Thursday, 7 March 2013

Café Tiramisu Bistro Edmonton, AB - A family and kid friendly Italian haven


We’ve driven numerous times past this little quaint little café and I’ve had a few foodie friends speak highly of it as it’s a go to place after volleyball games, and was told their sammies kick ass for lunch by Dal, our go to guy for best meats and sammies places in the city. One day after dropping in to pick up a fresh fruit smoothie, I resolved to head back to try their food as the kitchen beckoned with the scent of baking pizza, tomatos and garlic. And its got a secret to new parents and working parents.

As you enter, just off to the left is a big playroom for kids, with a big open “window” so parents can keep an eye on their little ones while they actually have a chance to catch their breath, relax and tell their kids to play nice with others (No pic as I didn’t want parents creeped out). On the right side is a mix of tables, booths and random seating which serves as the “dining room”.

On the walls, the menu is posted, and in the center is the cash-dessert-drink-takeout counter, with a tempting display of desserts… and a kid friendly ledge so they too can smoosh their faces into the glass and point out “wanna that one!”

We were quickly seated, and in the relaxed atmosphere surrounded by well behaved kiddies, we promptly ordered.. way too much food. Which turned out to be a good thing later on, as service was quite slow and disorganized – nice for parents wanting to extend the family outing, but terrible for table turnover. We had a delicious cup of Chai latte to warm us up – nice medium bodied with cinnamon, all spice and pepper notes… drank some before taking the pic, it smelled so nice!

We started off with the baked brie with blueberries. A good chunk of brie is sliced in half and filled with blueberries before being baked into a creamy savory-sweet gooey-ness. Its served with crisp garlic crostinis and the combinations of flavors and textures was just nom nom nom. I would have preferred a double or triple creamed brie, but definitely will order this one again! Nom!

After a good bit of digestion and chatting, our entrée’s came out. My boyfriend went with the Penne Pesto – pesto, pine nuts, sundried tomatos, grilled chicken, Parmesan and olive oil tossed penne pasta. The pasta had a nice balance of flavors with a tasty basil and garlic rich pesto and could have done without the stale piece of foccacia bread and dry overcooked bland chicken breast pieces it came with. Aside from the chicken and bread, he really enjoyed his entrée.

I was eyeballing their thin crust pizzas as soon as I had walked in, so my entrée was the Quattro – prosciutto, pesto chicken, sun dried tomatos, artichoke hearts and bocconcini cheese. The crust was thin, crispy, though did not hold up the ingredients well – just rolled it up Naples style to eat. The pesto chicken was the same dry bland chicken breast chunks in the pasta…

and all the toppings were amusingly placed individually in their own little quadrant of the pizza. Scattering the ingredients a bit more uniformly over the pizza would eliminate a pizza with toppings that didn’t want to play with each other lol! That aside, the pizza was pretty good – sweet mild tomato sauce, lots of melty ooey gooey cheese on a decent thin crisp crust.

the DESSERT
I was hoping to have room to try their namesake, but my boyfriend saw the marshmallow chocolate pizza, so we waited, and waited and waited and yaaaah it finally came out piping hot looking a lot like a smore kicked into pizza duty.

Using the same salted pizza dough used in their savory pizzas for the thin crust base, a chocolate spread that we were pretty sure was nutella is gooped on and topped with toasted melted large marshmallows. All that was missing was a touch less salt in the dough and some graham cracker crumbles... mmm!

the VERDICT
Overall, it’s a haven for new and working parents to enjoy some adult time and “adult dining” while still able to have family time and keep and eye on the kids. The service needs a bit of work as the “we work as a team” motto doesn’t work when there seems to be no communication between staff that certain tables needed to be cleared, check on, food brought out, food ordered etc. It would be better if they solidly assigned someone to run the drinks/cash/take out orders, and the remaining staff assigned to tables and plate desserts for their tables so a simple dinner doesn’t take well over 3hours… the kids do have bedtimes!

Café Tiramisu Bistro
Address 10750-124 Street, Edmonton, AB T5M4A4
Phone 780-452-3393
Hours Mon 9am–8pm, Tue–Thu 9am–9pm, Fri 9am–11pm, Sat 9am–10pm. Closed Sunday and Stat holidays
Tiramisu Bistro on Urbanspoon
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