This column offers a sampling of dining experiences in the area. It is not intended as a review of the restaurant other than to provide the reader with one diner's experience. It also appears in The Herald's Friday entertainment section, "Ticket."
Let's face it -- it's like a miracle if you can find simple sandwiches and salads that taste homemade when dining out. And sometimes, all you really want is something out of Mom's kitchen.
So I'm going to let you in a little secret: the "Miracle on Main Street" served up by "angels" is called Cherubs Café in Belmont. And here, having a meal is about more than just breaking bread.
Cherubs Café & Candy Bouquets -- the latter of which is next door, and a great place to shop for gift ideas -- provides vocational training and employment options for people who are mentally disabled. Cherubs offers the community a way to learn more about the programs, services, work and ministry of Holy Angels.
The café features gourmet and specialty coffees, such as cappuccinos and lattes, handmade ice creams, fresh-baked desserts and homemade soups, salads and sandwiches.
With its throwback-style and simplicity of a '50s or '70s restaurant with old-time advertisements on the walls, several tables and even pews for seating, it's easy to think, "I remember when ...," and thank heaven for homemade meals.
The menu includes "Heavenly Delights" of sandwiches for $6.75 including a club, three kinds of Ruebens -- corned beef, dog, turkey, and tuna melt. "Our Main Miracles" for $5.95 include chicken pecan and tuna salad, roast beef or corned beef and Swiss, and ham or turkey sandwiches. "Simple Miracles" for $5.50 are a vegetarian pita, grilled cheese or hot dog.
Then there are the "Light Hearted Angels" of salads, soups and combos. There's also a choice of quiche of the day ($5.75) which is spinach and bacon, just what I wanted -- something warm and wonderful. It was like it was straight out of Mom's oven.
My friend was delighted by her Salad Sampler, with tuna and pecan salads and three sides. She praised the dressing, saying it tasted like her aunt's tomato-based dressing, which she hadn't had in years.
The rest of the menu includes the same fun flair, like L'il Cherubs Meals for the children at $4.50, which includes a hot dog, peanut butter and jelly (with banana option), grilled cheese and corn dog with chips, pickle, animal crackers and ice cream.
Thirsty? Check out "My cup runneth over!," which includes an iced Italian soda for $1.85 or raspberry tea for $1.50.
After lunch, perk up with a coffee, but don't forget dessert. Order ice cream from "Arch"tic Angels selection or a "Bakery Blessing."
Cherubs Cafe' is available for evening meetings and special dinners, too, as well as catering, according to the Web site.
Sure, most of the time we donate money or volunteer our time to help others in our community. But at Cherubs, by simply breaking bread with a friend or ordering a cup of coffee, we are helping children and adults get needed medical services, and providing social and educational opportunities.
For more information on how to donate or how to get involved with Holy Angels, visit www.holyangelsnc.org.
23 N. Main St., Belmont
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday
Phone: (704) 825-0414
Web site: holyangelsnc.org/cafe.asp
Ambiance: Bustling soup and sandwich, and coffee and ice cream shop