Podge’s owner Sean Amato said he opened his store to “provide a healthy quality of food without preservatives.” Whitney Richards and Carolyn Monell, a sophomore at ULV, blend smoothies, while Amato juggles an orange. Amato has also owned a store in Claremont for the last nine years.
On my first visit to Podge’s, I had the vegetarian-friendly half soft mozzarella sandwich and soup with a cranberry juice smoothie blended with raspberries and blueberries.
The sandwich was of spectacular quality and consisted of tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese served on sourdough toast lightly drizzled with olive oil and a nice balsamic vinegar.
The cheese, soft but not melted, perfectly blended its flavor with the sweet highlights of the vinegar and basil while setting off the juicy crispness of the tomato.
Perhaps the most gratifying aspect of the sandwich was the masterful application of the balsamic vinegar, which brought an ample sweet tanginess to the sandwich without saturating the sourdough toast.
The soup, which was a hearty vegetable blend, was the perfect mate for the mozzarella sandwich. Its earthy undertones were unmistakable and each-and-every spoonful was brimming with savory vegetables and legumes that had been cooked to a fine aldente.
Now, I have to admit that I am not much of a smoothie guy, but as smoothies go, Podge’s cranberry juice smoothie was delicious. Made with orange sherbet and cranberry juice blended with raspberries and blueberries, the cranberry juice smoothie had a superb blend of tart and sweet with pandering to an inexperienced palate.
On a subsequent visit, I enjoyed the Italian style turkey sandwich with sprouts, lettuce and tomato. The turkey had an excellent savory flavor which was complimented nicely by the earthy flavor of the sprouts.
As for the establishment itself, the décor is quite comfortable, overflowing with natural browns and greens that create a setting that is both welcoming and mature.
In fact, the only draw back that I could find in the Podge’s experience is that many customers might find that the prices, at $6.50 for a sandwich, are a bit more than what they are used to paying.
However, I found that, when faced with the quality and variety of Podge’s menu, the prices and the food were in no way hard to stomach.
John Patrick can be reached at email@example.com.