Clock Tower Natural Foods, Paoli

November 30th, 2009

clocktower-soup

NOTE: Clock Tower closed shortly after this post.
Simple. Organic. Delicious. That’s the tagline for Clock Tower Natural Foods, a small cafe located in the Paoli Plaza shopping center (CVS) in Paoli. The cafe uses all organic foods, whole wheat breads, and no processed ingredients to make baked goods, soups and sandwiches. It’s a cute little cafe — very welcoming and warm, with friendly staff members.

They offer all kinds of coffee drinks, made from organic Clock Tower Coffee that is roasted exclusively at Golden Valley Farms in West Chester. I started with an espresso, continuing the quest for a good one in the area. Though it was beautiful to look at with a great crema, for me the flavor was thin and watery. Not bad, but not spectacular.

One of the special soups the day I visited was a curried potato and chickpea soup, which could be ordered in either 12oz or 16oz portions, each including a pretzel or biscuit. The flavor combinations featured here were excellent, and the soup was a nice consistency — neither too heavy (as potato soups often can be) nor too thin. The soup also came with a wheat biscuit, which was heavy but very tasty when warmed up in the oven.

I also tried the Hummus Trio (curry, chipotle, roasted garlic), which came with a whole wheat rosemary bread. Expecting big flavors from the trio, I was a bit disappointed by its blandness. If there was any tahini, I couldn’t taste it, and after mixing in my own (and adding salt & pepper), these tasted more like the hummus I love. The rich wheat and rosemary flavors in the accompanying bread would have certainly made a nice companion to the hummus, if it was a little more interesting. Also, for $6.75, I’d love to see a few dip-worthy vegetables (carrots, cucumber, etc.) added to the dish.

Hummus Trio w/ Rosemary Bread

Hummus Trio w/ Rosemary Bread (and a wheat biscuit)

Despite my mixed bag of experiences, I like the atmosphere of the Clock Tower and certainly appreciate what they stand for. I’ll certainly be paying them another visit.

Paoli Plaza (next to CVS)
1776 E. Lancaster Ave
Paoli, PA 19301
610.651.0505

http://www.clocktowerfoods.com

6 Responses to “Clock Tower Natural Foods, Paoli”

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  1. Jim says:

    I drove by today and it is closed. A “For Rent” sign is in the window. It’s a shame.

  2. My name is Lauren Baldassarre, VP of Sales & Customer Relations, at Golden Valley Farms Coffee Roasters in West Chester. I wanted to clarify a point in the review Clock Tower Natural Foods, Paoli.

    Golden Valley Farms is not the exclusive coffee provider for Clock Tower Natural Foods. Golden Valley Farms created a specific coffee blend for Clock Tower’s food service coffee and retail take-home coffee. However, we did not create nor do we provide espresso or decaffeinated coffees to Clock Tower Natural Foods.

  3. thedogatemyhomework says:

    I’ll definitely give it a try. Nice to have a meal that both your tastebuds and your body will love. But, Clocktower’s presentation leaves alot to be desired. Healthful food does not have to look bad. That Hummus Trio with Rosemary Bread and Wheat Biscuit you show looks incredibly unappetizing. It looks sort of like prison slop or a boring plate of neutral colored pureed stuff along with tan hunks of bread. As MLD said, maybe put just a couple cuc slices, carrot sticks, celery and radish for bright color and crunch.

    • mld says:

      In fairness, I will point out three things:

      1) We got takeout — so the presentation isn’t what they would have served in the restaurant (still, it was kinda weak).

      2) It’s hummus. Pureed stuff. You can’t expect it to look that great.

      3) We weren’t thrilled with our pictures, but they were the best we had.

      • thedogatemyhomework says:

        Pictures were fine. You were fair and showed was it was: a plate of beige stuff. And, a bowl of beige stuff, too.

  4. The Concierge says:

    Thank you for giving the Clocktower Cafe the time of day, so to speak.
    I find it to be one of the more interesting and healthful lunch spots along the Western Main Line, while, also, holding the unofficial title of remaining one of its most overlooked eateries.

    I have enjoyed several meals there within the last year.
    Soups can get interesting (lentil & red wine was tasty & intruiging), hummus platters are enjoyable, and the sandwiches are worth the extra coins for homemade freshness and top quality ingredients.

    The place is tiny and cute, the staff has always been very nice (if you like conversation with your meal, one of the chef’s will keep you company as he is quite the film/book buff), and their beverages – cold/hot teas, house brand coffee and juices are exceptional.

    Except for Oasis Living Cuisine in Malvern and the salad bar at Whole Foods (Wayne), the Clocktower Cafe is probably the most healthful meal west of Bryn Mawr.

    Thanks again, MLD.

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