Times have changed. These days we are more likely to find out about a new restaurant through social networks than through word of mouth. This was definitely the case with Flavors Cafe and Eatery, which we found through Twitter. The owner is doing a great job by promoting the restaurant on this social network through frequent tweets about the menu, the timings and all the cool things about this new eatery. Right away the address seemed very familiar: 2200 Brock Road. Wait a second…that’s the same plaza as Affy’s! That plaza is a happening place now: Affy’s, Flavors Cafe, Silverspoon, a new grocery store that offers halal meat and Masjid across the road. Perfect location!
We visited this place on a Monday night to see what all the hype was about. The place was well lit and well kept with a modern look. The walls were freshly painted, the tiled floors were clean and the tables were ready for customers. The chalkboard menu boards were definitely the hippest detail of this cafe.
When our server handed us the menu cards we were a little surprised at how small it was. Hmm…just a few items of the menu? However, on second thought it made sense for a cafe (remember it’s not a restaurant) to keep their food menu simple. We are all in favour of a menu that has 5 solid items than a menu with 25 items that all taste the same.
We ordered the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich with fries and the Southwest Chicken Sandwich (server’s recommendation) with poutine (instead of plain fries). We were excited to see the chefs in the kitchen in proper uniforms and hoped for good food.
This was hands down the best item we tried at Flavours. The breaded chicken breast was fried to perfection so that we each bite we took was full of crunchy goodness. The chicken was topped with parmesan cheese and a jalapeño-tomato sauce served on a toasted bun. The sauce complimented the chicken perfectly and enhanced an otherwise simple sandwich. The fries were unique with a bit of a sweet taste to them. We think they may have been sweet potato fries? We liked the way the sandwich was presented with the red sauce, the green lettuce and the golden fries against the white plate.
We were a little disappointed the way this sandwich was presented. The presentation lacked colour (aside from that green leaf sticking out) and we wished there was just a little something somethin’ to jazz it up. We admit that the plate would have looked more complete if the fries were served on the side but since we had asked our fries to be upgraded to poutine, it was served separately. As for the sandwich itself, we were not wow-ed by it. It seemed like a piece of chicken between two slices of bread with some fancy sauce. The sandwich had a strong tamarind chutney taste, which we think may have been an attempt at fusion cuisine.
The poutine looked scrumptious. We were happy to see cheese curds being used instead of shredded mozzarella cheese. The poutine had an overall sweet taste to it which was probably due to fries. However, the gravy also seemed to have a bit of sweet taste to it. Overall, it was an interesting take on poutine.
We were surprised when the server brought over another plate of food. The chef had sent complimentary Hush Puppies for us to try. Talk about good service! Hush puppies are made cornmeal batter that is deep fried to bite sized pieces. We quite enjoyed the savoury taste of the hush puppies with the mustard sauce provided on the side. Yum!
The portions of food were generous and good for the price. We really, really wanted to try the creme brule for dessert but we were so stuffed that we had to skip dessert.
Flavors Cafe is a also shisha bar but since us sisters are not the shisha-smoking kinda girls we did not check the shisha menu. They do have a lounge set up with comfy couches for that purpose.
There are a lot of things going for this cafe:
-A menu that doesn’t overwhelm the customers
-Southern food options not available at other halal restaurants
-Coffee, tea, smoothies, food and shisha all under one roof
-Great hang out place
-Clean and tidy!
-Open late (sometimes past midnight)
There are some things we think they can improve on:
-The paint colour doesn’t really work for us. The green walls didn’t give us the cafe or shisha bar vibe. A warmer colour for the walls may help in creating the intended ambiance
-Ditch the TVs. No need TVs in a cafe. However, we were glad that the TVs were tuned to Food Network and not CP24.
-Some wall art
-A description of the food items on the menu
Flavors Cafe is a great addition to the list of halal food establishments and we are hopeful that they will do great, inshallah. Their good food and great service will definitely lead them to success.
2200 Brock Road
Pickering, ON, L1V 2P8