Lunch (and Dessert First) at Sassafras Bakery in Worthington

Kristen Schmidt
Roasted Carrot Salad

The new lunch menu at Sassafras Bakery in Worthington's charming downtown doesn't list any appetizers-that's what the bakery case is for, silly.

A lemon rosemary sugar cookie for me and a candy bar cookie ($2 each) for my companion sated our appetites just long enough for a Roasted Carrot salad ($8) to arrive. This composition is a looker: A shallow bowl cradles a dollop of ricotta nestled alongside a few batons of harissa-kissed roasted carrots on a bed of red quinoa and peppery arugula. In volume, the salad is substantial enough to be a light lunch on its own. But it lacked the punch of flavor that makes a salad feel like a luxury, rather than a good deed.

On the other hand, the Turkey sandwich ($8) is superlative and will basically ruin turkey for you forever (in a good way!). Before it's roasted, Sassafras' turkey breast bathes in a lapsang souchong tea brine, and the result is the turkey-est turkey I've ever had. Have you ever found yourself remembering that amazing turkey sandwich you had a week ago? Didn't think so. This could change everything.

Sassafras owner AJ Perry enlisted a couple of smart and talented allies in rolling out an expanded lunch menu at her 2-year-old storefront. Matt Heaggans (formerly of Swoop!, Bebe at the Hey Hey and, currently, Flatiron Bar & Diner) developed the menu, and breads are made by Matija Breads' Matt Swint, who is spreading the gospel of great bread through restaurant sales. The resulting sandwich and salad menu is small but mighty.

When you stop in, make time to meet a friend and eat in the thoughtful, vintage-inspired confines of Sassafras' space. It's just like homemade, only better.