Update: Cherry City Cafe is now closed
~by Amy B.
The sandwich group is my favorite of all food groups (it is a food group, right?). I could probably eat sandwiches for every meal if given the chance. In fact, when I was a single college girl I did exactly that. Warm, crusty bread, stuffed with meats and veggies and glued together with melty cheese… yummmmmm… If bread and cheese were the only foods left on Earth, I would live on with no longings or regrets. I mean, who doesn’t love sandwiches? Who you ask? Mr. B, that’s who. When I married him, my sandwich to meal ratio decreased dramatically. It’s not that he dislikes sandwiches, he just seems to think they are a second-hand, after- thought type of meal. When there isn’t anything else to eat, a sandwich will do.
Well, that’s how he used to feel. Joni Mitchell was right. You really don’t know what you got till it’s gone. Once Mr. B’s access to bread was severely limited by his gluten allergy, sandwiches suddenly became ever so appealing. Thankfully we found Udi’s bread, arguably the best gluten-free bread on the market. At least we could make grilled cheese and BLT’s at home again. Yet as all foodies out there know, there is something special about going out to eat, and that can be tough with a gluten allergy.
That’s why we were so thrilled to learn that Cherry City Café offers a gluten-free bread option on all of their sandwiches. We were even more excited when we found out they use Udi’s brand bread. We rushed over to give their breakfast sandwiches a try.
We were so happy to see the mention of gluten-free bread upon request right on the menu. I also noted that at the bottom of the menu, they encourage guests to tell them about any allergies or sensitivities so they may handle your food properly. Anyone with a food allergy or sensitivity can appreciate this. There are still people in the food industry who don’t understand how easy it is to unwittingly contaminate food with an allergen, so it was nice to see that Cherry City Café is very aware.
Our server was the lovely young woman whom we have encountered many times at Cherry City Café, and whose name I am embarrassed to say I have not yet learned. She is always cheerful and helpful and we appreciate her greatly. Upon learning of Mr. B’s sensitivity, she was sure to ask about his level of sensitivity so they could take the necessary care in the preparation of his meal. Mr. B. was hoping for a bagel sandwich that morning, but the only gluten-free option they had was a cinnamon raisin bagel. Our lovely server was quick to suggest that they Cherry Nuevo sandwich, with ham, peppered bacon, cherry pepper jelly and cream cheese, would be delicious on a cinnamon raisin bagel. Mr. B. went for it, and boy was she right! It was yummy! A perfect balance between savory and sweet. The ham was flavorful, the bacon crispy, and the cherry pepper jelly was to die for! We highly recommend this sandwich regardless of bread choice, but we encourage you to try it on a cinnamon raisin bagel!
I ordered the Bacon, Egg & Cheese on an English muffin instead of a bagel. The bacon was deliciously crispy, the scrambled eggs were fluffy and the cheddar cheese was tasty and melted perfectly. I really couldn’t ask for more in a breakfast sandwich.
After our meal, our lovely server stopped to chat with us a bit more about gluten-free living. She had received a sample of Udi’s pizza crust with their bread order and she gave it to us for free to try at home! This was a very sweet and unexpected gesture. On a side note: the Udi’s pizza crust was delicious.
Cherry City Café has very appealing floor to ceiling windows all around. There are separate meeting rooms available as well, but the back room is a bit chilly. The seating is of the basic no-frills table and chair variety. It would be nice to see a cozy corner with some upholstered chairs for coffee drinkers who just want to sit and read or visit with friends. Their service is among the best in Salem. They have certainly gone above and beyond for us.
We were disappointed to discover that Cherry City Café is only open on weekdays. Since we are already limited in our dining choices, we would love to see them open on weekends as well. Alas, I am sure it is difficult to both cater and open your restaurant on the weekends.
Cherry City Café, we love you! We are devoted and we will be back soon for another delicious sandwich (on a weekday, of course)!
-Me & Gluten-Free Mr. B.
Cherry City Cafe
Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
On the corner of High & Union, Downtown Salem