Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brindle Cafe

221 East Girard Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 279-8866

Brindle Cafe was on my radar for a while, but I was waiting until I moved north to give it a whirl. It only took three days to get there, because I was reminded when I walked by after my morning coffee at Milk Crate (not that I go there all the time). These are the few days I have off between finishing law school and starting my Bar prep, and I am wringing the absolute most enjoyment from them that I possibly can. Plus, I am trying to feel out my new hood.

Brindle is a small space, but they pack the most into it. I can't say if I have ever seen a cafe that was so careful about the minute details. If you want a sandwich, say a wasabi chicken salad sandwich for example, they literally make the chicken salad while you wait. Although this would usually be a turnoff for me, as I like to let the flavors develop, in this case, it was absolutely delicious.

The owner, Scott, prepares the ingredients for my chicken salad, including freshly sliced scallions, celery, fresh ginger, lemongrass and to quote the menu "just the right amount of wasabi mayo."

Well, it certainly came together. I am not sold on this approach as far as traditional chicken salad is concerned (yet) but when the Thai-inspired components were freshly assimilated, it was magical. I loved the bite of the ginger and the aromatic lemongrass, with the sinus-clearing kick of wasabi.

The sandwich was made with love, and that's no exaggeration. Served with a crisp pickle slice, it was a fresh and relatively healthy lunch. But there's more, soon Scott said he will offer a large selection of ingredients for any type of salad combination, all at a set price. He is ridiculously accommodating and mentioned that anyone can ask for anything they want, and if he has it, he will make it (and believe me, it will be good).

He is well versed in Thai and Indian spices, as he studied in Bangkok and his wife is from India. He also has plans for expanding the dinner menu, and offering a variety of Thai inspired items. His main goal, however, is that the customer be happy, and I certainly left wanting more.

One of my favorite parts, is that he makes no "special" coffee drinks, and only offers one size, take it or leave it. That's my kind of attitude.

No comments: