Mini-Review: Coffee Emporium

Terry’s pretty much a regular this summer at The Coffee Emporium on Central Parkway, but in these past couple of months, he’s never tried their lunch menu! A travesty. We remedied that on Saturday morning.

Terry got a ham and cheese panini. It was pretty standard– ham, brie, and Dijon mustard served with some purple Terra chips. It was a good, standard sandwich.

Coffee Emporium

I got the curried chicken salad. I love curried chicken salad! I remember the old Le Cezanne on Hyde Park addicting me to it a few years ago. They served theirs on a baguette, and it was marvelous. I duplicated it myself, but since Terry isn’t a curry fan, I don’t make it very often. Coffee Emporium’s is OK– it was a little dry (needed just a touch more mayonnaise) but the flavor was good, with a standard yellow curry powder. I’d definitely order it again, but perhaps just as chicken salad and not as a sandwich.

Coffee Emporium

I like that the bread was fresh (from Shadeau, I believe) and that the ingredients also tasted fresh. I watched them make my fruit salad (the alternative to potato chips) right there, as well as some of their other dishes. They also have freshly made Belgian waffles with fresh fruit on Saturdays– which I plan on trying next Saturday.

Coffee Emporium isn’t just for coffee– their sandwiches are pretty good, too! Combine that with friendly service, a nice atmosphere and WiFi– it could totally be my office away from home.

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8 thoughts on “Mini-Review: Coffee Emporium”

  • Sounds good, since Lavo has fallen off my lunch radar I am going to have to try here. I kind of liked the old layout.

  • But the big question: Do they put sultanas in their curried chicken salad? (I believe they are attempting to approximate coronation chicken, which definitely calls for sultanas.)

    I would have enjoyed Coffee Emporium more if it wasn’t so cavernous and cold. It really needs some simple, inexpensive design work to make it more cozy. There’s a limit to how much people will want to hang out in such a large, garage-like space.

  • Totally agree with Jackie, good to hear from you. I get this cold feel more in the winter, in fact, I think that is one of the reasons I did not go back and eat in, I usually just did carry out. It needs to have some zone seating areas, Ott lights or similar sun replicating lighting would help.

  • 5chw4r7z– he is, isn’t he? I’m liking the new layout too– more space and it’s a bit cleaner.

    Vudutu– You will, the prices are fairly good. They do have some comfy chairs and conversation corners which feel warm and inviting.

    Jackie– they do! And I think you’re right about them trying to copy coronation chicken. I don’t find CE cold, however– maybe it’s because I’ve only been there in the summer for any extended period. I’ll let you know in the winter.

  • The Coffee Emporium OTR location is the most modern and open feeling of the three. If you are looking for a more intimate, cozy atmosphere, then you need to check out their location in East Hyde Park. Located in an old Victorian residence, the small upstairs seating area is perfect for settling down to work. They do not have the extensive menu that the downtown location has, but there is a nice light “bites” menu for anytime of the day.

    I love the curried chicken salad at the downtown location, and I’ve asked about the recipe. Apparently it is just a recipe the owner gleaned from a cookbook. I do not think it is supposed to be coronation chicken salad – which calls for far more herbs and ingredients.

    Try the alligator pear sandwich – only add turkey if you are not a vegetarian! It is wonderful. I also really, really like the black bean burger!

    • I’m fairly certain coronation chicken is a simple recipe–

      Perhaps you’re thinking of the referenced “more sophisticated” version. The recipe was published by Buckingham Palace for the coronation, and I don’t remember any more herbs and spices in it besides the basics– curry powder, salt, pepper.

      That said, I’ll have to try the black bean burger– I love them. Though I like the Coffee Emporium in East Hyde Park, I prefer the more modern feel of the OTR location.

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