Simple Simon's Bakery and Bistro
3639 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92501
It is not everyday that I make it out to Downtown Riverside for lunch. In fact to be more precise, I have never been to Riverside for lunch. I had to give a deposition for a work situation, so I did a little research about restaurants in the area where I was going to be. I had about three places picked out, and based on time and location I picked Simple Simon's.
Simple Simon's is located right in the heart of downtown, right near the Mission Inn. Lots of shopping and dining options around this area. I got to the restaurant at a little after noon, and there were about six people in front of me. Simple Simon's was full of business professionals on their lunch hours. I was a little worried about finding a table, but there were plenty of seats inside, and they also have a patio out their back door.
Ordering is done at a counter. The line moved quicker than I had anticipated. Besides ordering your sandwich, you can also order drinks, salads, and baked goods along your way to the cash register. After I was done paying for my food, it was ready in about two minutes. Let's see how this lunch turned out.
I was not sure what I would be having when I walked in here, and I did not need to look any further down the menu than the first specialty sandwich listed, the Grilled Pastrami and Swiss. The bread was very good here. It was a very sturdy sourdough. Held the contents of the sandwich well, with a mild sourdough flavor. Well made bread. The pastrami was a little under spiced. It could not really stand on its own. It was made better with the spicy mustard served with this. I kind of liked the thicker cut of this pastrami for a change. With my sandwich I was allowed to pick one side, so it was Potato Salad for me. This salad really had a a nice texture to it. Some bites were smooth, while others you could really taste the rough cut of the celery and onions.
Since Simple Simon's is not only a bistro, but also a bakery, I had to order one of their Chocolate Chip Cookies. Glad I did. This cookie was very solid. Plenty of chips and baked perfectly. Nice crunch around the outer edge and little chewier in the middle. I should have gotten a few of these to go, or at least have tried some of their other baked offerings.
Simple Simon's really reminded me of some of the delis I have been to back east. Not saying they are as great as some of the ones we went to in Boston and New York, but they are still pretty good. The style of Simple Simon's is what really reminds me of our back east trips. The dark woods, the high counters, and the bustling employees working hard to get the sandwiches out quick. Parts of the sandwich I had here were really good, but the pastrami was a slight let down. The cookie was excellent though. Prices for all the sandwiches are under $10. Not a crazy price for a solid sandwich, but not much of a bargain either. Be advised that Simple Simon's is only open for breakfast and lunch. They close at 5 on weekdays, and are closed all day on Sunday. I would not hesitate to come back and try other sandwiches on their menu the next time I have to give a deposition for work. Hopefully it will be soon, so I can have another cookie.
Out of five piemen, (because in the nursery rhyme Simple Simon, Simon met a pieman on the way to the fair), five being best to zero being worst, Simple Simon's Bakery and Bistro gets 3 piemen.
Simple Simon's Bakery and Bistro does not have a web site, but you can get more information about them here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/simple-simons-bakery-and-bistro-riverside