I knew that Meridian Cafe made a mean sandwich long before I ever stepped foot in the place. Years ago my partner discovered their East Coast Turkey sandwich, a Thanksgiving-esque combination of turkey, Granny Smith apples, cheddar cheese and cranberries. That sandwich became known as “the sandwich” in our house. Years later, when we were living in a different city, occasionally B would say “do you know what sandwich I’m craving” and I’d instantly know it was the Meridian Cafe turkey sandwich.
When we got back to town last summer hitting Meridian Cafe was high on the list of eating priorities but our efforts were thwarted. The small restaurant, which is situated in a house in St. Matthews amongst more traditional restaurant and commercial buildings, doesn’t have a lot of parking and frequently I’d get frustrated trying to find a street spot. The limited parking was exacerbated by sidewalk and street construction that seemed to go on forever during the fall (I’m sure it was only like a week and my imagination has made it much greater, forgive my poetic license). Then I’d forget that the Cafe closes at 3PM so my brilliant idea to have a late lunch/early dinner there would find us wandering St. Matthews for some place else to eat after seeing darkened lights and the giant sign out front that lists 3PM as closing time.
I have now firmly committed to memory the fact that they close at 3PM and have resolved myself to the fact that trying to park at Meridian Cafe is always going to be an issue thus I should just get over it. The reason I tell myself to suck it up is because the food at Meridian Cafe is so tasty. Yes, yes B loves the East Coast Turkey sandwich but I’m smitten with the roasted veggie sandwich. I’ve eaten a lot of veggie sandwiches across town and I’m pretty comfortable, at this point, saying that Meridian Cafe’s is my favorite. Sandwiches aren’t the only food of interest at Meridian Cafe. They have interesting soups and salads (including a really great one that features blue cheese, walnuts, avocado and raspberry vinaigrette, so good) middle Eastern inspired dishes like falafel and daily specials.
If I’m being honest though, what I love most at Meridian Cafe is an unusual side dish that seems to have been tailor-made for my specific tastes: balsamic roasted tomatoes. I love the salads, I love the veggie sandwich but I crave these tomatoes. I sometimes get frustrated with restaurants that offer healthy soups, salads and sandwiches and then offer potato chips as the only side choice or if there is a healthier side dish option it tends to be a bland vegetable offering. Not the case at Meridian Cafe. This very unique side dish is a perfect compliment to the roasted veggie sandwich, though it is so good I could eat it alone for lunch.
I personally have never eaten any meat dishes at Meridian Cafe so I can’t vouch for their tastiness but B loves the turkey sandwich and everything I’ve ever had there has been so good I think omnivores will be a-ok. I’ve also never eaten breakfast at Meridian Cafe mostly because I think it would break my heart to have a meal there that didn’t include those roasted tomatoes, but I feel comfortable wagering that their breakfast offerings are just as delicious as their lunch offerings.
112 Meridian Ave.