Dueling Lloyd District Lunchspots!

This is for the Lloyd District readers. All, um, one of you.

Cafe Today vs J Cafe

At Cafe Today, I had the 4″ ham sub sandwich. At J Cafe, I had the Black Forest Ham sandwich.

Round 1 – Price
Winner: Cafe Today
Cafe Today’s ham sammich came all by its lonesome on a plate, and cheese was not included in its 4.50 price. With the $5.95 J Cafe sammich, I got a bag of Tim’s Chips. But I bought a bag of Kettle Chips at Cafe Today for another buck, and I like Kettle Chips better than Tim’s, so Cafe Today takes it.

Round 2 – Presentation
Winner: J Cafe
I already mentioned that the Cafe Today ham sammich looked sad and alone on its 11 inch white plate. I didn’t get to how, when it was served to me, the top bread was askew and the lettuce leaf was about twice the size of the sammich. J Cafe packed my sammich for MAX transit (I had to buy index cards, don’t ask) and it was wrapped carefully in a piece of paper secured by two toothpicks and cut in half. Unwrapped, all the ingredients were stacked neatly and there was no fiddling to get it into eating position.

Round 3 – Taste
Winner: J Cafe
The Cafe Today sandwich had decent enough bread, but the ham was slimy and so was the lettuce. Since Cafe Today didn’t offer me mustard, I was at a loss to figure out why it was so slick. The J Cafe bread (organic whole wheat from somewheres local) was pleasantly toothy without being crumbly and dry. There was just the right amount of mustard to compliment the strong flavors of the ham and the Tilamook cheddar cheese.

Bonus Round – Customer Service
Winner: J Cafe
Both days, I had to get my lunch rather late, around 2pm. Cafe Today’s staff treated me like I was intruding on them after they were closed, even though their posted hours stated they were open until 4.30p. The J Cafe folks, however, were pleasant and polite and just all-around nicer, even after I deconstructed their sammich (seriously, tomatoes with ham? Ew.)

Grand Champion: J Cafe

Cafe Today at the Liberty Centre
650 N.E. Holladay St.#150
Portland, OR 97232

J Cafe
533 NE Holladay, # 101
Portland, OR 97232

Both accessible from NE 7th Ave MAX Station.

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