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Cafes

Cafe St. Germain

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on November 13, 2011

Cafe St GermainCafe St. Germain opened two months ago with the mantra of fresh food and good coffee. I can usually appreciate a café that's comfortable enough to have its kitchen open to the dining area, but Café St. Germain has its kitchen actually in the dining area.

The L-shaped counter works its way from coffee to pastries and menu options prepared around the back, with a chef sautéing mushrooms at the gas stove when I drop by. On the counter are bowls of fresh produce--bananas, tomatoes, avocados and more--from which he periodically grabs and adds to the mix.

Cafe St GermainThe relatively new spot on Avenue Road north of Lawrence is bustling with activity, and the three staff members behind the counter seem to be having trouble keeping up with demand. Not wanting to burden them further with my questions (and with owner, Tia, not onsite to field them), I order a latte ($3.50) and settle at a table right beside the "kitchen."

Cafe St GermainThere's mostly an older crowd when I stop by; pairs of 50-somethings tackling salads and sandwiches while sitting in bright, lipstick red chairs. That same red is carried throughout the café with some sort of homage to spoons (painted red) on the south wall and mirrored menuboards that look they actually have been inscribed with lipstick. Thereon lies Cafe St. Germain's raison d'être, which can be summed up with the words "local," "organic," and "seasonal."

Cafe St GermainThe barista brings over my latte, and I manage to get in a question or two. She tells me brunch (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) on weekends has been the café's big draw, with offerings such as organic yogurt, homemade granola, and seasonal fruit ($6.00), three-egg omelettes with organic asparagus and cheese ($12.00), and French toast with berries and real maple syrup ($14.00).

The descriptions immediately have me salivating, so I decide to pair my latte with caramel coffee cake bite ($1.50). It's no brunch plate, but the cake is sweet and moist and manages to satiate my hunger while I sip my latte.

Cafe St GermainCafé St. Germain currently uses Illy beans, though according to the barista, that may change. My latte is served in a tall, skinny glass, which negates any opportunity for latte art. The drink is smooth and creamy, but just a little too bold for my taste. There are plenty of other flavours though, both on the food and drink menu, including Belgian dark chocolate mochas ($4.00) and made-to-order sandwiches and salads.

Cafe St. Germain is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

Cafe St GermainPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

1 Comment

Ex-Employee / November 21, 2013 at 10:22 pm
user-pic
And yet again, Tia has the comments about her cafe purged. She doesn't like the fact people don't take kindly to her taking advantage of her workers, exploiting them and not paying them.

She doesn't like that we point out she buys all of her "organic, fresh" produce and ingredients from No Frills and even sells store-bought products as her own.

I will always tell the truth about this place no matter how much she tries to silence us.
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