Sunday, 29 April 2012

Symposium Cafe - Cambridge

Symposium Cafe
500 Can-Amera Parkway
Cambridge, Ontario


In her opinion:

Well, we've found another place for breakfast in our hometown. Our friends picked it as a breakfast spot for today and I'm glad they did! Symposium Cafe is part of a chain with locations in Kitchener, London, Guelph, Brantford, Hamilton and Cambridge. Symposium Cafe on Can-Amera Parkway has a very decent breakfast menu to pick from.

The restaurant's decor has a bit of an identity crisis going it a Roman eatery? or is it sports bar? or Aunt Sophie's parlor? But whatever it chooses to be one thing is for sure the menu is good old fashioned Canadian/American cuisine with some European influences.  Their breakfast menu has the classics we all love in a three egg format.  The omelettes are three egg, the regular breakfast dishes such as eggs and bacon consists of three eggs and bacon and their benedicts also consist of three poached eggs.

Is it a Roman eatery?

Is it a sports bar?

Or is it Aunt Sophie's parlor?

I ordered the "Eggs Benjamin".  This was described on the menu as a toasted English muffin topped with smoked salmon, three poached eggs, red onion and crowned with Hollandaise sauce.  It was served with breakfast potatoes.

I really enjoyed my breakfast.  The eggs were a little harder then I normally like but everything else was just perfect.  The Hollandaise sauce was very good.

I will definitely return to Symposium Cafe for breakfast.  I would also like to try other menu items served at lunch or dinner. Well, I did actually get to try their dessert menu today.  Having heard how excellent their chocolate cake was and since my son was taking his time with  eating his breakfast, we ordered a slice of cake to share among the seven of us.  After much deliberation we decided on the Sky High - a brownie, cheesecake creation with chocolate mousse on top.  Actually only five of us tried it (due to non-interest and nut allergies), but we all liked it very much.  We also discovered that on Sundays it's 2 for 1 cake we got a slice of Carrot Cake to take home for free.  I will say that it is so good!

Give Symposium Cafe a try...I think you'll like it.

In his opinion:
Symposium-(definition) "A convivial meeting for music, meeting and intellectual discussion among the ancient Greeks". Well that explains a bit but actually confuses things even more. Well..let me start from the beginning!

This popular restaurant chain is quickly popping up everywhere like teenage boys with Bieber hair. Okay maybe not quite that many...but I'm actually glad one popped up in my home town so I could try it without much of a drive. The décor...what can I say about it? It's actually nice but extremely confusing. There is massive sized art by Italian painters, wine plaques from France's wine country and an actual "Sports Bar"! Anyway, I'm a food blogger and not an interior decorator, so I will leave the remarks about the décor to... nice but confusing, giving you the option of casual or more formal setting depending where you sit. Inviting nevertheless.

Having my eyes wonder back to the menu, I noticed how extensive it actually is. This day, I was there for breakfast and didn't let myself stray too far from the back cover of the menu (the breakfast page)

I finally opted for the "Eggs Benedict" as my meal. The coffee was flowing, (actually not bad coffee by the way) and the oversized chairs make for a comfortable stay and was conducive to our chatting. The service was good and  our waitress Ashley was very attentive and engaging, making the whole experience even better.

The "Eggs Benedict" were very good. The Hollandaise sauce was just right and I particularly liked the type of Peameal Bacon used, it felt just perfect and somewhat crunchy, a great contrast to the softness of  the poached eggs and the freshness of the toasted English muffins. This is a great choice for Benedict lovers.

Having heard so much about Symposium's desserts and in particular, their cakes, we ordered the "Carrot Cake" and the "Sky High" (a hybrid of chocolate cheesecake and a brownie). Both cake slices were huge and could probably feed an entire family in Africa. The carrot cake was soft, moist and extremely fresh. The addition of fruit in the mix added to the texture and taste. The "Sky High" is part cheesecake and part brownie but all good. It is decadent in chocolate and well worth the calories that may or nor be attached to this hunk of chocolate goodness. It is worthy to point out that Sunday is 2 for 1 cake slices, well worth the wait even if the cravings appear mid-week. There are specials everyday and they are very well displayed on their site.

The Good: Good food, good prices and good service (kudos to Ashley).
The Bad: Decorations do throw you off a bit but maybe just at first glance.
The Verdict: A good alternative for breakfast but surely we will try lunch and dinner soon. Unpretentious food in a casual atmosphere, and an inviting welcome to our somewhat dull breakfast choices in town.

I give it a 3 Olives our of 5 as a rating

Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

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