Cafe O

Much like seasons, some foods are tied to times in your life. We can’t help it; pairing certain foods with certain occasions comes naturally (it’s what’s in season) or sometimes with help from local vendors (it’s what’s available at the sporting venue; hello there, arena beer).

Short story long, almond-paste desserts will always hearken back to elementary school Christmas concerts; one of the moms at the school also ran a bakery, and would bring these amazing desserts with puffed pastry, slivered almonds, and almond paste in the middle in large rings of delicious to help fundraise for the school. Every year, my family would buy one, and my siblings and I would be on rations, lest we eat it all in one sitting. (It happened. Once.)

Since then, I’ve looked for something with a similar taste, having never been able to find its equal (or the name of the original). Last Saturday, I was delighted to find that Cafe O‘s almond croissant was one of the closest matches to date.

Light yet substantial, sweet yet not cloying, the crispy pastry complimented the smooth, almondy filling perfectly. I’m no pastry expert, but I was a very happy camper from my first bite on! M’s cinnamon twist looked delicious, too.

My Mont Blanc chai was, perhaps, ambitious, but I have a weakness for chai and candied chestnuts (and the Symposium amaretto chai had been delicious) so I went for it. Unfortunately, while enjoyable, it KO’d my considerable sweet tooth and lacked the richness I had been hoping for from the chestnuts, or the spice-heavy aromas that I’ve been hooked on since Remedy Cafe first introduced me to chai. Maybe chai is milder on this side of the Canadian Shield?

The experience in overall was really lovely. Cafe O will see us again; they serve an array of impressive sweets, tarts, and cakes that all but ask to be sampled. The staff are all welcoming, friendly, and knowledgeable (and seem like family). As a plus, the wi-fi worked well, much to M’s delight (but they have limited outlets, so stake out your table if that’s why you’re there!) and the atmosphere is comfortable, well-lit, and quietly stylish. Points for the deep-set, swiveling armchairs.

If you’re looking for a chill place to catch up with friends over coffee and a pastry, Cafe O is a great addition to the options that K-W offers.

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