Dining Out: Rosemary Cafe retains fan favorites



Why: The Rosemary Café recently changed ownership, but there’s no need for fans of its fare to be concerned. All the recipes were purchased in the sale and the menu choices remain the same.

Atmosphere: The café has the same décor and quaint atmosphere, which imparts the feel of a French farmhouse. Tan and black checked curtains dress the windows and teapot lamps adorn the sills. Seating accommodates groups of two or more. A few old-time photos and antique pieces provide items of interest for the modest-size dining room.

What I tried: I decided on a cup of the Tomato Bisque with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich and my dining companion opted for a bowl of the Chicken Gumbo and the Turkeyberry specialty sandwich.

Most tomato bisque soups end up with a sweet and peppery finish, but the bisque at Rosemary is only slightly sweet. Though each spoonful does, indeed, have a peppery finish, I found it more like an Italian minestrone.

The grilled cheese sandwich was made with sourdough bread and a generous amount of two kinds of cheese. It paired perfectly with the bisque and had a hearty, satisfying cheddar character. The sandwich offset the bold, robust bisque perfectly.

My dining companion enjoyed the gumbo. He liked how it was brothy and said that it had a reasonable amount of solid ingredients.

The turkeyberry sandwich is made with oven-roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, cream cheese, red onion and lettuce on sourdough bread, ingredients that compliment one another well. The turkey used is very lean. My dining companion liked the use of cream cheese instead of mayonnaise.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Fresh cookies, scones, cinnamon rolls and a few other baked items are available each day while supplies last, and a full drink menu includes coffee drinks, smoothies, Italian soda, lemonade, teas, juice, soda and milk.

The breakfast menu includes egg breakfasts, scrambles, oatmeal, French toast, a Sweet Apple Cinnamon Quesadilla, a grilled breakfast burrito and a Monte Cristo.

Other observations: It was rainy on the day of my lunch visit and very humid in the café from the vapor coming off of the homemade soup, but I did find that Rosemary Café was cleaner and tidier during my last visit under the previous ownership.

Cost: The House Salad is $5.95 for the greens and fixings but you may add a scoop of chicken, egg or tuna salad for an additional $2.25. A cup of soup and side salad combo with a breadstick is $5.75. Build-it-yourself sandwiches are $6.95 for a whole, $5.25 for a half. Panini sandwiches are $7.95. Kids meals are $3.95 for a PB&J with chips or $4.95 for grilled cheese and chips.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Breakfast served is 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, all day on Saturday.

Where: 1001 Main St., Vancouver.

Telephone: 360-737-7611.

Health score: Rosemary Café received a score of 13 on December 8. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.