Earlier this week a friend of mine posted on Facebook that he had gone on vacation and come back to a new coffee shop at the end of the street. I looked at the picture and saw the name Strong Badger. I knew I needed to visit as soon as possible.
I first encountered Brock the owner of The Strong Badger Coffeehouse when I covered the Outdoor Community Cafe at Knox United. He was serving iced coffee at the time and said he wanted to get a cart going, and to eventually open a storefront location. The one thing that was most important in the storefront option was a location north of Portage in the West End.
Stepping into Strong Badger
Strong Badger is located at 679 Sargent Avenue at the corner of Victor Street. It has two entrances one that leads straight to the coffee counter, and a second that leads you into the second section which is located a couple of steps down. The top section has several tables and chairs. The tables and chairs are of the second-hand variety and remind me of the much lamented Eat! Bistro. The bottom section has a couple of couches along with a table or two. In one little nook there a couple of bookshelves with a nice selection of reading material to enjoy with your beverage and treats.
There is also a small performance space in the upper area. Brock hopes to have regular performances as a feature in the coffeehouse.
The whole makes for a very inviting space. This is further enhanced by Brock, the owner. Brock greets all the customers with genuine warmth and friendliness. It’s clear from talking to him how much a labour of love Strong Badger Coffeehouse is.
Strong Badger Beverages
My first visit I started off with an Americano. This is now my default coffee drink. The Strong Badger Americano is a little lighter than some, but still makes for a good coffee choice. The coffee at the coffeehouse is being supplied by Other Brother Roasters and Black Pearl Coffee.
As you can see by the menu above, Strong Badger offers a full range of coffee beverages. One that I had not heard of before was the teardrop. Brock explained to me that he was introduced to this by an Argentinean friend. The drink features steamed milk and a half shot of espresso. It is apparently how Argentinean’s introduce their children to coffee. I quite enjoyed it. It’s a nice beverage for a day when you might want something a little more gentle than a typical coffee beverage.
On my most recent trip I decided to pick the Masala Chai to drink. This is nicely and not overly spiced. It hit’s the sweet-spice balance very well.
One more thing to note as you look at the coffee menu. Most of the items on the list are 25-50 cents less than similar coffee locations. So, you’re getting extra value for money at Strong Badger.
Not only are the drinks great, but so are the baked treats. One of the people who is providing baked goods to the coffeehouse is Michael Harms. Michael does baking for Folio Cafe and Fools and Horses as well.
So far, I’ve tried the pecan tart, the chocolate croissant, and the cranberry cookie . All three were very enjoyable, and I would order any of them again.
I would recommend that you get down to The Strong Badger as soon as possible. The coffee and the food are really good. Better than that is Brock the owner. You will be made welcome and called a friend right from the start.