The best part about getting out in town and shooting pictures of food; there is always somewhere to go. The worst part is when you’ve already eaten, which was the case on this day. I’m no professional eater, which means while I’m more than willing to go out and sample, I’m rarely going to order myself another meal if I’ve just eaten.
What originally was just going to be coffee somewhere, quickly turned into a sit down at the Aristan Resto-Cafe on Whyte Ave. Stepping into the restaurant, Sarah and I found it packed solid. There was however a table near the door, which offered plenty of light and a cozy spot to pull up some chairs. Asking the waitress if she would mind us sitting at this table, she said we were more than welcome. At this point, a fire bell started to ring. Not just beep, beep, but a solid ring. Looking around for the staff, who didn’t seem concerned, we tried to relax. I couldn’t help think of the Cult song Fire Woman, and kept singing FIRE! A few minutes in, the staff were informing customers that it was part of a test, but many looked annoyed. I had to laugh at this point, because one man actually went to his parked car and retrieved work style ear protection for his family. Not ear buds, full over the head ones..like he was at a gun range. Who keeps that in the car?
Eventually the alarm stopped ringing, and we had a look at the menu. Offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner all day long, you shouldn’t be surprised to see; eggs, crepes, soup, salads, sandwiches, burgers and the such. Sarah was ready, and decided on a smoked turkey sandwich. Described as – thinly sliced smoked turkey breast, cucumber, tomato, green leaf lettuce, mustard and mayo, it was available on multi-grain, sourdough, or olive and white cheddar. With no multi-grain available, sourdough it was. I must admit, as a bread baker I like more unusual loaves, yet something about olive and white cheddar for an everyday sandwich seems a bit off. For good measure, I asked for a cup of fruit to snack on. Hey, I already ate, and I knew I could snag a bite of the sandwich 😉
With coffee on the table, we had a chance to look around. The packed house was being taken care of by two staff, and it seemed they were having a bit of trouble keeping up. A few customers even came up to the counter for service, asking for extra coffee, water, condiments etc.. Surprisingly though, our order arrived in a pretty timely manner. The fruit bowl was a mix of cantaloupe, a few grapes, a slice of orange, and two dices of pineapple. Nothing special; it was nice that all of the fruit was ripe.
The sandwich was good. The sourdough lacked any tang, and Sarah mentioned she would have a hard time telling you it was sourdough if she didn’t know ahead of time. Not a deli sandwich in the typical sense (I mean, there was no pile of turkey ala montreal smoked meat sandwiches), it felt very homey. Not layered with fancy cheese, or roasted pepper aoli; this was very much a sandwich you could make at home. There is something very comforting about that to me. Food at its best, is some times the simplest.
A handmade sandwich on in-house baked bread, for $7.50 is a pretty good deal. What isn’t a good deal, is the $6 bowl of fruit. The teacup sized bowl was definitely priced higher than I would have hoped. That’s what I get for ordering without looking at the price I suppose. Really for that price, I should have just ordered a sandwich. Oh well, another time. As I’m sure, I’ll be stopping in here again one day for a breakfast or sandwich offering.