Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Restaurant Review: The Bandit

The Bandit is a new espresso bar on Upper Gerrard just east of Woodbine.  Aside from serving Te Aro coffee, they have taken the design aesthetic wholesale.  There is a large post industrial table with a menu board written with grease pencil on the window panes of a repurposed door.  High tech stainless steel meets high touch wood.  A carousel selling pounds of coffee sits in the middle of the floor.  This could be Te Aro but North Eastier.

Starting with good coffee beans from almost tops in North America roasters is always a good idea.  The baristas were trained by -- you guessed it, Te Aro.  So, there is nothing wrong with emulating a good franchise, especially in this area where the nearest Starbucks is far enough to be unwalkable for most people.  I am happy to have this cafe so near to me.  But it would be nice if they could develop their own roast or give me something more unique.  Maybe I need to cut them slack while they get their land legs and get a good survey of their clientele.

I have tried various espresso based beverages that they have made and one of their baristas is definitely more tuned to my tastes than the other.  I got a really long espresso which is something that always makes me happy.  Much preferable to Americanos.   See my rant against Americanos.  I have tried many other of their beverages as well.  The steamed milk was never the biscuity flavour of too hot milk but rather the velvety and sweetness of a good foam or froth. The only thing that I would see as somewhat negative is that they are using milk in their cortado and too much of it.  The cortado needs to be creamy and about 1/2 and 1/2 with the espresso.  So, either find the elusive 6% milk (It is out there) or add cream to whole milk. That is a quibble.

This cafe should do well, and I sincerely hope that it does.  It is nice to have quality coffee within walking distance.  This will be a destination for mommy and baby dates and home workers looking to get out of the house with the computer for a while.  It is a comfortable and, dare I say it, hippish place to embibe.  Maybe instead of going to the Beach for a Starbuck hit, the SUV set will walk the dog and buggy show here.  I'd be willing to have this place get really popular, even if it does mean that I will have to drag my cup back to my porch to drink in silence.

The Bandit Coffee Shop on Urbanspoon

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