The Random Restaurant Tour — XLIX

Yesterday the B.A. Jersey Girl and I were looking for a lunch close to the office, because it was a day when work commitments strictly hemmed in our lunch hours. The B.A.J.G. suggested that we head over to Freedom a la Cart, located about two blocks from the firm at 123 Spring Street in downtown Columbus. It’s a place I’ve been meaning to try, because Freedom a la Cart combines catering and in-restaurant food services with workforce training for local survivors of human trafficking. You can read about the business and its important mission here,

When we arrived at Freedom yesterday, the place was hopping with diners and carry-out customers. Fortunately, we lucked out and a table opened just as we made our orders and looked for a seat. And the orders were a tough call, because the cafe menu offers an array of breakfast items and sandwiches, as well as bowls and salads. Admittedly, dodging the bowls and salads was not a tough call for me, but I wrestled with the choice between the Don’t Judge Me sandwich, the Monte Cristo sandwich, the bacon quiche, and the grilled three-cheese sandwich.

After careful deliberation, I chose the Don’t Judge Me, which featured roasted chicken, two different kinds of aioli, Swiss cheese, a mound of arugula, and on-the-sandwich potato chips on toasted sourdough bread. That’s the sandwich in the photo above, and you can see one rogue potato chip that escaped from the sandwich when a server set it down. The D.J.M. was an excellent combination of flavors and textures–the crunchy potato chips were a distinctive touch–and fun to eat, too. The B.A. Jersey Girl went for the bacon quiche, which looked light and delicate and flaky and almost made me regret my choice, until I considered that the quiche came with a salad. Since I pride myself on membership in the Clean Plate Club at lunch time, it was wise to give the quiche a pass. With the D.J.M., there was no challenge whatsoever in scarfing down every bit.

It’s a nice thing when a local restaurant is dedicated to a good cause and serves really good food, besides. Freedom a la Cart will be going onto the standard lunch rotation, for sure. Next time I visit, I think I’m going to give the Monte Cristo a try.