Food files: Fancy toast and quick bites at new Claremont Village Eatery

The photo is of a piece of toast with spinach leaves, tomato, cucumber, and avocado slices.
The new Claremont Village Eatery offers specialty toasts, breakfast bowls, sanwiches and more. Sisters Janell and Jolene Henry also own the ice cream and candy shop Bert & Rocky’s. (Erin Slichter • The Student Life)

Sourdough bread, a sprinkling of avocado oil, cucumbers, spinach, grilled tomatoes and a layer of sliced avocado, topped off with salt, pepper and hemp seeds, all for $6.50. This is Trees & PhDs, one of the specialty toasts available at the Claremont Village Eatery, the newest addition to the Village, which had its soft opening Sept. 30.

The Eatery, located at 232 W Bonita Ave, is the newest project of sisters Janell and Jolene Henry, the owners of the ice cream and candy shop Bert & Rocky’s farther down the street. The idea for the Eatery came to them in June, when the sisters got to thinking about what was missing in the Village.

“We were like, ‘Ok, what does the Village need? What does our community need?’” Janell Henry said. “We felt that there wasn’t really a quick, healthy, reasonably-priced breakfast and lunch place.”

In addition to gourmet toasts, the menu offers protein-packed breakfast bowls, pancakes and other breakfast items, a suite of sandwiches, salads and wraps, assorted snacks and drinks. I was particularly excited about the breakfast burrito with bacon, cheddar cheese and sweet potatoes, doctored with hot sauce from the Eatery’s diverse selection.

This menu only represents a fraction of what Janell Henry hopes the Eatery will become. Before the as-of-yet unplanned grand opening, she hopes to expand the menu to include paninis, soups and other comfort foods to match the changing seasons, including what I can only expect will be a delicious Thanksgiving sandwich.

While I was there, I tried the Caesar salad wrap. A generous portion of the classic salad with roasted chicken and homemade dressing was wrapped in a green tortilla, and completed with delightfully crunchy croutons (this is coming from someone who usually picks the croutons out of her salad).

Another aspect of the Eatery that I enjoyed is its emphasis on locally sourced products. The bread used for the toasts and sandwiches comes from Old Town Baking Company, which sells loaves weekly at the Claremont Farmers & Artisans Market. Much of their produce is also sourced from the Market, and they plan to use bread from The Rustic Loaf, another Market vendor, for their paninis in the future, Janell Henry said.

On top of it all, the Eatery offers a friendly environment. The staff is the same team that works at Bert & Rocky’s, and if you’ve set foot in there, you know the environment I’m talking about.

“We believe in kindness,” Janell Henry said. “You come in; we’ll take care of you. Having a bad day? We’ll scoop you some chocolate, girl.”

The team’s positive vibe definitely transfers to the Eatery. The space’s open floor plan lend the space a relaxed, communal atmosphere, while the yellow and white color scheme brightens the mood.

So the next time you’re hungry for avocado toast and don’t want to pay $7.50 for guacamole on sliced bread at the Coop Fountain, give the Claremont Village Eatery, and their classic take with fresh-sliced avocado on sourdough for $5.50, a try.

Erin Slichter PO ’21 is one of TSL’s food columnists. She’s an international relations major who spends the time she’s not reading political theory riding her bicycle, reviewing Russian verbs and baking sourdough bread.

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