If you have not been to Taste Café, then you have not experienced what food is supposed to taste like. Maybe that is why it is called Taste.
Taste Café primarily specializes in breakfast and lunch but has recently begun serving dinner as well on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
For first timers entering the restaurant, it is very simple to figure out how Taste is organized. The line can begin anywhere from near the main counter to out the door depending on the day, and the menu board sits above for guests to examine.
The café was particularly clever by putting foreign cheeses and delicious desserts on display to tempt you before you reach the counter to order.
Ordering is the crucial part and deciding what to get is always extremely difficult.
Depending on what time you go and what type of person you are, you may want to skip breakfast and go straight to lunch. However, the founders of Taste must have been big fans of the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The dishes reflect that in taste, presentation and portion.
Many of these breakfast dishes will make your taste buds jump for joy, but the one that puts the cherry on top—almost literally—is the waffle special.
Piled high with approximately a pound of fresh, in-season fruits with powdered sugar and cinnamon, this dish will make your mouth water upon arrival.
If you choose to eat all of the fruit first, then you have saved the best for last. The waffle is simply the best waffle you will ever taste—I maintain this opinion even after trying the famous Roscoe’s House of Chicken’ N Waffles, waffle in Los Angeles.
Other spectacular dishes that will not upset are the egg omelet, with your choice of meat or cheese and the cheddar biscuits and gravy. Taste also offers “wake up juice” (aka coffee) and freshly squeezed orange juice.
For the lunch menu, you can have either a salad or one of the gourmet sandwiches.
The salads are very appetizing, especially the “pear and Roquefort,” but the gourmet sandwiches are the go-to item on the lunch menu. The italian grinder and the smoked ham and cheese are both excellent choices, but the roasted turkey and smoked bacon is my particular favorite.
Topped with provolone, its house made Thousand Island dressing, vine ripe tomatoes, organic field greens with a side of refrigerator pickles on your choice of french or wheat baguette, it is not just a sandwich, it’s an experience.
To top off the delicious salad or sandwich you order, a must at Taste Café is the pommes frites.
Served hot out of the kitchen with a side of creamy basil aioli, the pommes frites serve as an incredible appetizer with a rich flavor that McDonald’s could only dream of.
To wash everything down, go with the fresh lemonade. It is not only freshly squeezed, but mint leaves are added for a subtle flavor that refreshes every time.
Not only is the food excellent, but the service and the atmosphere are superb as well.
The atmosphere is not like a typical breakfast/lunch place because the music selection gives Taste an air of genuine relaxation.
On busy days it may take a few extra minutes for your food, but that is to be expected with a small restaurant. At all other times, the food is always out quick and looking exquisite.
While not the least expensive option for a college budget, lunch will run around $10 per person. Believe me, the price is well-worth the quality.
Taste Café is located at 5164 N. College Ave. and is open seven days a week, though the hours vary.