Hounslow’s House is one of those small, friendly cafes meant mainly to service the immediate neighbourhood surrounding it.
Taking its name from the street it’s located on, the miniscule 13-seat space used to be home to a barber. There’s even a pole from owner Dia Ursomarzo’s dad’s shop in one corner.
Equipped with WiFi, seating in the space is made up of high stools, with narrow but thick ledges providing stable surfaces. The tight space and friendly atmosphere lend Hounslow’s a bar-like feel, customers chatting amongst each other as their espresso is drawn and their milk is steamed.
Mini cheesecakes ($5) sold in reusable mason jars are done by Baby Cakes, actually run by the cousin of the owner here at Hounslow’s.
This one is a simple, original style, soft with a thick graham cracker crust and a sweet, tart homemade strawberry jam topping. However, limited edition pumpkin cheesecake has also made an appearance here.
Other baked goods include super cheap cookies ranging in size and price, starting at 50 cents and topping out around $1.50. There are also equally cheap cookies free of dairy and gluten, and deals on day-olds.
Sandwiches on fluffy Portuguese buns ($5) freshly obtained from nearby Caledonia Bakery might contain spicy salami or turkey.
Seasonal lattes might include gingerbread or peppermint variations ($4.25), the former topped with actual crumbled gingerbread and served with a mini gingerbread cookie.
The crumbs actually end up weighing down the foam on top of the latte a bit and gathering in a soggy mess at the bottom, a flavour shot likely more responsible for the sweet, warm flavour of the hot drink.
A cappuccino ($3.50) falls more on the basic, reliable side of things, strong and with a stiff domed cap of foam, heavily dusted with cinnamon that would make any ancient Italian resident of this neighbourhood proud.
Caffe Dokito is imported from Italy by Alfa, the same company responsible for the espresso machine in here. Drip is made using beans from thoughtful roaster Cultura Cafe, and herbal tea in varieites like chamomile and super fruit is obtained from teapigs.
Banana bread, bagels and muffins are also hits here, and they have options like nut- and gluten-free vegan raw organic bars as well to round out diet-conscious options. Hounslow’s also sells their own merch so customers can rep the hood.