Queen of Tarts Bakery & Café

Update: Queen of Tarts is now closed


~Review by Chuck Bradley
With positive memories of my last visit, and the desire to introduce a friend to it, I returned to Queen of Tarts today. It’s hidden away in a corner on the plaza level of the Salem Public Library. I had a QT Club Sandwich: “Thinly sliced marinated chicken breast, black forest ham, Swiss cheese, tomato and dijonaise”. All this on a delicious focaccia-style bun. I chose a cup of Czech cabbage soup for my side. The soup was delicious. I looked and smelled as if it might be spicy, but a delicate sweetness underscored the brothy goodness of the veggies. The freshness and quality of the sandwich ingredients was amazing. I know it can’t be true in January, but I would have believed the tomato was fresh from the garden. I don’t know where they got it, but it was orders of magnitude better than the genetically engineered, hot house grown, reddish, tasteless things from the grocery store. And the Swiss cheese had that wonderful bite to it which only the real deal can offer. (I propose a Constitutional Amendment banning all processed cheese! ;~D) The price of my lunch was $7.75. Most other places would have charged this much just for the sandwich, then another $3-$4 for the cup of soup.

My companion had the Caesar Salad; romaine hearts, red onion and croutons all sprinkled with shaved parmesan cheese. A nice thick piece of fresh baked bread with a pat of butter was a pleasant and unexpected treat. She said her salad was very good.

They also have 6 Gilled Panini-Style sandwiches and 7 salad offerings. A couple of menu items, sure to please the children, are also to be had. I have it on good authority that a Reuben Sandwich will be available soon! I can’t wait for that. Judging from the quality of their current menu items, it will be off-the-charts good!

As we finished our meals, our server, Roxie, passed through the shop with a plate of bite-sized samples of chocolate cake with a creamy white frosting. It was heaven! I can’t finish a conversation about QT without mentioning their cakes and other baked goods. Theirs are the best to be had in Salem Oregon. Period! Next time your sweet tooth is acting up, do yourself a favor!

Queen of Tarts Bakery & Café
585 Liberty ST SE
Salem, OR 97301
503-589-4500
Hours 9 AM – 4 PM Tuesday thru Friday

9 comments:

Rebekah said...

It's sad for me because there are so many good places that I can never get to because they are only open weekdays during work hours. I suppose they do a good lunch business, but I still feel left out. :)

Anonymous said...

There is a typo in the hours posted. They are and have been open on Saturday's in the fall and winter until they start the Saturday market in Spring (10-4). Then they need to close and focus on Saturday Market sales because they far exceed Saturday cafe sales. In fact Saturday's are very slow at the cafe, they wish more people would find them!

Anonymous said...

They are actually open on Saturdays too! The sandwiches are some of the best in town but their daily soups are unebelievable! Last week were two of my favorites...New England Dinner (corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots finished with dijon and vinegar)and Linguine with Claims (clams, noodles in a buttery scampi-like broth). I don't know anywhere else you can find unique soups like that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the good information, Roxie!

Salem Man said...

Absolutely one of the best lunch spots in Salem!

jeff said...

My father would support you in that constitutional amendment...

Chuck Bradley said...

I returned today to sample their new, much talked about, Reuben Sandwich. It was worth the anxious anticipation! Lean, thinly sliced, Corned Beef generously piled on good Rye Bread and layered around well drained Sauer Kraut with a thick slice of real Swiss Cheese and good Thousand Island Dressing makes for an excellent Reuben. Reubens are always grilled but this one appeared to be done on a Panini press grill. I think this allowed thorough toasting with, seemingly, less greasiness to the bread. This process also lends an added texture to the bread. This masterpiece was crafted by Roxie the gregarious Hostess/Server/Chef. I’ll be back for an encore and will think of this great sandwich as the “Roxie Panini Reuben”. I chose a green salad as my side. It was made with Romaine Hearts with Julienned Carrots and shredded Red Cabbage with a delicious Honey Mustard Dressing. (All ingredients here are fresh and high quality, always.)

If you love a good Reuben, you’ll be hard put to do better than the “Roxie Panini Reuben” at Queen of Tarts! I’d love to hear others opinions on this unique Sandwich.

Rebekah said...

Oh! Good to know I can try it on a Saturday. I'll have to make a library/deli trip one of these days before Saturday Market opens.

Chuck Bradley said...

What an honor! I just received a message from Roxie at Queen of Tarts. She says their new menu will include the “Chuck’s Reuben”. I am thrilled and humbled by this. Thank you Queen of Tarts! It is a truly remarkable Sandwich.