I work from home on Fridays and today I was itching to get out of the house and see the sunshine that has been blaring into the windows from the place that I like to call “not work”. At about five to noon I headed out the door, with the dog in the backseat because he was not about to let me out of his sights for one minute, and began looking for a place to eat lunch. I swung by Johnny’s for a look-see but found nothing of interest to write about (no one was even there) so I moved on to the corner of Cedar/42 to check out where Bucky’s once stood. Again, nothing new happening there either. As I was pulling away from the real downtown Apple Valley, I remembered that next to Rascal’s Apple Valley Bar and Grill a new place opened up late last year in the space that was once occupied by Daria’s Mediterranean Deli and Cafe. It seemed to still be open so I parked the car, under the shade of a tree at the other end of the lot, and headed over to ValleyGirl Espresso Bar and Eatery.
As I walked in, I was greeted by one of the owners working the counter and I looked towards their chalk board menu on the wall but could only find a reference to the sandwiches and not the items themselves. I asked what sandwiches they offered and was given a single orange sheet menu that listed the options. They offer several different sandwiches (hot or cold):
- Turkey: basil pesto, tomatoes, and provolone cheese
- Roast Beef: tomato, horseradish, cheese and tomato-bacon vinaigrette
- Ham: swiss, tomato and choice of stone ground or honey mustard
- Vegetarian (hot only?): fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, balsamic and a sprinkle of sea salt ($5.25)
In addition to the sandwiches they also offer wraps (not listed on the menu but maybe the same?) along with cookies and soups. Half of their space is occupied by small gifts like flip flops, books about musicians and food, women’s clothing, and various trinkets. Aside from the Anthony Bourdain No Reservations picture book I wasn’t interested in any of it but it seems mostly targeted at females which is the main theme of their space according to an article written about them in the MNSun. Aside from the sandwiches they offer various coffee drinks named after music legends (Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell) references to hippies and (Sunshine on my God Damn Shoulders) John Denver 1960s and 1970s music playing on the speakers.
It took a bit for my sandwich to be made but the wait was pretty much worth it. The panini was perfectly cooked (I hate when they are undercooked) with the cheese melted and the flavors melding perfectly. The basil pesto was probably not homemade but it was decent enough and didn’t overpower the flavor of the tomatoes. It was a pretty damn decent sandwich for $4.95 and it definitely hit the spot today. I will certainly be back in the future if I’m looking for a quick and simple sandwich and I was very happy with the price.
The two owners working the counter were very friendly and kept me smiling. They left me to enjoy my sandwich and write my review while they unpacked a shipment of goods from one of the major restaurant suppliers that pulled in as soon as I did. They did mention that they got meatballs “in” today and that next week they are planning on having a meatball sandwich. It would certainly be good with the provolone they were without today but I’m not sure I understand why they have to get the meatballs “in”. Perhaps some freshly made ones would work better. I wouldn’t mind trying that or the vegetarian sandwich out as both sound pretty good.
Overall, nothing ultra fancy here but it is a vibrant and local coffee shop that certainly deserves a look if you’re looking for a nice cup of coffee or a quick sandwich near Cedar/42 and don’t want to hit one of the national chains that prevail in this general area. It certainly beats McDonalds, Raising Cane’s, Taco Bell, or DQ.
ValleyGirl Espresso Bar and Eatery
7703 147th St W
Apple Valley, MN 55124