Review: Cool Hand of a Girl
When you live in a mid-gentrification neighborhood like the Junction, brown paper in storefront windows, "For Rent" signs, or any other indication that a new business is opening are constant sources of nervous anticipation - Will it be something cool, or just another crappy junk shop? A couple of weeks ago, a new cafe opened in the area that definitely fits into the former category, and not by name only.
Cool Hand of a Girl (2804 Dundas Street W) is a new organic cafe located just east of Keele on Dundas; Dave and I headed down there this past weekend to check it out. My first impression was that this coffee shop is really cute: it occupies a small space, and the tables and chairs are a mish-mash of fun retro furniture. The walls are currently bare except for a cool black and white art installation on one wall - I expect more art will be added soon, making the space feel less "plain" than it does now.
Stepping up to the counter to order, Dave and I had a look at the short blackboard menu on the wall. Cool Hand of a Girl serves a small selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts along with its organic coffees and herbal teas - I decided on the tamari-balsamic baked tofu sandwich, and Dave opted for an avocado, cheddar, and chutney sandwich with a side house salad. We also ordered some of the house-made iced tea - ginger green tea for me, and hibiscus, rosehip, mint tea for Dave.
We grabbed a seat to wait for our food, and sipped at our ice teas. Wow - All I can say is that these were the best tasting glasses of iced tea that I have ever experienced. Perfectly sweetened, each tea was a refreshing blend of complex flavours. Mine had a nice bite from the ginger, and Dave's had a slight fruity flavour that was offset by the soothing mint. I could drink these iced teas all day long.
Once our minds were thoroughly blown by the iced tea, our sandwiches arrived. Served on fresh, lightly- toasted multigrain, mine was host to a huge slab of marinated, baked tofu, fresh greens, tomato, and mayo. The tofu tasted divine, with a slight undertone of cinnamon or allspice, and the mayo provided a perfect creamy foil. Dave agreed that the mayo was "fluffy," with almost a whipped texture, and I suspect that it is house-made. I was in sandwich heaven.
Dave similarly enjoyed his sandwich, and the bite he gave me proved it to be a tasty combo of creamy avocado and sharp cheddar, with a subtle touch of chutney. He also shared his side salad with me, which was amazing and definitely unique. The salad contained a healthy dose of sunflower seeds, fresh herbs, cabbage, shredded carrots, tiny cherry tomatoes, and fresh greens in a beautiful, complicated vinaigrette.
Thoroughly impressed with this new addition to our neighborhood, we decided to try some of the homemade banana cake for dessert. It was kind of dry, but the addition of dates and chocolate chips made for an interesting finish to our meal. While the cake came up a little short, there were lots of other desserts on display for us to try next time we visit.
The service at Cool Hand of a Girl is friendly and very attentive for a place where you order at the counter - two glasses of water with lemons were brought out with our dessert, without us having to ask for them. Currently, this cafe does not serve breakfast or dinner (they close at 4), but I hope they expand their menu soon - I'd love to see what tasty and imaginitive dishes they'd come up with. I highly recommend Cool Hand of Girl, and I can only hope that it's an indication of things to come in the Junction.
9 farm trucks out of 10
Labels: restaurant review