Saturday afternoon when I was walking down St. George Street, I noticed a new café. I quickly crossed the street to check it out. Nothing excites me more than seeing one of the vacant store fronts in Moncton’s downtown filled with a new business.
The Clementine Café and Deli is a quaint little spot, with about six tables, some bar stools and a couple of comfy seats in the corner. It’s a brightly lit room, with well-worn hardwood and green and orange walls.
The café was doing a brisk afternoon business, and both people behind the counter were busy serving customers. I didn’t have time to wait for a bar drink so I grabbed a bottle of Coke from the cooler. It came in a refreshing old-school glass bottle. Before I left, I promised to come back soon to try the food and coffee.
Since today was a storm day, I decided to take a quick jaunt around the corner for lunch. I figured the bad weather would keep people away, but when I arrived shortly after twelve, I was pleasantly surprised to see the place hopping. There was only one employee manning the bar and sandwich counter, but he handled the pressure with a quiet confidence.
There’s a chalkboard menu featuring six different types of sandwiches, freshly made salads, quick breakfast items, a daily soup, desert and an extensive espresso bar. After some deliberation, I decided on a Smoked Meat Sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup and a double Americano to drink. The server quickly grabbed the pre-made sandwich and put it on the Panini press.
I took a table by the window and worked a little on my new play. The service was slow, but I wasn’t in a hurry, so I just sat back and soaked up the atmosphere. There was acoustic music playing softly in the background and none of the other patrons seemed to mind the wait either. It was a relaxing place to spend an hour.
When the food arrived, it was worth the wait. The sandwich was served on a rye bread that had been grilled to a perfect crunch on the outside, but was warm and chewy on the inside. There was a pickle on the sandwich, and usually I’d want the pickle on the side, but the salty crunch really added to the sandwich. The creamy soup was comforting and really hit the spot on a stormy day. The soup surprised me. I was expecting it to be bright and tangy, but the soup was reminiscent of the tomato and chickpea soup at the Asian Garden.
The double Americano had a robust flavour and gave me a nice jolt of caffeine to get me through the afternoon. It was also served with a small ginger cookie, which was a nice bonus. When I was ordering my meal, I also noticed that their cookies are made by Nick the Dutch Baker of Moncton Market fame. There also loaves of home made bread and baguettes available to take home.
The Clementine Café serves fresh food and quality coffee in a mellow atmosphere and it’s a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. So the next time you’re in search of a good cup of joe, a delicious lunch, or you just want a nice place to relax, you should stop by The Clementine Café at 241 St. George Street. This place deserves your business