Bites Nearby: The Lunch Cafe

Get a little TLC with homemade soups and sandwiches – at a good price – at Berkley eatery.

The Lunch Cafe, 3116 12 Mile Rd., Berkley, 248-544-2233

 recently updated its Facebook status with its usual mix of friendliness and temptation: "The soup for Wednesday is.....Corn Chowder.....OR....Navy Bean w/Ham. Come on in and get a cup, it is a perfect day for soup!! See You Soon!!!"

TLC offers two fresh, homemade soup choices every day. Owner Cinda Coon says she makes more than 65 varieties, all from scratch with fresh ingredients. Recent offerings included Black-Eyed Pea with Bacon, Taco, Fire Roasted Tomato and Chicken Pot Pie. There is a vegetarian option every day and Coon said she makes her own vegetable stock.

She also caters to gluten-free diners and prepares some of the soups without the common allergen. In fact, she said because she cooks from scratch, she uses mostly gluten-free ingredients and easily can accommodate special diets.

TLC is a place that will give you comfort – and that, of course, includes a whole menu of comfort foods. The TLC Skinny Jimmy is a take on the Big Boy classic, but is covered with a homemade "TLC" sauce and pressed to a crisp in a panini grill. Other grilled sandwiches include the Veggie Grill, Basic Grilled Cheese and Grilled PB&J. The warmth that oozes through each bite is long remembered. Coon said she likes it that way.

"When we were little and didn't have much money, my mom made grilled PB and J's and we thought she hung the moon," she said.

Customer favorites include the soup, paninis and Fruited Chicken Salad, Coon said. Ferndale's own  is also a big hit. TLC has a full cappuccino bar, as well.

In the four years the business has been located smack dab in the center of Berkley, Coon said she has never raised prices. Affordable combos include half a sandwich and a cup of soup for $4 or half a salad and soup for $5.50. On Mondays, a cup of Super Meaty Chili is $4.

"I just want to give my customers good, affordable, homemade foods," Coon said.

Mission accomplished.

Recommended dishes: Veggie Grill, Fruited Chicken Salad, The TLC Skinny Jimmy, soup of the day.

Hours: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays. Open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

Prices: Half sandwich, $2.25, whole, $4; half wrap, $2.75, whole $4.50; half grilled sandwich, $3.75, whole, $5.50; combos $4-$7.25; half salads $3.75, whole $5.50; cup of soup $2, bowl $3.50.

Credit cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Debbie Meske April 30, 2011 at 11:10 AM
I love to go in for a cup of soup and half a Hammy Sammy. My husband loves the chili and grilled cheese. Great lunch place. Debbie M


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