Food and Food: Edmonton14 Jun 2010 12:48 pm

One of the most difficult things for me to get over about moving away is that our neighbourhood is full of great food that surrounds us in a one block radius. With 45 seconds of walking I can have anything I want for dinner, ranging from Middle Eastern delights at La Shish, gelato and med bread on the sunny patio at Famoso, wings and beer at On the Rocks and deep dish pizza at Rosebowl.

There’s a new kid on the block though, and they are ready to play. Elm Cafe had a soft open today, offering up coffees, some sandwiches and muffins (breakfast, cold and hot.)

How lucky for me I had to visit the post office today, and “had” to stop in at Elm Cafe on the way back. It’s a place you may not immediately notice on your first drive by unless you live in the neighbourhood and notice things like these, but I predict the clean store front with vinyl decals will become a lunch landmark soon.

It’s a small place, but that shouldn’t put you or anyone off, despite the obvious problem I can see with people eventually lining up out the door and down the street for a fresh healthy sandwich. It’s a well oiled machine, even on their first day of operation at high noon – a giveaway that chef and proprietor Nate Box knows what he’s doing, so you won’t wait long.

Nate pulls an espresso

Nate looked for a space suitable for his endeavour for some time, and decided that the size of the space would not put him off. He’s doing a great thing; adding to the community and making great product out of a tiny spot. I can relate as a five foot tall woman – great things come in small packages!

There are beautiful photos depicting lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) on the walls, and a small bar to drink your coffee at. Things did get a bit hectic with people coming in to share their well wishes and order food, but groups came and went quite quickly. I did spy Giselle Beggs from Duchess Bakeshop and Shelly Solarz of Parlour Magazine checking out the place.

Menu for Elm Cafe, featuring light fare meant to take away.

The space is this: a long serving bar on the west side of the room and …

… a seating bar on the east side of the room. It was pretty busy as you can see.

Elm Cafe’s sandwiches were on a slightly chewy roll, wrapped up in paper for easy transport back to the office, or park or home…wherever you want to eat them.

I got a hot sandwich, the chick pea veggie one with olives, a host of herbs and lots of olive oil. I also got a cold chicken salad with creamy mayo, grapes, crunchy radish and apples nestled up against chunks of tender chicken. The bread was really incredible; I want to know the source!

Mike insisted we split and I’m glad we did because even after eating both, I still can’t decide what my favourite was. You could taste the care in these ‘wiches. They’re called “craft sandwiches” on the website, and the name is suitable.

Mediterranean sandwich

At $8 a pop, the sandwiches are well priced considering the work that goes into them. If you want to spend less, Subway is just around the corner so you’re welcome to go eat some trash for lunch. I’m sticking to Elm Cafe. I can’t wait to try the soups.

Welcome to the neighbourhood, guys!

Elm Cafe
#100, 10140 – 117 Street
(kitty corner from Rosebowl, below Stratica Pharmacy)
Edmonton, Alberta

Mon, Tues, Wed 7-5
Thurs, Fri 7-7
Sat 8-4
Sunday closed

3 Responses to “edmonton, elm cafe”

  1. on 15 Jun 2010 at 2:18 pm A Canadian Foodie

    Great write up – feel as if I have been there. Love Nate- so this cannot help by be great. Your sandwich looks divine! In NYC Todd English has a bunch of sandwich stands – permanent ones – he calls them all ” ‘wich-craft”… loved that name.
    I will have to drop by soon! To wish him well and to try the coffee and soup!

  2. on 21 Jul 2010 at 8:45 pm Joyce

    bread = torpedo (or bullet?) roll from the italian centre!

  3. on 06 Oct 2010 at 2:37 pm Bart Younkins

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!