We didn’t understand why the cute little café on East Avenue in Lockport is named Scripts Cafe until we pulled up in front. It’s right next to the Historic Palace Theatre, and the decor of the café echoes its neighbor with old-time movie posters on the walls.
The entry was old-fashioned, too, with small tiles forming the numbers of the two storefronts. You enter through the door into No. 12, and place your order at the counter under a small, ornate Victorian glass chandelier. Patrons can eat at one of the two small tables in the front window near the counter or turn right into what was once No. 10 and pick from three small round tables or two larger rectangular tables.
The second room had an easygoing, informal look, with mismatched chairs and tables and a small, empty, dark-wood bookcase that could have used a Swiffering. A side table, thoughtfully stocked with a large pitcher of water and plastic cups, plastic cutlery and napkins, made us think that this spot gets busy at lunchtimes during the week.
In fact, it got busy while we were there. At first, just two women with their young daughters sat at the front tables, but as Ruth, Dan, John and I lingered, an older couple, a twentysomething couple, and another group of four came in. Some had coffee and cupcakes, some had soup and sandwiches.
Scripts’ regular menu is nicely edited, offering several soups of the day, eight panini, six specialty sandwiches and six salads, each with an interesting name. Nothing on the menu is more than $6.95. The panini range from $5.50 for a Weber (three cheeses on grilled sourdough) to $6.95 for a Hughes (barbecued pulled pork, cheddar, sauteed red onion on ciabatta), or a Matthew (grilled chicken, bacon, cheddar, spicy sweet chili mayo on ciabatta).
The specialty sandwiches include the Cindy, in which a portobello mushroom is dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, greens, provolone and garlic mayo and served on ciabatta ($6.50) or the Brendan, made with grilled chicken, ham, Swiss and mayo on ciabatta ($6.95). The salads range from a vegetarian Café Salad of tomatoes, cukes, red onion and Parmesan ($5.95) to a Cobb with chicken, egg, bacon, crumbly blue cheese, tomato and avocado on a bed of romaine ($6.95).
An extra sheet of new menu items lists two more panini, two sandwiches, two salads and five $6.50 wraps. If you’re more in the mood for a plain sandwich, or a combination not listed, you can create your own deli sandwich from a variety of breads, meats, cheeses and condiments for $5.95.
Scripts seems to take pride in its soups of the day. As we found out, the pride is justified – we tried each soup and all were excellent. On the day we visited, the choices were tomato basil, chicken dijon and white bean and bacon with rosemary. A cup ($2.99) of soup was served in a tall, sturdy mug; a bowl was served in a round, thick china bowl. The tomato soup was topped with shavings of aged cheese that, along with the basil, added delicious accents. The white bean soup had a somewhat thinner broth than we expected, but was delicious, with sizable chunks of bacon, carrots and a notable onion influence. The chicken dijon was a masterpiece, a delicious chicken-rich soup with chunks of potato and long strips of cooked kale, with a slight but delicious mustard accent.
Just as we were spooning up the last of the soup, our sandwiches arrived. All were winners. The steaming-hot Weber ($5.50) was two panini press-marked slices of sourdough enclosing a melty layer of cheddar, provolone and American cheese, topped with a slice of fresh tomato to add a contrasting flavor and texture. It was better than any grilled cheese we could have made at home.
The Langella ($6.50) was also nicely toasted, although on ciabatta bread. The thick layer of tender, flavorful roast beef was topped with melted provolone and thin-sliced sauteed red onions. A smear of horseradish mayo added a small bite.
The Drewski ($6.95), also on ciabatta, combined a sizable serving of fresh-cut deli turkey with thick, crispy bacon, a thin layer of soft avocado, Swiss, lettuce, tomato and, as requested, light mayo. It was delicious.
If the Drewski was generous, the Scripts Club (also $6.95) was ridiculous. Made on just two thick slices of toasted wheat bread and cut in half rather than the usual quartered-and-stacked presentation, it was too thick to eat with one bite. Each side-by-side turkey and ham layers could have supported a sandwich by itself. The crispy bacon added a savory crunch.
We packed up half of the larger sandwiches to go and swung by the counter again for a square of the coffeecake ($2.99). Mysteriously, it was a bit hard to cut with our plastic knife, but its layers – a base that resembled poundcake, with a cinnamon streusel topping, sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar – were yielding, rich and just sweet enough.
Where: 12 East Ave., Lockport
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.
Wheelchair access: Yes