116 Harvard Ave N, Claremont
Ah, Crème. Another sandwich place (bakery, really) that we were very excited to revisit when we hatched this wacky Summer of Sandwiches. Crème is simple, reliable, and delicious. It almost always has a line out the door, return customers seeking out great loaves of bread, gorgeous pastries, and impeccable sandwiches.
Today, we gorged. We got three sandwiches, eight bucks a pop: the Greens, the Turkey with Fontina, and the Jambon Beurre (that means—checking Google Translate—ham and butter). The Greens is the non-baguette representative, featuring a very damn good multigrain bread spotted with poppy seeds, we think, and delivering avocado, cucumbers, arugula, and an insanely savory vegan garlic aioli. The aioli is spread somewhat lightly, and while we usually respect a restrained sandwich, but this aioli is so good we’d probably shower in it, so the fine sandwich artists might consider going with a heavier hand? Or just selling pints of the stuff? Since we’re in rarefied sandwich air with Crème, we’re going to nitpick just a bit: the cucumber slices are cut a little large and could use seasoning (simple salt and pepper) before being added to the sandwich. But the Greens is very good as it is—very likely to be, along with The Vegetarian The Sandwich from Roma Market and a special guest star we’ll be seeing in a few weeks, one of our top three veggie sandwiches of the entire summer.
The Turkey with Fontina and Jambon Beurre both come on baguettes, of course…and you know, it’s really great to eat a good baguette. Crisp crust, soft innards, just a bit of resistance—a baguette is a little harder than softer breaded sandwiches, but it’s nice to have do a little work sometimes, maybe? The ingredients on both sandwiches are great—the turkey is top-notch, the fontina (while not quite as good a sandwich cheese as Havarti, says me) is serviceable, and the crisp romaine and light spread of Dijon get you feeling a little Frenchy…and that’s before you’ve even taken a bite of the Jambon Beurre. Once you’ve done that, you’re suddenly wandering the Champs-Élysées and humming Edith Piaf. Because: the bread. The ham. And, my gosh, the butter (we’re pretty certain it’s Plugra, so yeah). There’s good reason the French eat a billion and a half of these every year.
While La Verne itself is a little sandwich sad, we’re happy to know that we’ve got at least three fantastic local sandwich offerings, with Padua Pasta Makers, Wolfe’s Market Kitchen and Deli, and, of course, Crème.
- Overall Balance/Taste: +2 points
- Quality of Ingredients: +2
- Bread: +1
- X-factor: butter! +1
Overall: +6 points, or Xoco’s Milanesa Torta