During my period of absence from the GTHA, Mulberry Street Coffeehouse unassumingly rose to fame. Snapshots of the rustic and slightly retro interior made its way over to my feed easily. When my turn to visit finally arrived, I was no longer surprised at the grandness of the orange statement-making storefront found at James and Mulberry, nor the serenity of the outdoor patio.
The peppy brunette at the cashier assisted us in placing our orders of a Roasted Vegetable Panini and Roasted Bell Pepper Soup Combo, Quiche, and an Iced Matcha Latte. (Interestingly enough, she didn't question me when I requested to take a sniff of their matcha powder. Rather, she simply nodded and acknowledged the fact that the base substance they utilized was indeed a sugar-injected drink mix.)
Taking a tiny spoonful of the Roasted Bell Pepper Soup, I immediately sensed eyes like daggers penetrating my soul. I gulped, allowing the sweet fragrance to travel downwards to the pit of my stomach, before slowly backing away to protect my Quiche.
Admittedly, it was better than expected: the perfect consistency is difficult to achieve by blending, yet Mulberry Street Coffeehouse overcame this challenge.
Quite frankly, I'm not too certain about the other ingredients, as I wasn't granted an opportunity to fully experience the remainder of the bowl's contents. (Tsk tsk, you hangry fiend.)
The triangular yellow specimen arrived plated on a small, white ceramic plate, accompanied by a few bulbs of stuffed green olives. As my dining partner stared in horror at the minuteness of it all, I took to taking a whiff of the omelette-tart hybrid before forking away at the shreds of vegetable embedded between the layers.
The aspect that took me by surprise was that it wasn't even the slightest bit greasy. Rather, the pastry was well-seasoned and largely satisfying (well, for my appetite anyway). It was a savoury dish done right. Cost-wise, however, it could have be a bit more affordable to penniless students such as myself.
Washrooms, in the form, of individual stalls would have been easily missed had not signs been hung in front, for the doors had sunk into the frames gently. What awaited me was a tall ceiling, fuscia walls with brick and wood elements, a dazzling chandelier, and a lengthy mirror featuring assymetrical hooks. Never had I seen investments being put towards lavatories in a coffee shop! (My fingers had been crossed that I would find a functioning soap dispenser.) It was, dare I say, even more beautiful than some of the dining spaces.
With an ultra-soothing environment and tasty goods, the cafe would have easily made the top of my study spots had price and location not been taken into consideration. I couldn't quite justify my purchases, as much as I would have liked to; travel time is another factor to evaluate, as increased time on the HSR means decreased productivity on my part.
Chocolat on James was a particular shop that had caught my attention on the trek towards the cafe. Much like SOMA, it specialized in chocolate, and spanned the space of two shops for the retail of chocolate-dipped soft serve cones, espresso, caramel corn, and chocolate gifts. Tables had also been made available throughout for the immediate enjoyment of acquired items.
"Were you shooting the laser at the chocolate to check temperature?" I inquired with a smile.
"Yes..." began the hesitation.
"Ah, is there an optimal temperature for chocolate?"
"Yes....but I'm not telling you. It's our trade secret!" she barked at me, eyes emitting sparks while sauntering away.
Alright then. I suppose it's a trade secret I wasn't supposed to ask about.
By the time I was halfway to the terminal, three quarters of the underlying soft serve swirls had deformed. The remnants of the melting process were contained inside, as well as on the surface of, the plastic holder.
One strong breeze was enough to send sticky droplets flying onto my sleeve and cheek. (And no, it was not fun. Thank goodness for the existence of cleansing wipes.)