, which was a dish of green, white and orange bow-tie pasta tossed in a light dressing.
The California cobb salad ($7.75) was another hit; the diner was especially struck by the freshness of the vegetables.
Crisp lettuce, creamy avocado, red onion slices, cucumbers and juicy tomatoes all had their authentic flavor and set off the hard-boiled eggs, cheddar cheese and roasted ham and turkey.
A generous sprinkle of crumbled bacon and a choice of the creamy, tangy chipotle dressing completed the dish.
Another guest tried the southwest chicken wrap ($8) and also found it delicious. Mixed greens, shredded grilled chicken, roasted corn salsa, tortilla strips, Monterey jack cheese were packed into the white flour tortilla, then halved for easier handling. The elements were held together with some of the spicy chipotle mayonnaise. All were nicely seasoned, and the tortilla strips added a nice little crunch to the mix.
She added the corn chowder to make it a combo, and found the soup pleasing, lots of corn kernels in a light broth, with a hint of Ro-Tel tomatoes and butter.