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August 19, 2009 > Restaurant Review: The Cafe de Lagniappe

Restaurant Review: The Cafe de Lagniappe

By J.D. Wolfe
Photos By William Mancebo

"Excuse me. Are you in line?" That is what I am going to say to every person between me and the counter the next time I drop in at Cafe de Lagniappe. I don't want to wait an extra second for my current choice of one of their phenomenal sandwiches. "Lagniappe" refers to a small gift given by a merchant to customers in appreciation of their patronage. In this case, the reward is a delightful and flavorful treat in an unexpected place.

I can assure you with certainty that all sandwiches on the menu are excellent. Cafe de Lagniappe is very easy to find and worth the 75 cents charged for parking close to the Alameda County Building at the corner of Winton and Amador Street. Don't let the location fool you, this is not institutional food!

The menu is created by Gayle who owns the place. I ordered The Nawlins (that means The New Orleans - hey, I am learning too), a delicious blend of Black Forest ham with tasty salami, cheese and the best spread anywhere, all on lightly toasted bread. I bet after you eat one of these sandwiches, you will want to know what is in that heavenly spread. When you find out, let me know too. I did ask, but was busy enjoying my sandwich, not paying close attention. I did, however, catch the word 'garlic.' Whatever the recipe, it was insanely good! I am currently plotting to find excuses so I can revisit this unassuming treasure and sample every Lagniappe sandwich.

Although there is a choice of chips or potato salad with a sandwich, my advice is to order the potato salad. It is a great addition and not too spicy. Besides, given how good this sandwich is, chips somehow seem boring.

Don't miss the following statement. Get one of their Homemade Brownies! Do not argue with me on this. Gayle's brownies are unbelievably good. The brownie alone is justification for a trip to Cafe de Lagniappe!

Cafe de Lagniappe has plenty of seating since many customers are county employees who simply get their food and go back to their offices and desks. A few people doing business in the building will stop and sit but by and large it seems safe to assume ample table space during the lunch hour. I had no problem finding a table for my feast.

The decor is pretty much what you would expect in a small sandwich shop but there is a handcrafted ceramic American flag on the wall that has to be one of the most unique expressions of the flag I have ever seen. It is something to behold. Gayle told me how she and her husband found it on the road and brought it back to the cafe. It is worth hearing the story.

Go, enjoy the great sandwiches of Cafe de Lagniappe and say "hi" to Gayle. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Reviewed Aug 5, 2009

The Cafe de Lagniappe
24100 Amador Street, Hayward
(510) 780-0101

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