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Sandwiches Around The Statehouse: Freshbox Cafe

The cafe's entrance at the Trinity Episcopal Church
The symbiotic relationship that baseball and hot dogs has acquired over the years can easily be attached to lunchtime and sandwiches as well. With downtown Columbus around the Statehouse crawling with thousands of working folks on a typical weekday, plenty of food establishments have this ubiquitous item on their menus. Making this staple item something that stands out from the crowd, however, is something that takes some doing.

One way to distinguish a sandwich is on the culinary side, through the use of exceptional ingredients or a culinary variation (e.g. the Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich.) Another way to make it stand out lies in the people making your meal. It is this latter aspect that puts Freshbox in its own unique downtown lunchtime corner in two different ways.

Freshbox's Purpose Statement
The first of those lies in Freshbox Cafe's location, which resides in a very atypical location: the basement level of the Trinity Episcopal Church at the corner of 3rd and Broad Street in downtown. This location in essence gives away the second unique aspect of Freshbox: the cafe, along with their sister catering business, is owned by Lutheran Social Services, and is meant to offer meaningful employment to Central Ohio residents suffering from poverty and homelessness while giving the people of downtown Columbus
to satisfy their appetites through their food offerings.

The inside of the cafe is bright for a basement level space, dominated by a bright apple green color theme. Enough space and seating is available that one could bring in a nicely-sized group of colleagues for work or business and not feel crowded by lunchtime throngs of people.

The ordering counter and dining space
Freshbox's offers a fairly familiar selection of sandwiches/wraps ($5.79; all these choices come with a side sauce/dressing of some sort) and salads ($6.79). Additionally, a selection of assorted sides (including a soup of the day,) sweets (including a very rich turtle brownie and their signature chocolate-covered Oreo) and drinks (soda pop and bottled water.)

Based on my first few visits, Freshbox appears to be accomplishing their stated mission on both fronts. The employees I've encountered are friendly and service with quick. And while the items I have tried (Spring Turkey Salad, Thai Chicken Wrap and the Napoli Sandwich) wouldn't be considered fancy gourmet creations, they were all freshly made and solidly tasty. Freshbox Cafe will be in my regular rotation of downtown lunchtime spots for the foreseeable future.

2017 Update: Freshbox appears to have gone strictly back into the catering business. For information on how to utilize their catering services, please use the updated social media links below.

Freshbox Cafe
Basement Level of Trinity Episcopal Church
125 E Broad St (Downtown)
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 859-9146
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