The Sidewalk Café, at 601 Capitol Way is one of downtown Olympia’s best-kept secrets, or at least, it was until it was recently discovered by John Dodge, who writes a column for the Olympian. Dodge called this charmingly savvy little lunch and ice cream place “a surprise”. It hasn’t been a surprise to its regular customers including employees from nearby offices, who come back for their favorites again and again. There are often menu changes depending on what is fresh, local, and in keeping with Northwest seasons. There is always a house made “soup of the day”, for example: seafood chowders, a spicy Thai tomato, and chicken vegetable . Fresh gluten-free quiche is another specialty, made with fresh local eggs, herbs, and a tempting variety of fillings. The sandwiches are far above ordinary, made with good locally baked bread and quality fillings. Try one with alderwood smoked bacon as an ingredient or the Alaskan salmon with house aioli on focaccia as the special on Friday and Saturday. During the Farmer’s Market season giant bone-in turkey breasts are purchased from Stewart’s Meat Market and roasted for several sandwiches and old favorites are creatively updated. It is a crime not to have dessert – or just have dessert. See for yourself, the desserts are irresistible and the coffee is excellent. You know someone is taking care of the details when your glass of water comes flavored with lemon and mint. The person in charge of creativity and details is owner Sharen Herring. She and her husband, Charles bought the former Luna Café in 2010. Sharen has always loved cooking, starting in her mother’s kitchen, and working as a young adult at Alderbrook Inn, the Olympia Golf and Country Club, and her own catering business. Owning her own restaurant has always been her dream – this is one of those special small businesses where the owner is personally involved and it shows in creativity, personal service, and quality.