Orange Alert sits on the corner of Dundas & McCaul, facing the fancy pants new AGO, and enticing bundled pedestrians off the slush-filled sidewalk with their warm, orange exterior. Their M.O. is written in plain sight on the window: Organic! Fair trade! Gotcha.
Inside, it's small but roomy (not as much of a paradox as you may think), with several tables and a couch. WiFi is a plus for any students who may drop in from neighbouring OCAD, or there's a shelf with a selection of books and a few board games (but what's up with the sign that says 'please do not take books'? I'm guessing they mean read, don't steal). In other words it's pretty welcoming, and filled with nice natural light thanks to the big window.
The menu bursts with a wide selection of drink options, including smoothies, juices and teas, with their roast provided by Toronto-based, fair trade & organic Dark City Coffee . I ordered a mocha latte (pretty steep @ $4.90) and an in-house made blueberry muffin, which hit the afternoon snack spot. Some other treats on the menu, including banana bread are prepared by Orange Alert, while other selections are provided out of house (but not disclosed). Rugelach, tarts and cakes tempt from the display, and their lunch menu also offers homemade soups, quiches and sandwiches, which I duly noted as a working resident of the area.
So my very scientific conclusion is this: Orange Alert may be a little more pricey than some spots, but with a block dominated by Sbux & Timmy's, it's good to know that some fresh, organic coffee is just around the corner.