My last post, on the Ellice Cafe, featured a place that had been one of my regular haunts. Today’s post is about another such place, Twist Cafe. Located on Graham Avenue in the same building as Pinnacle Staffing, Twist Cafe has been around for just under a decade. It’s the place that I call my home away from home.
Beyond the food and coffee, what I really like about the place is that it’s the kind of place where over the years your get to know many of the regular customers and to borrow that corny phrase from Cheers. “Everybody knows your name.” I also like that when it’s not busy, it is also a quiet place that allows one to read or work on projects while enjoying your coffee or meal. It’s got free wi-fi, that while it occasionally goes off-line, works really well the vast majority of time. Above all it’s the staff, Twist consistently hires pleasant, engaging and capable personnel (not saying they’re all perfect) who do their best to ensure each visit is enjoyable.
I’m going to review, but without stars, because this is definitely one place where my personal bias might win out over critical judgment.
Value: Everything on the menu is under $10.00. A large bowl of soup is $4.59, Coffee based beverages and smoothies run from $2.50(tax inclusive for a regular 8 oz latte to about $4.00 for the smoothies and large size coffee based drinks. There are also a good selection of baked goods mainly in the $2.-$3.00 range.
Selection: For a place that only deals in the soup, salad and sandwich type menu, the selection is very good. Twist features over a dozen sandwiches, along with two soups and a chili every day, along with three salads. As for the pastries, Twist carries around a dozen or so of those as well, including Jonnies Sticky Buns, and recently some items from Cakeology
Over the years Twist has kept a steady core menu but at the same time has always been trying to find new ways to diversify there menu.
Quality: The sandwiches are always fresh, with much of the meat that is used in them being prepared at the Cafe. I’ve tried several of the sandwiches and found the quality consistent across the board, but the meatloaf is my favourite of them. It contains a good slab or two of homemade meatloaf and the aioli garlic mustard adds just a nice amount of bite.
The soups are made with a commercial purchased base, that is then supplemented by the cafe. For example, the chicken noodle soup has added chicken breast meaning you get a good portion of chicken in each bowl.
The pastries are all brought in from outside, but are brought in from a variety of very good suppliers, meaning a top quality product.
Decor, Ambience: This is one of the hardest things for me to comment on, because it’s like trying to write on your home after having lived in it for several years. One thing that stands out is that the cafe is brightly lit. When packed, the tables can feel a little close together, but on the whole there is plenty of room. I might consider changing up the artwork, but overall the atmosphere is quite pleasant.