[02/27/15] It was a beautiful Friday afternoon and something in me wanted to just settle in a cafe to get some homework done, while sipping hot coffee and munching on sweets.. and that’s exactly what I did! I noticed Joe’s Table Cafe a few times while swishing by Kingsway, and decided to try it out.
I haven’t heard about Joe’s Table at all and there were barely any reviews on Urbanspoon, so I was curious to see what it has to offer. Hidden in the middle of Kingsway across the street from the London Drugs plaza, it’s pretty easy to miss the place. (Unless you’re like me and constantly on the lookout for interesting looking restaurants during car rides.)
I checked out Joe’s Table’s website, which revealed an impactful story behind their team and mission. Joe’s Table was founded by Joe’s father not long ago, in 2013. Joseph, or “Joe”, was autistic, and his father wanted to create a community where everyone could work at full potential despite their cognitive disabilities. This I think is really inspiring and meaningful. Joseph passed away from an accident, and here is his legacy that gives others like him a chance to thrive.
I was rushing home for dinner (not that I had room in my stomach afterwards, but it was getting dark :P), and unfortunately couldn’t check out the gallery that displays Joseph’s artworks..
It was extremely awkward because I stood by the counter for nearly 5 minutes waiting for someone to service me. There were two employees on shift at the time- while a girl was cleaning up the kitchen, another guy was restocking on the counter fridge. He noticed me standing there and sort of ignored me LOL. Now, I’m not sure if all workers here are cognitively disadvantaged, so if they are, that’s totally understandable. Anyways, later, when the girl finally saw me, she immediately greeted me and took my order.
The cafe is relatively small, with just a couple of tables. Most people seem to drop by and order to-go, making it a very comfortable and minimally distracting environment to study in. I like that they have board games too! c:
I haven’t had coffee in a while so I went for my past go-to, which is a simple Caffè Latte ($2.95). I asked for mine to be made with almond milk, which I usually do when the option is available. However, I was disappointed to be given a cup of latte that tasted not much different than a cup of hot almond milk. Almond milk does have a dominating, nutty flavour, but I couldn’t detect any trace of espresso here and I’ve definitely had better. On a different note, knowing that it is quite difficult to get almond milk to steam properly, I can accept the lack of latte art haha. (2/5)
I didn’t plan to eat anything too heavy since it was already late afternoon.. but I couldn’t pass out on some baked goodies and just overestimated how much I could eat. xD I got the Carrot Cake ($3.85), and it also appens to be gluten and egg free. It came with a thick, large square slice, smothered with cream cheese frosting and topped with chopped almonds. The cake itself was soft and at the same time, full of different textures with the bits of carrots, raisins and nuts. The frosting could’ve been better though, because I found it to be a little dried out and almost gritty from the icing sugar. (4/5)
There aren’t many cafes to compare to in the Metrotown area, and Joe’s Table doesn’t really stand out either. Don’t get me wrong, although the food is only average, the message they’re delivering is wonderful regardless!