Often when I am at St. Margaret’s, my trip there and/or back takes me down Westminster Avenue, often on my way to/from Thom Bargen. During the last year as I wandered, I noticed a new little place called 1958 Community Cafe. Much like Wannabees however, I never seemed to go by when it was open. Then late last year I read about the Kickstarter campaign 1958 Community Cafe was running to keep it’s doors open.
Fortunately the campaign was successful, so I moved visiting 1958 higher on my priority list. My first visit was during the lunch service.
1958 Community Cafe Lunch
I arrived toward the end of the day, Saturday close is 4:00 pm, but there were still a few customers in when I got there. The interior of the building gives you a diner kind of feeling. A few table, some counter seats. The tables give you the impression of home rather than restaurant. One thing I liked about the setup is the pictures that hang seem to by and large by the work of local artists. A little bit of this and a little bit of that. A nicer evoking of the era than the typical pictures of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, et al.
I love both Corned Beef and Sauerkraut, so the Reuben sandwich was the natural choice for my lunch. This came with a side of potato salad. I really enjoyed the sandwich. The corned beef was piled high, there was lots of cheese and sauerkraut and the sandwich had an enjoyable, sloppy feel to it. The potato salad made a good, mild counterpoint to the tangy flavour of the sandwich. This is a sandwich that is hard to put down once you pick it up, because you don’t want to wait between bites.
One other thing I really liked was that they had cookies available to finish of the meal. As a kid desserts were often only a cookie or two. So, I went for two a Chocolate Macaroon and a Christmas Tree Shortbread. Both were delicious.
While the Kickstarter campaign was running, I heard a lot of chatter around 1958 Community Cafe. Most of it on the good side, dealt with the various Eggs Benedict on offer. When I went in again, I made sure that I was there for breakfast and ordered the North End Benedict. This contained a couple of my favourite things. Instead of ham or sausage, there was meatloaf. Even better it was bacon wrapped meatloaf. Instead of a traditional hollandaise sauce, there was a mushroom gravy. There were fried onions, and the muffin that it was served on was toasted crispy. The potatoes that came with it were fried up in larger chunks, and not overly cooked. Best of all, when my knife cut into the egg on top, the bright yellow yolk flowed out like a river.
This was breakfast the way it’s meant to be. Leisurely served and enjoyed. 1958 gets their coffee from Green Bean Coffee Importers, so you’re getting good coffee along with the breakfast, something a lot of diners neglect.
My one disappointment when I visited on the Saturday morning was that I was the only customer in the place. 1958 should be standing room only any time it’s open. The food is great. The owner and staff are friendly and courteous. The atmosphere is comfortable and comforting. If 1958 isn’t on your restaurant planning list put it on there right away.
You will need to make two preparations before you visit. One, bring cash, because there are no cards accepted. Two, come with a hearty appetite because the food is as plentiful as it is good.