The best restaurants often are off the beaten path, and that’s certainly true of Pam’s Corner in downtown Toledo.
Pam’s gives a nod to its out-of-the-way location by advertising: “Hard to find. Impossible to forget!”
The breakfast and lunch spot at 116 10th St. in the basement of the Davis Building proves memorable for its show-stopping salads, sandwiches, and a rotating selection of soups. (Check pamstoledo.com for the soup menu and other daily specials).
Pam’s Corner has a bright, inviting dining room and a friendly staff. It’s the type of place that encourages friends to sit down, relax, and catch up for a while.
For a recent lunch, we tried the pesto chicken sandwich ($7), a pear salad ($7 for small), a Cobb salad ($14 for regular size), and a cup of the broccoli-cheddar soup ($3.50).
Address: 116 10th St.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays; closed Sundays
Wheelchair access: Yes
Average price: $-$$
Credit cards: AE, Dis, MC, V
The pesto chicken sandwich consists of a shredded chicken breast with basil pesto, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on a ciabatta roll. Served with potato chips, the sandwich was the perfect size for lunch, and the pesto and vegetables brightened up the sometimes-dull chicken breast.
My dining companion enjoyed the warmth of the homemade soup and that it wasn’t so cheesy that it overpowered the vegetables.
She made the “mistake” of opting for the regular-size salad — a monster of leafy dark greens covered by an avalanche of fresh ingredients including homegrown cherry tomato halves, avocado slices, chicken, egg and bacon. It covered two meals, and it’s not the largest. Most salads are available in five sizes, ranging from $4 for a petite tossed salad to $45 for a jumbo Cobb salad that would easily feed a family.
The regular Cobb dwarfed the small pear salad, which was a meal in itself. The pear salad is a sweet and savory concoction made from fresh leafy greens, sliced juicy pears, dried cranberries, spicy pecans, and blue cheese. I opted for the delicious house-made citrus vinaigrette.
A recent breakfast visit also exceeded expectations. Served until 11 a.m., the breakfast menu features an a la carte selection of standard fare, a few platters, and a couple of sandwiches.
One diner opted for the traditional — two eggs scrambled ($2.50), bacon ($2), and toast ($0.75 for one slice, $1.25 for two). All arrived as expected.
Others opted for the breakfast burrito ($4.50) and the Davis Building Sandwich ($6).
The breakfast burrito gives the diner a choice of three items from scrambled eggs or egg whites, cheddar, Swiss, American, or mozzarella cheese, and potatoes, ham, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, white or green onions, salsa, sour cream, or avocado.
In this case, my companion opted for bacon, scrambled eggs, and halved fresh cherry tomatoes. The flour tortilla arrived at the table packed with goodies. Unless you haven’t eaten in a day or so, there’s little need to add a side.
The Davis Building sandwich made for a nice light breakfast with its two egg whites, provolone cheese, turkey sausage, and avocado on a ciabatta roll. The fresh creamy avocado made up for the flavor lost by omitting the egg yolks.
One disappointment was the house blend coffee ($2); spring for the local Flying Rhino ($2) for more kick-start to your morning.
Also, the dining room’s dozen or so tables fill up quickly and the service can be a tad slow. If you’re on a strict lunch hour, it’s best to call ahead and order carryout.
Contact Bill of Fare at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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