Restaurants Reviews and Such

Pastry Castle – Edmonton Street

A couple of months ago, I was walking down Edmonton Street, and noticed that the storefront next door to the Magic Room had brown paper up on the windows and that there writing suggesting that the Pastry Castle would be opening soon. After I posted a picture of this, I discovered that it was a new location for the cafe, as it had originally existed in St. Vital.
I’ve visited a few times since I wrote this review. I noticed the last time that I was in that they had cut back a bit on the variety of items that they were selling. The quality is still real good, but I think that cutting back on the variety is probably a good idea too, as it means that the product will continue to be quite fresh on a day to day basis. I appreciate this place, because generally speaking it’s one of the quieter places in the city for those times when I wish to do reading, writing, etc. 
I kept my eyes open, and one evening I was walking by the building and noticed that the open sign was lit. I walked in, and couldn’t see anyone around. I thought maybe I had walked in a couple of minutes after closing time, and that they just hadn’t turned out the lights and locked the door.

Pastry Castle Biscotti.
An almond biscotti from Pastry Castle. How it got the green colour I’m not quite sure, but the flavour wasn’t affected.
They Dressed up an Ordinary Ice Cre...
They Dressed up an Ordinary Ice Cream

I waited for 4 or 5 minutes and still no one showed. So, I looked up the number on the website, and phoned. The phoned was answered and when I said I was in the cafe and wondering whether or not it was open, It turned out it was and a woman came out of the back area of the store to serve me.

Pastry Castle Oatmeal Date Cookie
A date filled oatmeal cookie. The top view doesn’t show the date, but it was nicely filled.

On subsequent visits, I noticed there is an electronic announcement that informs the staff that someone has entered the building. I guess it wasn’t working on my first visit.
I decided to stay and so I took a look at what was on display. There is a good variety of baked goods in the cabinet. One of the things that I noticed was there was a good selection of little cookies, which I really liked.Sometimes I’m in the mood for coffee and just a little bit of sweet to go with it. These cookies look like they will do the trick on such occasions. On top of that there were a number of cakes, tarts, and other sweet baked goods such as cinnamon buns.
As I studied the menu a little more, I also noticed that they offer wraps and salads, if you are looking for something along the lines of a light meal.

First Pastry Castle Order

Ordering at Pastry Castle is done at the front counter, but despite this, payment isn’t requested until after you have finished eating and drinking. This might be a smart bit of strategy, because every time you go up to the counter the temptation to order another item is quite strong.
Despite having noted the small cookies, I was in the mood for something a little more substantial, so I ordered the Almond Biscotti, and the Oatmeal Date Cookie, along with an Americano. Both the Biscotti and Oatmeal Date Cookie were quite good, and the Americano was good if not quite the quality of the specialty coffee shops in the surrounding area.

Pastry Castle Lunch

Pastry Castle Salad
The bowl is much larger than the picture makes it appear. There was quite a lot of salad in the bowl.

Lunch options, so far, are limited to two or three salads, and two or three different wraps. The salad I ordered is called the Exotic Kingdom. The picture above doesn’t really do justice to the size of the salad. At $8.00 the salad is a nice little meal in itself. Along with the mandarins and strawberries, the salad contains almonds This was not a desultory servings worth either. There were almonds in pretty much every mouthful of the salad. The vinaigrette was pleasant, and the salad was covered, but not drowned, in it.

Pastry Castle Cookies
These are only a few of the cookies that Pastry Castle serves. They are $.75 each, and there are about a dozen varieties

I added three of the little cookies as dessert to my meal. All three were quite enjoyable and made a nice completion to the meal.

More Desserts

My third time through, I decided to try something a little different. I noticed something called a coconut roll on the counter, and in the cool case they had a square that was listed as dairy free. The dairy free square was quite pleasant, but didn’t really inspire me. The coconut roll on the other hand was really delicious.
I was expecting something that had Coconut of the outside, but was mainly cake on the inside. In the end it turned out to be something halfway between that and a Coconut Macaroon. There was coconut throughout and the result was a good and chewy dessert.

Pastry Castle Desserts
A couple of more dessert option from Pastry Castle. Coconut roll on the right, and a dairy free option on the left.

Fourth Visit

I don’t generally wait beyond two visits before I write a place up, but with the combination of getting a little behind on my writing, walking down Edmonton Street so frequently, and the quality of the food at Pastry Castle, I’ve been in to try their offering a little more than I normally would.

Pastry Castle Torte
The torte I enjoyed doesn’t match the description of any in the online menu. Despite that it was delicious. The layers of cream and the layers of cake were both equally delicious, with a rich but not too rich chocolate topping.

I ordered a slice of one of the tortes. There was a great mixture of light tasting cake and equally light but delicious filling with a chocolate fondant on top. The size of the piece was quite large, but because the texture is so wonderfully light, I didn’t feel overly full after having eaten it.
Over my visits, I tried several of the different beverages on offer, but I didn’t do a good job of remembering to take pictures. The Hot Chocolate I had, was quite nice even though it wasn’t the richest or chocolatiest that I’ve tried. There was a certain gentle warmth to it that I quite enjoyed. Sometimes a change from bold flavours just hits the spot.
I’ve been four times, yet I haven’t hit the cafe at anytime when it is particularly busy. Having said that, after having to hunt for someone to serve me on my first visit the service has been very good. I’ve had the same person take my order every time, and I receive the food I request in good time. It is carefully prepared and presented, and I’m never rushed but allowed to enjoy my food at leisure.
Given Pastry Castle’s position on Edmonton, I think I will be stopping in fairly frequently in the months ahead.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.