Thursday, June 5, 2014

Upper Crust Cafe

How do you like to spend a rainy day? I normally like to stay at home watching anime or playing video games, but there are some occasions where heading out is unavoidable. That was the case last Thursday, when CJ and I had some things to take care of at the University. We finished our errands just before noon, so we were trying to decide on a place to eat for lunch. I suggested a couple cafes in the Garneau area (within walking distance from the University), but of course CJ said no to all of them. He doesn't like cafes at all! He thinks the food there isn't very filling and is more expensive than at an actual restaurant. Even though I tell him some cafes serve "real food" and not just light snacks, he still never agrees to go to one. Sigh. You're so silly CJ!

We decided to go to High Level Diner. Walking in however, there was a line up to be seated. I wasn't sure how long the wait would be since it was lunch time (it seemed like a full house!), so I suggested to go somewhere else. After taking a minute or two to think about a different place to eat, CJ finally agreed to go to a nearby cafe! Yay! We stepped out into the rain (sadly without an umbrella) and headed over to Upper Crust Cafe (, located just off 109th Street in the Garneau area. 

Upper Crust Cafe first opened their doors in 1986. Even though they've been around for awhile, I actually didn't really notice this place until my friend told me about it. We walked in to find ourselves in a fairly large room that was just as packed as High Level Diner. Fortunately, we were able to snag the last two seats!

The lunch menu.

The lunch menu at Upper Crust Cafe offers soups, salads, sandwiches, side orders and entrées. They also have a variety of red and white wines, beer and hot and cold beverages. Everything on their menu is reasonably priced, with every food item (including the entrées) being under $15! I decided to get their Spinach & Feta Quiche of the Day, while CJ got their Pan-Fried Chicken Breast. He also ordered their Soup of the Day. 

Waiting for the food to arrive gives the perfect opportunity to take in your surroundings. I noticed that our table wasn't really in the best position in the restaurant - CJ and I both felt that we were in the way of the servers and the other diners passing by. We even had to reposition our table and seats altogether. CJ also pointed out a blackboard that was behind me, which listed their Daily Specials including the specific Soup and Quiches of the Day. Instead of just a single flavour of quiche, they actually provided 3 or 4 options (Spinach & Feta being one of the options). Coming into the cafe, there is also a display to the right side that was filled with an assortment of pastries. Overall, this cafe gave off warm and inviting vibes. 

Quiche of the Day.

Our food arrived fairly quick despite the large volume of people coming in to eat. The Quiche of the Day ($12.95) is served with coleslaw and bread. There were also some cut vegetables on my plate as well. I went for the coleslaw first, and it was nothing special. It tasted like any regular coleslaw you could eat pretty much anywhere. I tried my Spinach & Feta Quiche next, and I thought it was okay. Like the coleslaw, it wasn't anything special but it was still very warm and hearty. The first couple bites of the quiche were good, but it slowly began to taste a bit unappetizing as I was working my way towards the crust. In between bites, I would help myself to some of the coleslaw to cut the rich taste of the quiche. Last but not least, the piece of bread. I really wish it was toasted! Having just a plain slice of bread on my plate wasn't appealing at all. Good thing our server gave us some butter!

Soup of the Day. 

While I was eating my food, CJ was busy with his Soup of the Day. Unfortunately, I'm not too sure what the Soup of the Day was! The blackboard behind me had it written down, but I didn't really take a second look at it. CJ ordered his Soup of the Day in a Bowl ($6), which came with a slice of bread. I asked CJ how he thought the soup was, and he said he wished it was more creamy. He let me sample some of his soup, and I agree. The soup was quite watery, rather than the creamy taste we were both expecting. Nevertheless, CJ finished all of it. 

Pan-Fried Chicken Breast.

With the soup gone, CJ started on his lunch entrée. The Pan-Fried Chicken Breast ($13.95) is served with rice, grilled vegetables, and sautéed mushrooms in a cream sauce. CJ offered me a piece of the chicken and the mushroom together in one bite, followed by some rice. I actually really liked how the chicken and mushroom tasted! The chicken was nice and moist, while the mushroom added that extra dimension of flavour in my bite. I would consider this dish to be a lot heartier and more comforting than the Quiche of the Day dish I ordered. 

Overall, I had a positive experience at Upper Crust Cafe. The food arrived at our table in a relatively short amount of time, and even though the taste wasn't mind blowing, it was still pretty decent. I thought this place was perfect for a rainy day lunch - something simple and comforting to warm up your belly. The main selling point for me would definitely be the price of the food! Obviously not cheap, but still not as expensive compared to some other cafes I've been to. If I were to return here, it would be for a light lunch. Maybe next time I'll even try some of their pastries! 

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