After our successful trip to the Tallahassee Farmers Market yesterday, we stopped by Newk’s Express Cafe for a late lunch. If you’re not familiar with Newk’s, it’s located in the Fresh Market shopping plaza off Thomasville Road beside Village Pizza and Pasta. Going off memory, I believe it has been open for about a year. According to their website, Newk’s is “an express casual dining experience in a refreshing and stylish atmosphere with an emphasis on freshness and flavor.” They offer fresh salads, sandwiches, pizzas, soups and desserts. They also have a “grab and go” area near the side door where you can purchase ready-made menu items and drinks right there.
I have been to Newk’s many times now. That should tell you something right there. Everything about this place gets a big thumbs up in my book. It stays pretty busy, but I’ve never waited long to order and my food has always come out quickly. Everything looks and tastes freshly prepared. Their open kitchen gives me a good feeling because I don’t have to wonder what’s going on in the back; I can see the folks preparing my food while I wait. It’s a very clean, family-friendly place (but you can still get beer and wine there – win!). They also have a neat condiment station that you can help yourself to full of oils, sauces, pickles, croutons, etc. This would definitely come in handy if you ordered one of their salads. My husband thinks that their little packs of skinny breadsticks from the condiment station is worth the visit alone.
On my trip yesterday, I ordered my favorite Newk’s sandwich – the roast beef. My husband got their pesto chicken sandwich. Regarding the roast beef- sometimes the meat can be a little on the tough/chewy side, but it was perfect yesterday. It is a warm sandwich that comes “fully loaded” with lettuce, tomato, provolone, mayo and spicy mustard. It’s a huge sandwich but was so good that I ate it all. My husband’s pesto chicken came with grilled chicken, pesto sauce, roasted red and yellow peppers and goat cheese. While I despise goat cheese, even his sandwich tasted delicious to me! Each sandwich came with a side of our choice – I got the “Tippah County” Caviar, which is a black eyed pea salad with a vinaigrette dressing. It had a nice little kick to it. My husband got the pasta salad, which is also has a vinegar-based dressing. We bought drinks with our meals. The drinks are $2 or $3 each but is a HUGE plastic cup, the kind you can save and use at home (we have a large collection at our house already). Our big sandwiches, sides and drinks came to around $20. Not bad for the amount and quality of food.
Aside from the food, I really appreciated the cleanliness and family-friendly atmosphere of Newk’s. My 9 month old daughter got to enjoy her pureed peas at the table with us. We had plenty of room for all of our stuff (babies come with lots of stuff, FYI) and had no trouble locating a high chair.
The last thing that I just HAVE to mention is the bathroom. Can I have this bathroom in my house? Seriously, I should’ve snapped a picture because Newk’s has one of the nicest ladies’ restrooms I’ve ever seen in a fast-casual restaurant. Granted it had just been cleaned as I walked in, but still. Clean and nice. Sorry moms, I forgot to look for a changing table.
So to recap Newk’s Express Cafe:
Price: Around $10 per person
Food: Fresh, tasty
Service: Friendly, fast
Great value; family friendly; clean restrooms; definitely going back