By Meredith Munk Special to The Herald
On the north end of Broadway, inconspicuously tucked between other businesses, Cafe Dijon is like a pearl in an oyster: a little rough on the outside with something wonderful inside.
My son and his fiance joined my husband and me at this Everett cafe recently for an impromptu lunch. Where do I start? I loved the menu choices, the excellent service, the food and the simple setting.
With an eclectic decor of Mediterranean flourishes, pictures and posters, it has a mostly diner quality to it. But what’s being served is the real surprise.
When lunch arrived at our table, there was a chorus of “wows” and “ohs” as the four of us stared at our plates. They were each a thing of beauty.
My Bombay Chicken Salad Croissant ($8.95) was decoratively secured with a long toothpick, but there was so much more than that. The sandwich was garnished with small slices of apple stacked and fanned out, and then speared by the frilly toothpick.
Its generous filling was slightly curry flavored, with celery, grapes, apples, red onion, golden raisins and cashews. I loved every bite.
Instead of the soup or salad, I asked for a side of fruit, and it was lovely, too: a line of blueberries, a wedge of cantaloupe, slices of kiwi and segments of orange. Each was deliberately placed like elements in a photograph of a meal.
The side salads that came with my husband Tom and my son’s hot sandwiches, Baked Sicilian Subs ($9.95), had just as much eye appeal.
They consisted of fresh mixed greens with a colorful array of cherry tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, cauliflower and broccoli. The seven salad dressings offered include three different vinaigrettes.
The baked subs themselves had layers of flavor. Smoked ham, salami and roasted turkey were complimented by tomato, red onion, fresh mozzarella and provolone. The ciabatta rolls were dressed with a housemade pesto.
My future daughter-in-law ordered a Mediterranean Style Chicken Wrap ($8.95).
A large tortilla held thinly sliced chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, red onion, feta cheese, fresh basil and tzatziki sauce. In lieu of the tzatziki, she requested hummus. Not only did the wrap have the hummus, some was included on the side for her. She enjoyed a thick navy bean with ham soup on the side.
Several salads round out the menu ($8.95 to $9.95). The wraps and cold and hot sandwiches range from $7.95 for the Garden Sub and Veggie Garden wrap, to $10.95 for the hot Cafe Dijon Prime Rib Sub.
All sandwiches and wraps come with a salad or soup. On our visit, the soup choices were French onion, navy bean and cream of broccoli.
Unexpectedly, each of our meals also came with a sweet treat: a frosted yellow cupcake garnished with a fresh blueberry.
As we finished our meal, we spotted an employee eating a wonderful smelling dish. The chef overheard us discussing it and offered us a taste. We tried a plate of this Persian lentil and beef stew over fluffy rice and it was delicious. I was told that it can sometimes be found on the menu as a special.
With friendly and considerate service and amazing food served with attention to detail, it was a treat to eat here. They welcome call-ahead orders for takeout, offer catering and will deliver a five or more minimum order.
Don’t let the out-of-the-way location dissuade you from trying Cafe Dijon.
1822 Broadway, Everett; 425-257-1315.
Specialty: Sandwiches and wraps.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Vegetarian options: A few.