Thursday, July 2, 2015

There Are Two Sides to Cheapside Cafe

The one that I liked, and the questionable one

Chorizo Egg Sandwich
     Let's get the likable thing out there first…the food.  We met Katy and Denny there for Sunday Brunch and between the four of us, three chose the Chorizo Egg Sandwich served on a Ciabatta bun with green chile and cheddar cheese.  They all really enjoyed the spicy edge it had.  I'm always attracted 
to a Muffaletta, the classic New Orleans concoction that is rarely prepared correctly away from the Big Easy.  I can't say this was dead on, but it was a respectable northern version with a flavorful olive tapenade.  

The Interior After the Morning Rush
     Its location is at Eighth Street and Cheapside Alley, hence the name.  Please don't be fooled into thinking this might be an affordable cafe.  Instead, it appears to be a place to be (or be seen) as our downtown continues to unfold into a full-fledged livable neighborhood.  The questionable part hit me as soon as we entered.  It's a simple space that has had much thought put into the design of white walls and weathered wood, but the set up was what I would term "silenced chaos".  Was there a host–something I would expect from a "cafe"? No, it's actually a walkup, order, sit down and hope that you end up with your order dining establishment.  The menu board, although simple, does take some studying and it was inconveniently located on the side wall where people were lined up against it to place their orders.  I only wish there had been more thought put into the space layout.  

Teepee Dining Room and Outdoor Picnic Tables
     Given the crowd, we chose a seat outside at one of the picnic tables made from the same wood used throughout.  Now the question was whether our food and drinks would arrive.  They did, very simply presented as the rest of the experience…everything on oversized plates with no garnish.  

      It's all a very simple place.

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