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Posts tagged ‘cafe’

Cafe Review: Cafe Blanca

Location: 240 Riverfront Ave SW
Website: http://www.cafeblanca.ca/

I’ve heard and passed by this place many times. This is by far one of my cousin Yulin’s favourite places if not her very favourite. Our original intention was to go to Al Forno, but it was so packed there was literally nowhere to sit (as you’ll see in the next review we ended up returning there later in the afternoon and eating something there too).

In contrast to Al Forno and it’s sister restaurant Vendome (both owned and run by the Teatro Group), Cafe Blanca was nearly empty. As much as I enjoy Vendome, I like restaurants and cafes on the quieter side which leave me to my thoughts and inspires my imagination. There was a slight delay in service, but we didn’t mind; it gave us time to decide what we wanted. I ordered a London Fog (which has become one of my go to lattes) and originally a Grilled Caprese, but as they ran out of the type of cheese for it I went with the Chicken BLT, my sister Valerie ordered the Chai Latte with Almond Milk and the Smoked Salmon Croissant, and my cousin Yulin had the Short Rib Sandwich with an Americano. We were told that there’d be a delay with the croissant because it would be made to order. We found a spot in the second room near the back of the cafe and immediately spotted the games.

We grabbed taboo and started playing, which helped to pass the time a lot quicker. We didn’t have to wait long for our drinks to arrive. Unlike Good Earth, the London Fog isn’t all that sweet; both a good and bad thing. The Earl Grey and vanilla didn’t really come through as much as I would have liked, but it was good nonetheless. Surprisingly, Valerie’s sandwich was the first to come. I hadn’t expected that it’d be accompanied by a salad, but I didn’t mind. It looked fresh and delicious and I was excited to dive in. The lady who brough over Valerie’s sandwich asked if Yulin wanted the sandwich to be mild or spicy to which she replied mild. So, next to arrive was Yulin’s. It tasted like a banh mi. It too came with a salad. In my opinion, I think the spicy option would have made it taste even more like a banh mi than it already did and I would have definitely preferred the heat in the sandwich. After a few more minutes of waiting, we decided that we should probably check on my sandwich since Valerie had already demolished hers and it turned out that they had completely forgotten about it! Now usually, if I was in a restaurant I would have made a big deal out of it and criticized the hell out to the place, but today I didn’t feel like that. I just shrugged it off and made light of it. Even the other barista joined in with the joking saying “If you wanna post on yelp that we forgot your food, her name is -.” He never actually told me her name and really it doesn’t matter. We’re human, we forget things and in the end, how would things have turned out if I had made such a huge fuss? My sandwich finally came with a profuse apology. She then offered to give me a free macaron of my choice; I chose to have the pistachio. We found out earlier from talking ot her that the macarons had come from Mon Plaisir in TD Square/The Core shopping centre. We had tried them before, so I knew they’d be good. The sandwich was actually pretty good and more filling than I expected. The salad was dressed with what looked like olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was good, but I feel like there was a bit too much oil on my salad.

All in all I quite enjoyed this place. It’s a cafe I could spend hours at, writing or just observing those around me. And as I found out, they also host Paint Night and maybe next time I’ll go there for it. The staff are friendly and the food good. I would most certainly return. For today’s experience, I’ll give it a 4/5.

cafe blanca

Chicken BLT, London Fog, and Pistachio Macaron

Restaurant Review: Wendel’s Bookstore & Cafe

Location: 103-9233 Glover Rd (Fort Langley)
Website: http://wendelsonline.com/wordpress/

After an exhausting pre-dinner walk and exclusion from a pub (as one of our party didn’t have any IDs that are considered sufficient as BC laws differ greatly from Alberta ones) we headed to this cafe. Sure I love books, coffee, and pastries, but I wasn’t enthusiastic about going to a cafe for dinner. I was about to be proven wrong on so many levels.

Two of my party ordered daily special items. One had the Chicken Avocado Quesadilla and the other had the Driediger Farms Berry and Goat Cheese salad. The other orders were a West Coast Prawn Fettuccine, a Jack & Avocado Quesadilla, and a Pad Thai. Drinks ordered were an Iced Caramel Macchiato, a Mocha Frappe, a Yogurt Yerry smoothie, and a Wild Berry Frappe. The Fettuccine was heavenly! It was prawns in a white wine, garlic and cream sauce over fettuccine noodles topped with parmesan and served with two pieces of garlic focaccia. The focaccia was a lot lighter than I was used to and the sauce was so creamy! But as I neared the end, it got tougher and tougher to finish because of its richness. It probably would have been nice to share it with someone who got a salad. The feature salad was quite large and the citrus vinaigrette was exactly what my friend needed after that heavy lamb lunch. The fresh berries, creamy goat cheese, and candied pecans added a layer of depth to the salad, making it more filling than you’d expect from a salad. The quesadillas didn’t really interest me and I didn’t try them, but the two who ordered them said that it was pretty good (and that’s all I could get out of them). The quesadillas came with a salad and choice of dressing. The Pad Thai was also really refreshing. I’ve never had a Pad Thai and I suppose a cafe isn’t the place to try it, but this place actually did a really good job on it. The noodles they used were about the size of my fettuccine, but were made of potato starch instead giving it a nice chewy consistency.  There was a lot of variety of protein in this dish: egg, prawns, and chicken, which was really nice. The lime definitely helped to whet my appetite and I assume that it would make it go down a lot easier than the creamy fettuccine I had. However, the only complaint my sister had about this dish was after a while it got really sweet after a while.

The two desserts that were ordered were a berry cheesecake and a peanu st butter and chocolate bar. The cheesecake looked really good and it would be the kind I’d go for since for me, cheesecake is so rich it needs the tartness to counterbalance it. The crust/base of the peanut butter chocolate bar was described as being quite dry. I’d love to come back just to have a dessert and coffee while looking around at the books sometime in the winter.

As this place is technically a cafe, it functions much like Vendome. You order at the counter, take a number and they will bring it to your table. The staff are friendly yet remained professional. I would certainly love to come back here after a long day out on the river or just to relax and have a coffee with friends. I would definitely recommend coming here if you have the pleasure of visiting Fort Langley. I’e always wanted to live in a small town and this place has become yet another reason why I should. This has been one of the best places we’ve been to so far on this trip and I would give it a 4.5/5, giving Vendome a good run for its money (might even be better than Vendome since it has a much wider selection of food).

Avocado and Jack Quesadilla

 

Driediger Farms Berry and Goat Cheese Salad

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar

 

Berry Cheesecake

 

Chicken Avocado Quesadilla

 

West Coast Prawn Fettuccine

 

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

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