Story By Wil Crews / Photos By Robert Noles
Foodies Gourmet Cafe and Bodega in Auburn is my new favorite lunch spot.
I first visited there at the turn of the new year, fresh off a grueling, two-hour pickleball match that rivaled the intensity of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship finals. My energy was depleted and I wanted something fulfilling but healthy. Foodies fit the bill.
Upon parking in front of the establishment located at 1212 Gatewood Drive in Auburn, I’ll admit, I didn’t expect much.
“How good can a sandwich place really be?” I thought to myself.
Well, a sandwich shop can only be so good, but Foodies is much more than that. The food options are fresh, diverse, modestly priced and audaciously delicious. Ohh, and the vibes — immaculate!
Overall, Foodies serves coffee, hot teas, curated cold drinks, breakfast, lunch, dinner, pizzas, pastries, charcuterie, sweets and snacks, too. Additionally, the in-house store offers an olive oil and vinegar tasting bar, along with a wide array of local and international food and snacks available for purchase. They also cater to gluten-free and low-calorie diets.
Back to my lunch. Walking through the front doors, my eyes were immediately opened to the uniqueness of the quaint eatery. Catching my attention to the left was Foodies’ small but eclectic food market. Most everything was either locally or organically sourced. Different flavors of oils, aiolis, sauces, spices and pickles; a variety of soaps, candles and pastas; a plethora of kitchen-cabinet-musts that I didn’t know I needed until I saw them, had me looking like a kid in a candy store. And the best part? They had a large selection of actual candy inside, too.
Foodies is located at 1212 Gatewood Drive, Suite B1, Auburn.
Eventually, I digressed from the enticing, individually packaged goods to turn my focus on ordering lunch. We were too late to order breakfast, which would have included options like muffins, bagels, biscuits and a wide assortment of sandwiches.
But since I had just finished a workout, my eyes glossed over the pizza selection (Although there was a gluten-free cauliflower option that would have sufficed as a low-calorie substitution.), and landed on the sandwich section. A self-proclaimed pursuer of the perfect sandwich, my eyes grew 100 times bigger than my stomach when I learned of my options. Seventeen different sandwiches, all available on croissant, bagel, five grain wheat, sourdough or gluten-free bread elicited saliva out the side of the mouth.
Once I conquered my gluttonous urge to order multiple menu items, I settled on the Great Gatsby — on sourdough. Smoked turkey, bacon, avocado, Roma tomato, fresh chunks of mozzarella and chipotle aioli — I couldn’t have tailored a sandwich more to my liking.
Fast forward five minutes and Foodies’ Great Gatsby sandwich made me feel how I felt when I read its counterpart novel of the same name — it was over too soon.
My girlfriend, who opted for a more diet-appropriate salad, ordered the Hail Caesar Salad (I always enjoy going out to eat with her because she rarely finishes her meal — a circumstance that I reap the benefits of often.).
At the risk of being sesquipedalian, I’ll just say both our meals were fit for an emperor. I’m kidding. A little. But since being back and trying more lunch options, I’ve decided everything at Foodies gives the customer ample bang for their buck.
Foodies, on the surface, is a very modest establishment. Once in it, however, it’s stunning how much quality is packed into such a charming, artsy store. There’s even a TV inside that has inclined me to stick around and watch the end of an Auburn basketball game.
If you’re looking for a new breakfast, lunch or dinner spot — one that caters to every diet and provides unique, fresh food options — Foodies may be the spot for you.