Shirley's First Break
If not for being closed on the weekends, Shirley's First Break would have been our main spot for coffee and quick meals…
APPEARANCE & SWIRL
We live across from Shirley's and the first Leslieville coffee we ever had in the area was from here. We noticed simple and bold signage in red and white at first, but by far the most memorable element to remember this spot is by the metal teacup bench facing the street in brand colours - a much needed element to delight all passers by.
NOSE & PALATE
The entering is through a small space full of neighbourhood ads and past there a sharp turn to get into the tiny main area. There is a basic high table wrapped in stainless along with 3 chairs along the window. A large fan in the corner made the already small space feel even smaller. Everything else here was pretty basic too - steel countertop, cash desk, many wooden framed chalk menus. Mind you it is chaotic in there, with the plethora of drinks in the fridges showing. There was no music, just a light news radio humming in the the kitchen area. We liked their old fridges for cold drinks quite a lot, as well as the on-brand sign stating “first break - coffee shop.”
Our choices for the day were Turkey Club with lots of chipotle mayo and spiciness, and Shirley’s Club - plenty of chicken with intense pesto. The7 came wrapping in white plain paper and with their names written on the top with a simple blue pen. More small bits of bacon could’ve made the club sandwich much better. As cheese enthusiasts, we were disappointed that neither of our tiny meals had any cheese, however we were given a choice of bread - white whole wheat or rye.
A tucked-in, tiny spot which seems to have organically grown with the change of industrial lofts to residential and commercial. Don’t come here for fancy flavours, but for a plethora of sandwich choices - all under $10.