We recently got together with a longtime friend for lunch. Something we do periodically, just to catch up. Having exhausted the usual neighborhood haunts of Thai, burgers, and more of the same 'ol same 'ol, Good Friend suggested a place that he had recently discovered:
Merryberry cafe and bistro in Cabbagetown.
What a find!
What a find!
Much like our friends at Urban Spoon suggested a while back,we are of two minds about praising this little gem for fear that it will soon be overrun and lead to eventual burn out, by owners and staff alike, but how can we not praise such a genuinely fun and delightful little bistro? From the quirky and inventive decor and attentive service to the wonderful array of delightful sandwiches, where none were above $7.50, we were more than impressed by their genuine resourcefulness.
Jay had the Ninja Snack, an inventive sandwich of seared tuna with avocado and wasabi served on a trio of little slider buns. Heaven ! (though the use of a little more wasabi kick would have been welcomed, we realize we all have our tolerance levels, but we appreciate the effort) Along with some baby arugula, it was the perfect lunch.
Good Friend (and discoverer of this wonderful resto) is not one for peppers of any kind! He requested that on his salmon burger none be included in the accompanying condiment. This was met with not only great substitute suggestions, but a genuine willingness to accommodate his request. The result was better than expected.
Call us cynical but...substitutions of any kind, other than in the best of restos, can often be met with an eye roll and grudging accommodation from the usual hipster "waitron" who would rather be anywhere else than serving you. At Merryberry the opposite can only be said. Attentive and friendly and whoever is in the kitchen knows their stuff.
Another of the out of the ordinary wonders of Merryberry is that no matter what time of the afternoon you arrive the kitchen will be open to serve you. No noon til 3:00 p.m. lunch only here. We actually arrived for lunch at 2:30 (!) and left, after a couple of great espressos, at 5:30, and clients continued to stream in to order from the clever and tasty menu.
Call us quirky as well but... if the "facilities" of the establishment you are visiting do not match your experience...it will usually deduct a few "points" from your overall experience, won't it? We were happy to discover that when the need arose these facilities were outstanding, not only in their cleanliness but also in their choice of decor.
How refreshing! Our only disappointment was that we never got to sample some of their great deserts. Fresh and seasonal, these as well as their daily specials, we are sure, will make this wonderful bistro a destination well worth returning-to for either breakfast/brunch or lunch, very soon. Rumour has it that once they get their liquor license dinner will soon be added.
We can only wish them all the best....but let's just keep it between us, shall we?
Merryberry Cafe and Bistro
559 Parliament Street