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Mandolin’s Bagel & Coffeehouse

On Friday morning, we left Kamloops and headed West to Merrritt, BC. There we came across a cool little place called Mandolin’s.

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There was some interesting art on the walls and very comfy seating areas. My wife absolutely feel in love with one of the sofas, so much that she talked about breaking in and stealing the sofa.

Mandolin’s had a very western eclectic vibe and an old time feel, but not too old. At one end there was a huge screen door that reminded me of a small time feel in the olden days.

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We ordered a London Fog and a Caramel Machiatto both in this Supremo size… It was HUGE! They were delicious.

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We ordered the breakfast bagel melt, it was delicious and tasted very fresh. I’m sure they used all fresh ingredients.

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It was a nice relaxation moment after the long drive that we had gone through up to that point. It was also nice that they offered free wifi.

Caffe Divano

This afternoon we decided to stop at another cafe and we decided Caffe Divano it is located in Burnaby on East Hastings. This location does not have very much parking available, the lot behind the cafe is very small and busy and not good if you drive a F150.

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The cafe was very crowded, there was everyone from students (free wifi) to families. It seemed like it would be a great place for students to come and study on a wet and rainy day like today.

 

Caffe Divano had a nice selection of sandwiches and snacks, including a homemade Oreo, homemade lemon coconut macaron, and a banana muffin. This time we didn’t order any snacks.

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For the beverages we ordered a Spanish Latte, a Chai Tea Latte, and a Matcha Latte. The Spanish Latte was very delicious and warming. The Matcha Latte was very green, it was good but don’t drink it till the bottom because there was chunks of unmixed matcha (my daughter spat it out and was shocked). The Chai Tea Latte was very good even with the added Vancouver umbrella water, but there was a lingering spice taste. After the incident with my daughters drink, my wife didn’t drink hers to the bottom and to her surprise there was a thin layer of chai.  Once I started to drink my Spanish Latte I decided to try and designing with foam, but I think I’ll keep my day job.

You might ask about the Vancouver umbrella water… There was a slight situation with an umbrella, my daughter, and the rain. My daughter went to move the umbrella and some of the Vancouver rain came down the umbrella all over the table and a little went into my wife’s drink. It didn’t change anything. It’s just water.  Here is the culprit.

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Caffe Cittadella

This morning we decided to stop at a cafe in East Vancouver on Ash and 7th Ave.

This is the coolest little coffee shop I think I have ever been to. It is an old historic house that has been converted into this coffee shop.

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Walking in the people were very friendly. There was an small selection of food and drinks, but that is all they needed.

We ordered a London Fog and two Spanish Latte’s. If you are wondering what a Spanish Latte is, we wondered too. We were told that it is a normal Latte with condensed milk added, so there is no need to add sugar or cream. We found it very rich and had a creamy texture, it was a nice change to the normal Latte’s that we order.

We also ordered some tasty breakfast snacks which included a lemon coconut square, a cranberry orange scone, a banana chocolate chip muffin, and a pistachio orange biscotti.

There was a very artistic picture that we found when we were getting up to leave our table.

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The main floor had four tables and a nice patio off the main area, when we were finished our drinks and snacks we decided to venture upstairs. There was more seating and a very nice little patio which had a nice two seater table.

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Jitters Caffe

Walking along West 4th in Vancouver we found this cool little shop. The decor is a little eclectic and there is some very interesting art on the walls. Their menu is very interesting due to the fact that they serve beer, food, coffee, and even milkshakes.

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The place was so busy that we couldn’t even get seating. I do wish that they had a patio, with it being such a beautiful day in Vancouver it would have been nice to sit on a patio and enjoy our crafted beverages.

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We ordered a London Fog, an Iced Vanilla Latte, a Frappucino, and two regular coffees. Everything was very delicious. The London Fog came with cinnamon on top which was very strange but it still tasted good. The Iced Vanilla Latte was delicious, and the Frappucino even came with ice cream and espresso shots, it was so nice and refreshing on this hot day.

Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to take pictures of our drinks because we got them to go. I can honestly say the snacks that they have there looked so good.

Lazy Loaf & Kettle

Lazy Loaf is just off Parkdale Crescent NW along with other small shops and restaurants.  It’s near the ice cream shop – Lic’s (another cool place to check out).  They do have ample parking but it fills up, as it gets quite busy.

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When you walk in you see a display of fresh baked cakes, squares, cookies, and bread. You then stand in line and move towards the cashier. They have a fairly large menu with lots of options. I noticed they offer soups, salads and pastas as well as they have typical breakfasts in the morning. You then proceed to order your food and drinks. It felt like ordering at Starbucks or Tim Horton’s. Once we ordered we were given a number and went to find a table. There was ample seating available so you’re not stuck waiting for a table. Once we sat down, the one thing I noticed was the amount of kitchen noise we heard.

 

A few minutes later, one of the staff call out your table number and then you go up and pick up your drinks.

We ordered the Eggs Benedict. It wasn’t bad, but honestly we have had better. The eggs looked like they were cooked in a home-style egg poacher because they were all the same shape and size. They definitely weren’t cooked in a pot of salt water. Potatoes were good and the bowl of fruit was really good. We also ordered a Chai Tea Latte and a Vanilla Latte. Drinks were very hot and very good.

Despite our breakfast experience, I would like to go back and try the lunch menu as we did see a lot of sandwiches coming out later during our visit and they looked outstanding. Fresh bread and fresh ingredients.

The area I felt that ruined our Lazy Loaf experience was dealing with the girl on the till, she was not very friendly and honestly made us feel like “make your damn decision and get moving.” I am hoping she was only having a bad day. All the other staff we dealt with we found very friendly and helpful.

Before we left we ordered a couple of squares, as they looked delicious. We ordered a lemon square and Turtle square. I had read that their multigrain bread was outstanding and weighed about 2 lbs. I had some of the bread for dinner tonight and it was really good.

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KAFFEEKLATSCH

Today we are down in Victoria Park searching for a coffee shop named Kaffeeklatsch.

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“gossip over cups of coffee,” 1877, from German Kaffeeklatsch, from kaffee “coffee” (see coffee ) + klatsch “gossip” (see klatsch ).

We did eventually find it; it was located inside “The Old YWCA” building. This building was built in 1909. Once you walk inside the building, a sign meets you at the door telling you to follow the arrows on the floor and believe me you need these arrows to find the shop.

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Once you find the little shop, and I do mean little. It is the cutest little coffee shop or should I say coffee closet, I have ever seen. The barista that works here has to step outside the shop to change her mind. The place where the barista works is in a space of no more than a 4’ x 4’ square area.

There is a common seating area just outside the shop, but this area is shared with the rest of the building that houses multiple offices and businesses.

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Our barista told us that there was a little garden area outside where we could go and sit to enjoy our beverages. After just about falling down the very narrow stairs, but hey but I never spilled my cappuccino. We made our way outside. There were some benches, a picnic table, composting bins, and some artwork painted on the backs of the benches. The private garden area was great just to sit there and not hear the hussle and bussle of the downtown core.

Today we ordered a cappuccino and a sage tea. The sage tea was interesting because it smelled like turkey stuffing and it was very fragrant. My wife said it was a very good tea. I ordered the cappuccino, and I thought it was funny when the barista got excited because she got to steam some milk for my drink. Our barista was very friendly, helpful and was a bit clumsy. She was excellent to deal with and she did make our experience memorable. After I paid she gave me their version of a loyalty program card, buy 10 drinks, get one free.

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There wasn’t much in the way of food, as I only seen a couple of big cookies behind the barista. They did have some whole bean coffee and some coffee supplies for sale.

Overall, pretty cool little place to visit. It might not be for everyone, but you should check it out at least once.

 

Inglewood Night Market

It’s Friday night and we are off checking out some local entertainment and cuisine. We are down in Inglewood at their Night Market. This market has been going on since 2013.

There is a ton of local vendors down here peddling their wears, ranging from jewelry, baked goods, hand made crafts, artwork, and some bands were performing on the stage.

They had a ground level stage set up in the yard at Crown Army Surplus where you could go to grab a beer and watch a variety of bands performing there.

There was also a variety of Calgary’s Food Trucks there and they were extremely busy.

Of course there were a couple of coffee vendors. I stopped by Calgary Heritage Roasting Company and talked with one of the guys. They are a local vendor roasting coffee beans in Bridgeland. In talking with these guys, they were very knowledgeable about what they were doing. I did purchase some beans that were roasted today. I can’t wait to start grinding these up, the beans smell amazing.

We decided to go back to Gravity Café for some food and of course a beverage. Tonight they were serving a couple of dishes, one was pork meatballs in a tomato dill sauce with naan bread and the other was a chicken and mushroom balti curry with rice and naan bread. Both dishes were excellent. The drinks we ordered were the Chai Tea Latte and a Dolce. They too were excellent as usual.

We enjoyed sitting on their patio, eating, drinking and people watching. It was crazy to see how many people have dogs. While people watching we seen multiple generations enjoying this event. Funniest thing I saw this evening and I wish I had taken a picture. It was a woman with 2 dogs strapped to here. I mean in strapped to her, one on her back and one on her chest. Funny thing is that the dogs looked like they were actually enjoying the ride.

Bumpy’s Cafe

Sunday morning and we are off again searching out cool coffee shops. Today we decided to head downtown to check out Bumpy’s Café. It’s located just off 11th Ave & 8th Street SW.

When we entered Bumpy’s we were greeted by one of the staff members, who asked if we had any questions, she obviously knew we new to their shop. The shop has a cool vibe to it and very eclectic. There was lots of interesting stuff on the walls. I did like that the patio was located on the side of the building and not right on 8th Street, you could actually sit there and have a conversation with friends.

After checking out their menu, we decided to go with the London Fog and the Café Mocha (something new for me). The drinks were excellent.

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We also decided to have breakfast, we ordered the BLT bagel and the breakfast Panini, we had to wait a few minutes only because we also ordered the Rhubarb Crisp Muffin, which was just getting ready to come out of the oven, and believe me was worth the wait. Later while we were eating, the same girl that met us inside came outside to check up on us to see how things were, she told us that the Rhubarb Crisp Muffin is called the Crack muffin by the regulars and I can see why. I debated buying another. Just so you know, when these fresh baked muffins are gone, they are gone for the day. So sad. Also, you should know that everything is made in house and is very reasonably priced and all the food was outstanding.

They also sell an assortment of syrups and different coffee beans for your grinding pleasure.

While we were there, the place got very busy and then I think a whole shift of firemen arrived for coffee and invaded the place.

I would strongly suggest this place to everyone. You got to go eat and drink here! Hopefully I won’t get in trouble for using that line.

Dose Coffee Company

On June 4 2016 we decided to go on a little road trip to Red Deer to meet up with some friends from St. Albert. So we thought we would meet half way and take in some lunch and of course, hit up a coffee shop while we were there. While doing some research on the shops in Red Deer, we came across a few and Dose was one of them.

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A colleague from work ,who now lives in Red Deer, told me to check this place out, so we thought why not. There is a bunch of cool shops downtown nearby Dose to check out. If you are in the market for a tattoo, this is where you want to be as there is a ton of tattoo shops all over the area. We arrived at Dose and from the outside it look like a quaint little place with a few tables and umbrellas out on the sidewalk for you to sit down and enjoy your drink.

We order cold drinks, as it was about 26 degrees outside. We ordered a Dulce and an Orange Cordial. The Orange Cordial was basically an Italian soda that had some flowers on top, presentation was quite nice, but could have used a bit more orange flavoring in it. This was the same for the Dulce, could have used a bit more caramel in it. What is strange about this is that the friend that recommended this place said that his Mocha was the same, lacking flavor, could have used another shot of chocolate. I also bought some coffee beans from them, they were roasted in Barcelona. The flavor was what intrigued me, Raspberry, Honey and Spices. It was a bit expensive at $25 for the bag.

The guys working here were a bit quirky and were a bit difficult to understand at times.

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The inside of Dose had some cool artwork and this funky hanging orchid on the wall.

 

At the end of the day and if I was in Red Deer again, I would check out other shops I read about and probably would not go back to Dose Coffee Company, sorry guys.