Friday, July 3, 2015

This Summerville Restaurant Should Be Your Dining Destination--Five Loaves Cafe

…When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip: "Where will we buy bread for these people to eat?" However, he was saying this to test him, for he knew what he was about to do...Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him: "Here is a little boy who has five barley loaves and two small fish. But what are these among so many?" Jesus said: "Have the men sit down." As there was a lot of grass in that place, the men sat down there, about 5,000 in number. Jesus took the bread, and after giving thanks, he distributed it to those who were sitting there; he did likewise with the small fish, and they had as much as they wanted… I was told this Biblical story was the inspiration behind the name Five Loaves Café.

I recently broke bread at the Summerville location--the newest of three in the Lowcountry area and formerly the Farringdon Bistropub. The building, at 214 N. Cedar Street, was completely gutted and beautifully remodeled.

Walking up the front steps unto the restaurant’s broad porch, I was treated to the first of its distinctive features. Mounted overhead, on the ceiling, were three old entry doors with 12 randomly spaced lights dangling from them--examples of the restaurants use of sustainable materials. Upon entering, we were immediately directed to our table. On the way, I noticed many familiar faces from around town. Where we were seated, it was bright, open, and cozy. The surrounding walls were free of clutter with pictures mounted smartly here and there. Hanging nearby, the dinner specials were listed on a large role of brown paper that could be changed when needed by pulling it through and tearing it off.

A second distinctive feature was on the top of the wooden table we were seated at. Painted in black and in a circle was a quote from Voltaire, which read: "Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity." Eating and drinking was the obvious reason for being at Five Loaves. As to the pleasure reference in the quote, the proof would be in the pudding, which by the way was not on the menu, but no matter, if I was looking for pudding I would have gone to a certain fast-food restaurant I will leave unnamed. There were plenty of other reasonable choices available on the menu for making a suitable appraisal of the food.

Scanning the menu, the first thing that pleasantly caught my eye was the modestly priced, gluten-free Entrees, Shareables, Ruffage, Soups and what Five Loaves called Between the Bread (sandwiches). Artfully named and scrumptiously described, it was difficult making a choice, but ultimately I chose the Mediterranean Garden Burger ($8.25) in between sour dough bread with a Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella ($8.50) salad accompanied with balsamic roasted garlic dressing. Other dishes ordered at our table: Local Shrimp Gnocchi ($14) and Roasted Pork Saltimbocca.

When the dishes arrived, they were picture perfect and magazine ready—fresh, colorful, and creatively arranged in an artistic fashion. In answer to Voltaire’s quote mentioned earlier, it was a pleasure consuming the delectable dishes. Congratulations go to Chef Stephen Harman for a table of superbly prepared dishes.

Bottles of wine were offered at ½ price. Our choices were a Hook and Ladder Gewürztraminer and a Zolo Malbec 2014. The Gewürztraminer was an intensely spiced, aromatic wine with a hint of honeysuckle and grapefruit. The Malbec was a blend with a high intensity of black fruits, raspberries, and violets. The bottles were delivered to the table by managing partner Ruthie Harmon. Displaying a friendly smile and inviting disposition, she opened and poured the wine and answered questions we had about the wine and the restaurant.

Five Loaves Café has undeniably become a Summerville favorite. On any given day, lunch or dinner, their healthy, gluten-free, and vegetarian-friendly dishes make them a highly recommended choice for omnivores and vegans alike. It provides a variety of vegetarian options with popular soup/salad/sandwich combinations. Salads made with vegetables grown locally are served with house-made dressings. Its appetizing sandwiches feature meats from local Charleston area farms. Soups are house made and different each day and night. The entrees are unmatched and reasonably priced. Its staff is courteous, hospitable, and helpful. Its atmosphere is uplifting and people friendly. If you are looking for the overall satisfying dining experience, this restaurant should be your destination.

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