Letter to the Editor

Food critic enjoys experience

Sunday, April 26, 2009

To the Editor:

While on my way home to Illinois the day before Easter, I stopped in your little town to get some flowers for my mother.

Traveling north on State Road 59, I was lucky to find a quaint Nursery called Sugar Ridge on the west side of the road less than a mile from where I had exited Interstate-70.

I looked around their greenhouses, picked out some things to take to mom and as I was purchasing my goodies, I noticed that there was a café open for lunch.

In my line of work, it's hard to pass up the opportunity to taste the cuisine offered by the little towns, especially when it's a smaller business privately owned.

The café's aromas delighted me when I opened the door. I saw only a Panini grill in their kitchen so I knew I'd be having a sandwich for lunch.

I had great expectations based upon the dished I watched the single waitress take to a couple already seated. My mouth was watering as I was escorted to my table. Looking over the menu, I noticed most entrees were cleverly named after various plants and flowers.

I ordered a sandwich normally named Ruben, but at Sugar Ridge, it's called an "East Friesland."

Within minutes, a steaming grilled creation was placed in front of me.

I'll spare you the details of my digestion, however, the best Ruben spin off I've ever tasted is made at this café. The sauce used on this sandwich was not the usual 1000 Island but as a splendid substitute, the cook used a tangy orange sauce that lifted it from commonplace sandwich status to extraordinary.

Although I wasn't able to indulge in any desserts due to my time restrictions, I am eager to stop in again next time I visit mom. I only hope that in this economic time of distress, this particular sandwich shop is able to strive. Their artisan breads and specialty meats would be a shame to discontinue.

As I was leaving, my belly was full, my palette was extremely satisfied, and I was very happy with the service I received.

Keep up the good work Sugar Ridge.

Arden Swearingen, food critic,