On April 11, 2005, Orange Glory Café opened its doors for the first time after owner Jackie Powers returned from a trip to Paris and decided to pursue her long-time dream of starting a café in Rochester. Coincidentally, a small space near the Little Theatre had become available, allowing her to expand her catering business into a restaurant.
When you walk into Orange Glory, the cheery orange creamsicle color, the café-style tables and chairs, the chalk board that heralds the day’s menu and the word “Eat” written above the door in ’50’s diner-style lettering give the restaurant the distinctive flavor of a retro-chic Miami Beach café crossed with a small trendy Soho restaurant. Exhibits by local artists grace the walls and rotate every 6 to 8 weeks, adding to the ambiance. What is even more distinctive is the food.
Jackie and her staff prepare fresh, all-natural homemade selections each day that include savory soups, mouthwatering sandwiches, fresh flavorful salads and cookies that are “to die for.” When possible, she uses organic produce.
“I prepare food the way I like to eat,” explained Jackie, who enjoys an active and healthy lifestyle that includes biking.
The menu typically includes close to a dozen different sandwiches – some vegetarian, some not – several salads, two soup choices and at least 8 side selctions. Today’s menu, for example, includes Spinach Burger, Chicken Salad, Lentil Burger, Poultry Burger, Eggplant & Chickpea Burger, Tuna Melt, Ham & Brie, Turkey & Boursin and Egg & Olive sandwiches as well as Chicken Chili and Tomato Basil Soup. The sandwiches come on a variety of freshly baked breads with tasty condiments that set off the flavor of sandwiches. Their soups are among the best I’ve ever tasted.
The restaurant has a friendly, warm atmosphere, and it seats about a dozen people, so if you want to eat in, it’s good to get there before Noon or after 1 p.m. When it’s full, as it was yesterday when I took friends from Staten Island there, it’s a bit noisy, so it’s more conducive to lunch with a friend or two than to a business lunch.
In addition to running the restaurant, Jackie continues the business that led her to the restaurant and she can cater any event from the smallest party to the largest wedding. Orange Glory offers an exclusive catering menu that includes a wide variety of appetizers, main courses and side dishes. She is also delighted to host events of 10 to12 people on-site in her restaurant and can delight your guests with anything from tastings to multi-course dinners!
Orange Glory Cafe is located at 240 East Avenue, near the Little Theater, and is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
P.S. A new exhibit opens this evening (Friday, April 1) from 6-9 p.m. called “Passing Strangers,” featuring portraits by artist/photographer Gerry Szymanski. Be sure to stop by and enjoy his portraiture work that seems to capture the soul of the individuals he photographs.