‘Simple Simon’s’ has savory sandwiches, more

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By Andrea R. Solis

A grilled marinated chicken breast sandwich and fresh fruit pastry look scrumptious even in the mirror. (Andrea R. Solis)

By Andrea R. Solis

Quietly nestled in the heart of downtown Riverside lies an unassuming bistro which is a veritable sandwich Mecca.

Simple Simon’s is simply phenomenal!

To be exact, because you don’t want to miss this, the bakery & bistro is located diagonally across from the Mission Inn Coffee Company in the breezeway of the Mission Inn amidst the shops and boutiques.

Simple Simon’s is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.

Breakfast is served until 10:30 a.m. on the weekdays and 11 a.m. on Saturday.

You can feast on a gourmet omelet, French toast, homemade granola with fruit or staples like eggs and bacon.

When it comes to lunch, diners can choose between homemade soups, specialty sandwiches, salad plates or combos.

I highly recommend the lunch that I had-the specialty grilled marinated chicken breast sandwich. I was intimidated at first by the olive bread that it was served on, but was rewarded for my adventurous choice when I tasted this masterpiece. The fresh baked bread was deliciously balanced by the sweet and tangy pesto and Caesar dressing and completed by a slice of smooth provolone cheese.

Vegans and vegetarians will be delighted as well at the thoughtful menu inclusions that will suit their dietary needs.

Regardless of which meal you choose to relish, you cannot pass up the exquisite bakery goods. In fact, one could easily make a special trip just to enjoy a sampling of desserts with coffee. They are that good and almost too pretty to eat. Almost!

I could barely believe my taste buds. The fresh fruit tart that I had for dessert had the most perfectly plump blackberries on it that I’d ever had in my life.

You can enjoy your meal in one of the intimately high-walled wooden booths inside the bistro which has a hearth-like ambience with its red brick walls, concrete floors and classic décor. Or you might like to enjoy your meal on the cozy sidewalk patio while you soak up the sun and the ambience of the vibrant orange trees and the historic architecture around you.

If you encounter a line and you probably will during the breakfast and lunch rushes, don’t leave! The service is incredibly fast and the food is beyond worth the wait!

Simple Simon’s fantastic fare attracts a wide variety of clientele bringing together business professionals and blue collar workers, college students and mothers with their children to enjoy a great meal in Riverside’s historic downtown.

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