by Evelyne Vivies
“Wow, this shop is amazing, it’s a hidden gem,” said a customer sampling early navel orange ice cream.
From behind the counter I chuckled and pointed to the two newspapers articles on the wall, both of which describe Orange Valley Cafe with the very words “hidden gem.” But what is so gem-like about Orange Valley Cafe? What’s really between the bread? And what is in that mystifying orange ice cream? Below, you will discover the secrets of the hidden gem-like experience that is lunch at Orange Valley Café and why it is hidden.
The real gems were my teachers—aka mom & dad, who grew their own vegetables, cooked every meal from scratch, and instilled in me a love of fresh rather than processed food. Thanks to our fertile Central Valley, where we grow food for the rest of the world, an abundance of fresh, local produce is always close at hand year-around.
The same standard of quality is used for the meats we use in our sandwiches. We use only off-the-bone turkey breast in our turkey sandwiches and chipotle turkey Paninis. We use only natural ham without harmful nitrates in our ham sandwiches. Our pastrami meat is extra lean. So lean it is just as delicious served cold as it is served hot.
Are you a vegetarian? We make two vegetarian sandwiches. Our first Vegetarian Sandwich contains roasted eggplant, roasted garlic, fresh tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, and red onion, all grown locally by local farmers, on bolillo bread that is baked fresh in-house daily. We prepare this sandwich using a flavorful creamy-pesto house spread, a house-blended deli mustard, and Monterey Jack cheese delivered from a local family owned dairy. You can taste the freshness with every bite. Ask for it hot for the added taste of melted cheese on warm eggplant! Our second vegetarian sandwich is our Caprese Panini. Fresh Mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes on Ciabatta bread that is pressed in our panini grill. It tastes like a warm crunchy tomato mozzarella salad.
One of our top selling sandwiches is our signature Visalia Special. The Visalia Special contains Tritip, bacon, avocado, jalapeño, roasted garlic, red onion, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and Monterey Jack cheese on our fresh baked bolillo bread with our house chipotle spread and deli mustard and served hot! Another top seller is our Chipotle Turkey Panini with off-the-bone turkey breast, bacon, tomato and house Chipotle spread on ciabatta bread and grilled Panini style.
Our most popular combo is the Lunch Special—a sandwich, chips, drink, and ice cream for desert for only $10.99. Dessert is soft-serve orange ice cream or our flavor of the day, which can be any one of the hundreds of ice cream flavors that we make in house: Oreo, Reeses, Almond, Pistachio, local honey, pomegranate just to name a few. We post our flavor of the day on Facebook (Orange Valley Cafe), Instagram (orange_valley_cafe) and on our website www.orangevalleycafe.com.
Calling Orange Valley Café hidden is no exaggeration. It can be quite an endeavor at first to find the off-the-beaten-path gourmet sandwich and ice cream shop. The address is 209 W. Main St, but you could walk by it on Main Street and completely miss it. Once your feet touch the pavement across from the historic Fox Theater, you know your close. You might see orange-colored ice cream in the hands of people walking by. Orange ice cream made daily with freshly squeeze valley oranges. You can open up Yelp to find us or call us for directions at (559) 624-1233.
Once you make it into our plaza, the Downtown Visalia Plaza, you are almost there. At the end of a long hallway lined with tables and red umbrella, a flashing “open” sign will guide you to our door.
Our healthy snacks line, Central Valley Healthy Snacks, is available for purchase alone or in gift baskets of every price. Purchase a beautiful ready-made gift basket or have us make a custom one for you while you enjoy you lunch.
Big developments are underway at Orange Valley Café, ones that are designed to take it out of hiding. An expansion into Catering! We are now set up to bring platers of our delicious sandwiches, salads, and ice cream to your workplace or home gathering. Let Orange Valley Cafe cater your office luncheons!
Make catering arrangements by calling or emailing me, Evelyne Vivies, at 559-936-9559 evelyne.vivies@gmail[dot]com