Sagamore on East downtown gets new restaurant

05:00 AM, Jan 09, 2013

Written By Karen Miltner | Staff writer

Bonnie Camarella closed her healthful and practical Salads, Etc., about three years ago after a seven-year run in two different Webster locations. Her second spot, on Ridge Road across from Hegedorn’s supermarket, did well initially, but as more chain restaurants moved into the area and residents had less money because of the recession, Camarella saw the writing on the wall.

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But just because the location didn’t work out doesn’t mean the concept was bad. Camarella has revived the idea of fresh, made-to-order salads, soups and sandwiches at Camarella’s, which she opened very recently with a business partner.

The new eatery, located in the East End’s Sagamore on East building, has a lot of shine and polish to it. Cuteness, too. Yellow walls, fork motifs, cheery windows, an inviting food counter and a lot more tables than Salads, Etc.

Camarella is banking on the better foot traffic in the East End than what was available in suburban Webster. That is how I came upon the place, by foot. I was already parked, I was hungry, and it was just too easy to slip in and eat an early lunch.

For the downtown work crowd, Caramella’s is fast, affordable and nourishing. My soup and half-sandwich combo was a delicious (and generous) bowl of split pea soup with ham and an unusual grilled black-bean hummus sandwich with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese ($8). There was also fresh melon and grapes on the plate and a small cup of pasta salad. No hunger pangs until dinner with this meal.

Camarella’s will soon have two new neighbors. One is Moe’s Southwest Grill, a fast-casual burrito and taco chain, which has its workers yell “Welcome to Moe’s” every time a customer walks through the door. Moe’s food is decent, but the call-outs get old really fast.

I’m more eager to try Fraîche Bistro & Dessert Bar, which, Camarella tells me, will offer both savory and sweet food and coffee.

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