In the world of all things foodie, I rarely hear talks of 'the best soup and sandwich' meal they've ever had. It has since been replaced with talks of seemingly more sophisticated dishes, from the more up-to-the-minute eateries that everyone is talking about.
Now, I'm all for re-imagined dishes, but sometimes, the simplicity of a meal should also be commended. Having the sheer audacity to serve simple food, like a soup and sandwich, and making it dazzle is no easy feat, and it's absolutely worth celebrating.
This is where Crema Cafe in Monona, Wisconsin shines.
Crema Cafe is a casual eatery that serves breakfast, and lunch (I've only eaten lunch there) Monday through Friday, and brunch on the weekends. Click here for their hours. All of the ingredients they use for their dishes are fresh and thoughtfully sourced that one can argue that it flirts with being philosophical. The atmosphere is bright and spirited with a diverse customer base. On any given day, you may find the office crowd, the mommy and me groups, the moms (or dads) sans kids, families, singles, and of course, the regulars. No matter which demographic is present at Crema Cafe, one thing is for sure, they keep coming back, and with good reason.
Check out MY soup and sandwich meal. I ordered the Gobbler made with natural turkey, Door County cherry relish, goat cheese, arugula, mayo, all in between 2 slices of whole grain bread. To compliment my ever so tasty sandwich, I had their soup of the day, Southern Tequilla Soup.
You really can't get any simpler than a soup and sandwich, and Crema does this extraordinary well. They have it down to a science. The nutty flavor of the arugula, the sweetness of the cherry relish, and the distinct goat cheese flavor is what gives the Gobbler that 'dazzle', to what others may perceive as 'just another turkey sandwich'.
I assure you folks, this isn't an ordinary sandwich.
It's simple, yes, but it's far from ordinary.
The Southern Tequilla Soup was hearty and wholesome. A solo bowl of this (I only had a cup) would keep you full and satisfied for the day, minus the food coma. If this is back on their menu, I urge you to order a cup and try it.
You won't be disappointed.
If you're feeling like satisfying your sweet tooth, they also have some tasty treats and pastries courtesy of their in-house bakery. Try ANY of their cookies. They are seriously the size of my face and packs a rich, yet delicate punch of sweetness. The chocolate chip banana bars are deeelish.
I mean, c'mon!
Chocolate Chips? Bananas? In a bar? No contest!
Health conscious? Not to worry, If you're craving sweets but without the guilt, they have fresh fruit smoothies for you to happily indulge on.
They also have a a full espresso drink menu, and ready to serve coffee from Collectivo Coffee. Want a refill? Go for it, it'll cost you a reasonable 50 cents.
I can honestly say that Crema Cafe is a hidden Monona, WI gem. Don't let the strip mall location fool you.
Crema Cafe is 100% legit.
Not only do they offer up simple food with an understated sophistication, but they give the community a place to gather and talk about their days and what's going on in their lives. It truly is refreshing to see eateries like this where their customers can feel at home.
My hope is that after this post, everyone will see what a fantastic place Crema Cafe is, and get them to start talking about soups and sandwiches again. Better yet, I want everyone to start EATING them again! There's a reason these two dishes are often paired together, and Crema Cafe does it well.