On Tuesday, June 14, 2016, I lunched at The Chocolate Café, 3111 Valley Avenue, Suite 110. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. The phone number is 540-535-0010. The Website is www.shenandoahfinechocolates.com.
Turn west off Valley Avenue, Route 11 South, at the traffic light for the entrance to Creekside Station. Go toward the big clock, and in the second block, just past IJ Canns on the right, you can park next to the Café.
The entrance is on your left from the small park that the Café shares with IJ Canns. Note the L-shaped patio at the front and left side of the building. There is no vestibule, and as you enter, the receptionist’s station is ahead, toward the back, at the right end of an L-shaped counter.
Four seats are along the side of the counter. Other seating is along the windows by the front and left walls, and in the center of the room, with black tables of several different sizes with black chairs. The patio has metal tables and wicker chairs, all under cover.
The floor has large tan ceramic tiling squares and the ceiling is light embossed metal. Four rotating fans hang down from the ceiling. The walls are decorated with large black and white photos of dogs and cats, along with paw prints all around the room. This reflects the participation of the owner in private animal rescue efforts.
The menus are displayed on the wall behind the receptionist, and signs also show the day’s Soups and Specials. A glass case displays desserts. You give the receptionist your order and decide where you wish to sit. A single-sheet laminated paper menu is also available if you wish to study it while sitting down.
Categories are Sandwiches, which include a side dish and a pickle spear; also Sides, Salads, which come with a warm baguette roll, and Drinks. Soups and Unique Menu Entrées are featured daily, along with Homemade Fresh Desserts made in the store daily. A Kid’s Menu is available.
I ordered from the Sandwich Menu, choosing Pastrami on Rye, grilled on marbled Rye bread with Swiss cheese and their “Rescue Me” sauce. My Side was Roasted Corn Salad, and my drink was lemonade.
The order was delivered on a large ceramic platter, with the side salad in a small bowl. The sandwich was warm, on large slices of the marble Rye, and good.
A door in the right wall connects with Shenandoah Fine Chocolates, in Suite 108 next door, owned by the same management. I took a quick look, but didn’t think it wise to stay any longer.
Before I left the Café I discovered that the paw print motif is evident even in the unisex restroom, which also has one dog photo.
The Chocolate Café opened for business on April 8, 2016; for years the location had housed a somewhat different restaurant operation called The Chocolate Bar. It closed last year before I had ever gotten around to trying it out. The present operation is added to my keeper list for occasional lunches. I have in mind trying some of the salads over time.