Riverdale Perk Cafe
We stumbled upon this little neighbourhood spot on our exploratory bike tours. While the cafe is paying a bit of homage to Central Perk, there was not much of a parallel we could draw here. This fact did not diminish the sweetness of this local coffee shop.
APPEARANCE & NOSE
Despite surprisingly cold temperature outside, the tables and patio were still used in the late fall. This corner cafe was clad in dark grey with black retractable awnings and an easily forgettable wordmark logo as their signage. Getting in, we were met by simple, but elegant interior - old wooden flooring, chalk-board menus and shades of grey and purple predominating. Indie upbeat music with artists like Milky Chance and Monsters & Men was on to get people’s days going. Numerous pastries were behind glass or on pedestals, adding a sense of preciousness and intimidation (to be quite honest).
One interesting detail we noticed was the strawberry water on the side of the cash - a simple way to jazz up something as redundant. There was plenty of space with a lounge area and high chairs for a window curb table. We took a seat at the dining area, surrounded by walls decorated with abstract art.
Note that there is no waiting staff, one must line up for the cash register to order. This explained the open space upon entering, before approaching the cash.
NOSE & PALATE
With foliage all over, weather getting colder and the warm season winding down, the daily made muffin - Carrot Ginger seemed like an adequate idea. The pastry was dense, corn bread, smooth, but with a lovely caramelized crust. We got Sencha Green tea and drip coffee. The coffee was a bit on the sour side, with a light coca scent at the end. It came in a paper cup with a different workmark logo stamped on it. This crafty, artistic approach suit the place better then the safe, unexciting feel of the sign welcoming us from the outside.
Our Lox & Cream Cheese came with a lightly toasted plain bagel, cream cheese in ball shapes on the side, smoked salmon slices just piled to another side and a bouquet of parsley. There was a lemon wedge garnish and crashed pepper on top of all ingredients, to spice the flavour up. Mon Cheri was not overly enthusiastic about all the work to assemble the food, but it was an entertaining activity.
In addition, we got their PST Sandwich - a bagel wrapping prosciutto, spinach, tomato, lettuce, havarti and egg. It lay layered, cut in half with toothpicks to keep the layers together. It was not overly exciting, but a decent option. I should mention that at the register we were sharply told the brunch menu was closed, so our excitement was a little suppressed throughout.
An elegant cafe in the middle of a residential neighbourhood - the place felt cozy and well fit for a quick weekend bite. It seemed well integrated in the neighbourhood, as the owner was taking the orders and greeting all the regulars.