Saturday, May 7, 2011

Roundel Cafe

I really, really wanted to like the Roundel Cafe. Breakfast here has been on my list for some time. Everyone I know raves about the food and it is now just up the street from me. I love the signage and the look of the interior is right up my alley in a retro/vintagey/hipster mismatched tables and wood style.

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And then they served me what I have come to refer as....

I love pancakes. I once knew someone who called pancakes "doughy plates of disappointment". She said they smelled great and then all you got was a disappointing plate of dough. She was so wrong.  Fried dough rules.

It was with some excitement that Big M and I headed off to the Roundel on Good Friday. We went at about 10:00 expecting a crowd as we have often seen line ups here. Luckily for us it seemed the rest of the crowd was using the holiday to sleep in. (Or work for those not in cushy governmenty jobs like Big M and I) We sat in a booth and checked out the menu.

The waitress, who I came to assume was the owner-but I could be wrong, was super friendly but really harried. I assume she is used to a super packed restaurant as she was rushing everywhere. She never seemed to finish anything. She asked what Micheal wanted and then rushed off before asking what side he wanted. She did eventually realize that when she was ringing up the order and yelled across the restaurant to ask him. Every time she poured our coffee she would turn to leave before the pour was done and we had these trails of coffee all over the table.

As it was Good Friday, they had a cleverly named special- the Good Friedegg Sandwich:

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Big M really enjoyed the sandwich. It has kicked off a weekend fried egg sandwich streak for him. He was not super happy with the potatoes, they could have been more crispy.  He did not like their ketchup.  We think it was homemade and Big M described it as "watery, tasteless salsa.  It wasn't sweet or salty like ketchup should be. "  In the end he decided it was not too shabby of a breakfast.

I decided to go with Blueberry Corn Pancakes with House Syrup.

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It was a huge plate of pancakes and I had so many issues with them.
1. The pancakes were so large and piled so high with blueberries that they were difficult to eat. There was no where to move anything on the plate and the berries kept falling all over and staining everything.
2. The blueberries were the frozen field berry kind. They were not flavorful and shockingly messy. They left a purple stain over everything. The pancakes, my hands, the table, my pants and even the wall:

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They would have been much better if the blueberries were added into the pancake as it would be easier to eat and add some much needed moisture into the pancakes.
3. The pancakes were so dry. I know that a corn cake has a much denser texture than a regular pancake but these were like eating straight cornmeal. They were so dry that they kept falling into two pieces- the top and bottom would crumble away from each other.

In the end, I ate maybe one in total. They were just too dry and way too messy.

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I don't want to give up on the Roundel. I still love the look and the service, if a bit scattered, was really friendly. I do want to go back in the evening as they have a great burger and beer special:

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After digging around the other reviews to see if mine was the only disappointing experience, I read great things about the burger and dinner menus. I am not going to rush to dinner there, but I will give it another go. Some places I just really want to love....

Roundel Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. i used to go to roundel a lot, though i haven't been in a while. i've had a variety of experiences there from AMAZING food & service to substantially less than average of both. and you can tell the difference when you always order the same things. (avocado & cream cheese eggs benny or the spinach & feta omelet). but its always good to give places more than one go, so i think you should do it. and get the avocado benny.

  2. The Coconut banana pancakes were AMAZING!

  3. Pancakes were dry because you opted out of the whipped cream

    1. Pancakes are not dry by nature unless they are POORLY MADE. You've obviously never had real pancakes.