Expansion of the parking building had been taking place as we weaved our way from the QEW, through the quiet single lane streets, and the chaos of one-way streets whose signs were camouflaged by transport trucks and utility vehicles; it made the drive needlessly more complicated than Google Maps had intended.
The surrounding area either comprises of residential lots for tenant parking, or paid pieces of asphalt and confined, metered slots.
Evaluated on a scale of frustration, securing a spot is equally, if not more, annoying as Port Credit, and departing is only slightly less hectic than exiting Queen Street (and all its narrowness) in Streetsville. A local informed me afterwards that free parking was essentially nonexistent in the area, as the added travel fees were intended to deter citizens from residing too leisurely and improve congestion levels.
An alternative choice was to park at the Oakville GO station and walk over. This would have permitted an excuse to explore the nearby establishments, however, neither of us were wearing proper walking shoes. The construction of the parking building also posed some degrees of confusion.
Around noon on a quiet Tuesday afternoon are shift dress-donning ladies on business lunches, laidback laptop users, and retired residents in casual attire. (We may or may not have been the youngest duo of diners occupying the space during the time.)
The Wi-Fi connection was strong and secured, outlet ports were adequate, and natural lighting was abundant.
On the ground floor was a front-facing area with bar stools and a slender white table. Adjacent to this was a shelf of merchandise, which ranged from Reunion Island roasts to the café's very own sleepy duckling mascot and minimalist gold-eared ceramic mugs.
I was quite appreciative of the implementation of this technology, as it not only conserved energy but also eliminated the need to be in contact with the light switch on one's way out, thus limiting possible risks of contamination should the previous occupant not have washed his or her hands.
A light dusting of negligence lined the toilet paper dispenser and hand dryer, sacrificing the uniform sophistication of the environment.
It should be remarked that a malfunctioning soap dispenser was found in the second, and only other available, stall for customer use. Otherwise, I had no complaints.
Moreover, the café offered several combo options to satisfy the distinct needs of different appetites. A Medium Latte/Cappuccino and Salmon Toast pairing was available for snack-sized stomach vacancies as an eclectic upgrade of the overdone avocado toast; similar combos were displayed for panini- and baked good-pairings at reasonable price differences.
My favourite fangirl chose the Chicken Naan Pizza and a pink-toned Italian Soda. The fizzy gradient drink was said to be "good", and the obnoxiously orange pizza delicious as well.
A slice from one of the quarters was offered to me. The soft, chewy Naan lent an interesting texture to the dish: thin but not quite as crisp as thin crust pizza; elastic yet not nearly as thick as flatbread. While roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, and sauces had been layered on top, the base revealed no signs of sodden-ness. Cubed bits of chicken breast, melted cheese, and a shriveled strand of, presumably, thyme, finished the slim pizza.
Fillings and portion sizes were definitely generous for the price.
Candidly speaking, the beverage was deficient of an invigorating punch. It lacked espresso and overestimated the milk.
As someone who had suppressed the urge for cold brew and Iced Americano to taste their lattes, I was dejected that such a beautiful drink failed to deliver an instant, sweet boost of energy.
The concept eliminates the need for an integrated crew of waitstaff, but also relies heavily on the customer's sense of responsibility to clean up after oneself. Carrying trays were provided to assist in transport, but I remained uncertain of my abilities to safely climb the stairs in the sandals without imposing accidental vibrations to my latte.
Otherwise, this amicable establishment definitely deserves a gold star.
Mendocino and Lululemon were two retailers I hadn't expected to make an experience amongst the local shops. The interiors were decorated in a similar fashion to the mall outposts, but with higher ceilings and open entranceways.
Just as the timer was up, I suggested popping into Croissant Express Bakery - a bake shop with an exterior reminiscent of Breka on Bute.
I picked out a Tiramisu to go, while my favourite fangirl directed her attention to the Lemon Bar. Both were rather reasonably priced, with my hefty square of saturated fat ringing in at $3.45 after tax.
Schilling's Patisserie was recommended to me for my next visit, should parking pains and congestion not prevail along the route.