Just down the hill from the fast-food-riddled Byron exit, there’s a charming little spot called Downtown Byron. There’s a church, a railroad depot and a little restaurant called the Drugstore Cafe.
Instead of bromides or a soda fountain drink, you can get salads, sandwiches, soup, quiche or sweets. The price is fair and the homemade goodies are a whole lot better than the same old fast food.
We tried the cheeseburger pie quiche for $7.95 and the BBLT for $6.95. The quiche reminded me of my favorite dish as a child — ground beef topped with fresh tomatoes and tons of cheddar cheese. The twist here is that it’s surrounded by an egg custard and in a much more delicate crust. The BBLT (I should have asked what the extra B is for) was like a really good sandwich you would make at home —tons of hickory-smoked bacon, crisp lettuce and a juicy tomato. All sandwiches are served with chips and candied (yes, candied) dill pickles.
What I found interesting here is that they have a thoughtfully chosen bread for each kind of sandwich. The Baltimore Bad Boy, with sliced beef and horseradish, comes on rye swirl; the turkey and pastrami with Russian dressing comes on dark wheat and the muffuletta is on a French roll. There are several sandwiches on sourdough — perhaps the most perfect bread ever made — so someone here really knows their sandwiches. Of course, you can request any of them on plain old white bread, but why do that to yourself?
Little ones will appreciate the PB&J for $2.25 and the grilled hot dog for $2.95. They make their own plain and spicy pimento cheese as well as egg salad and tuna salad. The fruited Jello is a fun side for $1.95 along with coleslaw, pasta salad or a small mixed green salad. They make tasty-sounding paninis, too.
They had brownies and pudding for dessert the day we came but it changes daily. The Drugstore Cafe is a fun place to slow down a bit and enjoy what’s left of the long summer days.
The Drugstore Deli
Address: 100 West Heritage Blvd., Byron
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
Payment: credit card, cash
Kids menu: no
Noise level: low
Health rating: 100
Price range: $2.25-$8.75
Rating: 2.5 stars