After all of the rain the area received recently, it seemed as if the first hints of autumn were in the air. Maybe that is why I decided I wanted some soup for lunch. A quick look at the list of local restaurants on my list to be reviewed turned up CJ’s Coffee Café in Sherman as a likely destination, so I took to the road.

I am not a coffee drinker, so perhaps that is why I hadn’t tried CJ’s before. It’s an institution in Texoma, and the Sherman location, in the building that once housed a Kentucky Fried Chicken and then an ill-fated doughnut shop, is convenient to downtown, and like its parent store in Denison, has an excellent reputation.

The menu is limited, a few sandwiches, soup of the day, some salads, and of course coffee, coffee and more coffee. I decided on the lunchtime soup and sandwich special, placed my order and had a seat. It was about 11:30 a.m. and the lunch crowd hadn’t come in yet, so the place was lightly populated with several people studiously staring at computer screens and downing refills from one of the coffee urns.

In short order, my soup and sandwich arrived on a small wooden cutting board with the soup — Tuscan vegetable — in a bowl and the build-it-yourself sandwich along side. The sandwich makings consisted of a big, fluffy roll, a slice of ham, a slice of turkey, two slices of salami and two pieces of cheese, Swiss and cheddar. There were packets of mayo and one of mustard and the ever present kosher pickle spear.

There seems to be a law or something that in America kosher pickle spears must accompany all sandwiches. Than’s OK by me as I like the pickle, but why not a different variety, say a sour or a sweet gherkin every now and then just to change the pace?

The soup was quite good, warm and satisfying, although a proper soup spoon rather than a teaspoon would have been nice. Even better, why not serve it in a mug.

I built the sandwich on the roll and went back and forth from soup to sandwich in short order. The sandwich ate larger than it looked due to the big fluffy roll, and finally I lost the rest of the bread and finished off the meats and cheese to cut down on the carbs. With the last piece of carrot in the soup bowl, I was finished and on my way, well satisfied and full.

I’ll be back to CJ’s to try another sandwich or salad and another type of soup before too long. After all, a good, quick lunch is — well, a good quick lunch.

Complaints, suggestions, ideas? Let us know at