The Terrace Cafe: Good Brunch, Bad Coffee

02Jan09


The Terrace Cafe
1 King Street West, Kitchener
Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 2:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm

Despite its elegant decor and the rich history of the hotel it sits under, the Terrace Cafe has a modest menu with reasonable prices and servers who take a casual approach. My sidekick and I arrived to a mostly empty restaurant as we had just missed the big brunch crowd, but had to wait for the staff, who were nowhere to be seen when we entered, to clear off a table for us. While waiting for our table, I noticed the wonderfully detailed floors, one of the many indicators of how much care went into the restaurant.

Once seated, I opened my menu to find, a wide selection of breakfast options, but not so many that I felt lost or overwhelmed, complete with a history of the hotel on the back. We immediately ordered coffee, which came promptly but tasted pretty horrible. I pretty much left untouched.

I ordered The Walper Skillet($8.75). The food was as described, a warm, salty and oily skillet of mini red potatoes, sweet peppers, red onions, tex-mex cheese, sausage topped with two eggs and a side of toast. Although it was cooked well, the potatoes soft, the eggs as I had requested, and the veggies not overdone, the dish lacked flavour. But a nice helping of ketchup basically salvaged the dish, and although it really was nothing too exciting or creative (and not a dish I would have named after the hotel) I felt only mildly disappointed, but still happily full.

The Stuffed French Toast($7.50) was a completely different story. You honestly can’t help but expect to be disappointed when a menu describes an item as “Perfection!” I simply hoped for something that would satisfy a sweet tooth. We thought our expectations of mediocrity were fulfilled, when the waitress brought out a dish with french toast filled with a creamy white filling, and a side of fruit and eggs. But the combination of the comforting french toast and the rich and fruity cream cheese and strawberry filling, was just about perfection! The fruit cup was not as fresh as one would hope, likely remnants of a batch made for the earlier brunch crowd, but it did give us the satisfying illusion that the order was in some small way healthy and not completely fatty, sugary indulgence.

I would say this establishment is worth a second visit. The menu items are iteresting enough that I am curious to try a few different things and based on our wonderful experience with the Stuffed French Toast, I would say that it’s likely that other items could be a wonderful surprise. But if you are planning to venture to this little downtown establishment, bring a dinning buddy who will appriciate the decore and isn’t too fussy and eater.

KW-Insider Points: 3.5/5

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