Known throughout the city as the man behind, Little Brick, Burrow, and District Cafe and Bakery, Nate Box's success began with a quaint little take out sandwich shop that started it all, Elm Cafe. Located downtown in the Stratica Medical Building, it's a bit out of the way for me and parking can be scarce, but it's well worth the drive and the parking hassle. Not only are the staff always personable, friendly, and funny, but the sandwiches and lattes are also top notch.
A tiny shop, Elm Cafe is basically a little counter with a small bar (in the summer, they have a couple patio tables in front) serving up daily sandwich specials in addition to offering specialty coffee and tea lattes and baked goods. On top of the cafe offerings, Elm also provides delectable catering services. In fact, my very first introduction to Elm was at the TedX Women Conference at Start Up in the Mercer Warehouse in 2012. Back then, I wasn't food blogging though, so I didn't take any photos.
In order to give a well rounded review, I stopped at Elm a few times. The first time with my lovely friend Tash and Fitz in late summer. Even though it's a really small space, their little accents and decor create a kitcshy, locally inspired ambiance that I tend to appreciate. From the #ExploreEdmonton plaque to local art work, Elm Cafe does its part to support Edmonton's local economy and community.
At that first visit, Tash had the Braised Beef sandwich which came on a fresh, round bun with house made chimichurri sauce and perfectly seasoned and tender beef.
First, I ordered a chai latte, which all of Nate's eateries somehow perfect (the milk is absolutely perfectly textured: foamy, velvety deliciousness). I ordered the best sandwich of my life that day: Baked Potato. Who knew that a baked potato on a sandwich would taste so damn good? Between the bacon and sour cream and the fresh, airy bun, this sandwich was utterly heavenly. I could it forever and ever. Even Fitz enjoyed a little bite!
My next visit was near Halloween and the staff decorated the whiteboard with little headstones and Halloweeny drawings (it was pretty awesome and honestly, hand lettering on a whiteboard is not easy and their board always looks so great). This time, I snagged the Turkey Pesto sandwich which was packed full of fresh veggies and delicious pesto.
If you're ever in the downtown area, or work downtown, Elm is a fabulous place to grab creative, delicious sandwiches for breakfast (weekdays open at 7:30am) or lunch (open until 4:00pm weekdays). Any time I have an excuse to grab a bite there, I do.