New Moon Cafe Serves Tempting Tastes in Cool Vibe
By Millie Huff
When my original restaurant review assignment turned out to be without a lunch menu, I was disappointed and hungry. Even though I am a fan of coffee houses with muffins and cookies on the side, I was starving and had two hungry colleagues with me, so we moved on to plan B.
Downtown Augusta is blessed with great lunchtime options, but many have previously been reviewed. So, after suggesting several other walking-distance options to my editor (I wasn’t going to give up my premium parking spot, and I was in heels, after all), we agreed upon a nearby acceptable alternative: New Moon Café.
I’ve worked on or near Broad Street for much of the past 20 years, and one of my consistent favorites for lunch or a quick break has always been New Moon Café, at 936 Broad St. When I worked directly across the street at the Downtown Family YMCA, I ordered takeout so often that the employees recognized my voice readily and asked if I wanted “my usual” as soon as I said “hello.” It is a rare and marvelous establishment that greets its regulars by name as soon as they come in.
This cozy café is usually populated by downtown workers, students studying at their laptops, and tourists attracted inside by the spacious, covered patio dining area.
The downtown New Moon recently reopened after renovations, so I was excited to see the changes made to my beloved eatery. The changes weren’t obvious when we walked in, but I was told they made some significant improvements to the kitchen and lighting. The indoor dining room is colorful and fun, with a gallery of local art on one wall.
Customers place their orders at a counter, and meals are delivered to your table.
In addition to the unique sandwiches, salads and soups on the menu, it also offers a “special of the day” which is usually a creative sandwich which never fails to please.
It also has a tempting breakfast menu for those who take advantage of the 7 a.m. opening time during the week (8 a.m. on Saturday). One day soon I’ll arrive in time to try the “Downtown Mess,” which is a bowl of grits with avocado, pimento cheese, salsa, bacon and Cholula sauce.
Many of the sandwich choices have unique names, but some self-explanatory options, like an herbed tuna salad sandwich and avocado BLT, are also offered. Whole sandwiches are served with a choice of chips, light pasta salad, baked potato salad, Asian coleslaw, bagel chips and hummus, or a mug of soup (with an upcharge).
On this visit to New Moon, I made a departure from my “usual” Green Monster Smoothie. I wish I had a dime for every Green Monster I’ve consumed in the past decade; I’d have enough money to drink them daily for the rest of the year. I am a huge fan of the Green Monster and have introduced many new fans to the drink. It is a frosty, smooth blend of kale, yogurt, banana, peanut butter, vanilla and honey. And, yes, it is truly green — a lovely, grass-hued green.
New Moon also offers a Beet Monster Smoothie, a delightful blend of beets, coconut water, chia seeds, strawberry, pineapple and banana.
I resisted the temptation to be predictable and chose a Turknado sandwich accompanied by my second-favorite thing on the menu: zucchini soup. The Turknado is smoked turkey, brie cheese, avocado, red onions and red pepper coulis toasted perfectly on panini bread.
I could write a book on the delicious zucchini soup, but let me just sum it up by saying it is creamy and smooth and topped with crumbled bacon and feta cheese. I highly recommend it, even if you typically aren’t a fan of the green squash.
One of my colleagues ordered the Tony Montana with a side of bagel chips and hummus. His sandwich was loaded with Cuban roast pork, ham, melted swiss cheese, mustard and dill pickle slices on toasted Cuban bread. He said it was delicious but that he might have left off the pickles.
Our other colleague had a smoked salmon bagel: thinly sliced smoked salmon, cream cheese, fresh red onions and a sprinkle of dill. He chose to put his on an “everything” bagel. He assured us he had breath mints in his pocket for the afternoon.
He washed down his sandwich with a frozen Mocha Frappuccino, which he described as creamy and smooth without an overpowering mocha flavor. It is served with or without whipped crème.
New Moon Café has a casual, cool vibe, making it a great choice for a lunch with colleagues. Its covered outdoor dining area is a great choice when the temperature is comfortable. Indoors, there are cozy tables and booths, and a counter with stools around the perimeter that is perfect for working at a laptop or just people-watching.
Like most restaurants on Broad Street, parking can be a challenge, but it’s worth the effort. If you go, I highly recommend the Green Monster and zucchini soup. Tell them Millie sent you.
Noise Level- 4
New Moon Café is at 936 Broad St. in downtown Augusta. It is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Reach it at 706-823-2008 or www.newmoondowntown.com.