Thursday, April 15, 2010

Coffee News Café – St. Paul, MN

D.Rough suggested we go for sandwiches for lunch, so I kindly obliged her since I was in a sandwich mood (sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not). She’s a big fan of this place in St. Paul, and since she’s got an impeccable track record for recommending great places to eat, so this place had to be good, right? It was.

They’ve got some outside seating and we timed it just right to find a spot outside in the open air. D.Rough knew what she wanted already but it took me some time to decide. Lots of choices of both hot and cold sandwiches on the hand-drawn (or chalked) menu board behind the counter. Even though I really wanted to get what she was having, I decided against it and went with a sandwich called the Club of Death. Since this place is pretty health-conscious, it was a safe bet they weren’t trying to kill anyone with it, it just had a lot of meat on it. If they wanted a real club of death, they would have deep-fried the whole thing of battered it or something. The sandwiches usually come with chips, but D.Rough got a side salad and I got the garlic fries, which came highly recommended.

The food came out pretty quickly for the mini lunch rush and I was pretty happy with what I saw on both of our plates.
My sandwich was pretty generous. It had a bunch of turkey, ham, cheese, and bacon on it and some lettuce and tomato (and some red onions that I picked off). It was cut into quarters and held together with toothpicks. Really, it was two layers, since there was a piece of sourdough toasted Panini inside the whole thing splitting things up. A delicious sandwich with a large pile of fries thrown in the middle. I honestly expected a LOT more garlic than appeared on these, so I was a little disappointed. Currently, Seattle holds the record for best garlic fries (at the Mariners stadium, of course), so these things didn’t really stand a chance. They were fine, but not garlicky enough for me.

D.Rough’s sandwich had nice brown pear slices, turkey, bacon, and this amazing honey marscapone cheese on it and was really quite tasty. But I think my sandwich edged out a little ahead of hers. Not by much though, and I would probably get her sandwich next time. Toasted (but not too toasted) Panini sourdough bread and fresh sandwich toppings. Her salad looked pretty good too – she mentioned it’s not always like this and it depends on who’s making them, but she was happy with this one, for sure. Lots of olives and pretty greenery.

I did get called on not sharing my sandwich with her until I had like 2 bites left. Normally I point out when she doesn’t share her food, but I totally got busted when I realized I hadn’t offered to share even a bite of mine. You caught me, I’m a doosh. We also had a hilarious conversation about what the heck pimentos were. I have only seen them in olives, but she had pimentos on her salad. I can’t believe there is a guy in the kitchen whose only job is to pick pimentos out of olives to put on other things, but what do I know? Maybe there’s a niche market for that skill. What are they anyway? Peppers? Squash? Heck, I don’t know.

I really like this place and it’s pretty laid back. Lots of students from Macalister College (Across the street more or less) working on laptops and doing group projects and listening to music on headphones while drinking coffee and eating snacks. Fun place for a laid back afternoon. I like it.

Top 5 things about Coffee Times Café
1. Club of Death
2. Hot Turkey Panini
3. They have Dew
4. Outside seating is super nice
5. Cool vibe from this place – very laid back

Bottom 5 things
1. Apparently, consistency is an issue here
2. Garlic fries were a let down, though still decent
3. Hand drawn menu is difficult to read at first only because there are sooo many items on it
4. I’ve heard bad things about snooty Macalaster students and this place is full of them (broad generalization, I know – I’m not buying into the hype)
5. Girls next to us kept using the word paradox in their story trying to sound smart

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The turkey panini is waaaaaay better. Since that's what you're ordering next time, I'll assume you actually agree ;)