by Jessica Grajczyk
I never thought there would be such thing as too many bento boxes, but you kind of lose inspiration to look for new places to have lunch around your office building and thus often resort to the same old. Today I decided to wander to a different area to see what else I could find, and what transpired has added to my growing theory that you can actually find a delicious, healthy and quick lunch at your local independent coffee shop.
I remembered that I had passed by a cafe that caught my attention once on the corner of Fir and West 4th, so I left the office and ventured into dudesville, aka board shop heaven/auto detailing land. Of course I wasn’t about to take the easy route into the sea of restaurants along the other end of West 4th. I knew there was some hidden gem to be discovered in the no-man’s land near the entrance of Granville Island. Then, the Sailor Jerry style font on the awning for Blondy’s Coffee appeared, and I knew my journey was not unfounded.
I’ve been growing quite fond of the coffee shop lunch. Most little independent places offer delicious paninis, soups and fresh baked goods, as was the case with Blondy’s Coffee. They were offering three enticing panini options: prosciutto, asiago and green apple; curried chickpea; and the one I chose – caramelized onions, pumpkin seeds, spinach and Brie. I opted for the panini/soup combo after the barista informed me that the soup of the day was indeed vegetarian.
So, in less than 30 minutes, I enjoyed a fabulously grilled panini, in which the pumpkin seed added a rich nuttiness to the oozing brie and sweet onion, a small, creamy cup of potato leek soup, and one of those mini pellegrinos. That’s pretty much all a girl could wish for on a quick, affordable lunch break (my bill was around $10).
Blondy’s interior is pretty cute, too. Framed black and white photos hang on the walls for sale, there’s a shiny chandelier above the cash register, and even a teeny-tiny patio, where I most certainly would have enjoyed my lunch if it weren’t still chilly outside.
The best thing about having your lunch in a coffee shop is that you can grab a nice Italian coffee on your way back to the office (they serve Lavazza – one of the most popular Italian purveyors), and, if you’re craving something sweet, one of their baked treats. Blondy’s has only been around for less than a year, and they already seem to have a following of local auto shop guys, skateboard enthusiasts, and office people like myself. I hope they stick around so I can keep them on my lunch spot list.
1705 W. 4th Avenue