We at Cheap Eats know you can't live on bread alone, but if we had no choice but have only bread for lunch, we might stop by Mount Vernon's Café Mocha to make our selection. It's a little gourmet coffee shop tucked among the storefronts on North Howard Street's Antique Row, and it boasts a selection of fresh-baked paninis, focaccias, croissants, and baguettes. Fortunately for customers, Café Mocha doesn't expect you to eat plain bread, either, so it fills them with such simple-but-tasty lunch staples as homemade tuna salad ($4.25), warm roasted turkey with Gruyère cheese ($4.25), pulled-chicken salad ($4.25), and grilled veggies ($4.25).
On a recent visit, the turkey with Gruyère was hot from the oven, a chewy square of panini bread filled with turkey and Dijon mustard, topped with a generous helping of sharp, melted cheese. The tuna salad was dressed with oil rather than mayo, and benefited from capers and red onion bits; the herby focaccia it came on helped it put most versions of the brown-bag staple in the shade. An apple turnover ($1.95), nicely spiced apples baked in a flaky pastry shell, still warm and buttery (perhaps a little too buttery), finished up the meal. Mmmm.