Today's guest post comes from one of our favorite bloggers and Twitter-ers, Jan Moyer (@moyermama). She's a faithful fan of Coffee Shoppers (and would probably let us claim that), and she's Canadian, so she has an entirely different set of shops to work with. This post is a review of Balzac's in Kitchener, Ontario. (We'll wait while you Google a map of Canadian provinces.) [If you would like to tell us about a coffee shop in your town, please let us know! We love guest posts.] Most of my coffee shopping experience is limited to places with a drive-thru. It’s the stage of life that we are at and I am okay with it. But when a chance to go to a real, sit-down coffee shop arises, I am all in.
I would have written this post weeks ago, immediately after our visit, but it was so magical that I needed to really make time to do it right (ok, I watched TV. A lot of TV). And there was some sleep deprivation, I’m certain of that.
For weeks my good friend and I talked about this (we’re both moms, so we were pretty excited at the thought of getting out without our boys). We opted to go to Balzac's at the Tannery.
It’s been a while.
So here is my review (of sorts) of a real, grown-up, not from a mix, coffee shopping experience.
I ordered a vanilla latte and a slice of carrot cake. My gal pal got something hot with caffeine. I was a tad disappointed that they lifted my cake right out of a box, with no attempt to pretend that they made it on site or that it wasn’t mass manufactured.
However, it was delicious. They can work on their deception skills later.
I remember that the ceiling was high and the artwork was very big. And it was clean. The whole place was quite spacious and open. They did not play any music, allowing for sound to carry. Nice if you want to listen in on some intriguing over-sharing at another table. I felt like I needed to speak in hushed tones.
This shop shares a washroom with the other tenants in their building so you need a key card to get in and out of the corridors. This might be considered a con except 1. It made me feel like I was part of a covert operation and 2. No small children could pound on the door demanding licorice or Mentos. (I might install a key pad system in our home).
The staff was friendly and helpful. Our drinks were made to order and prepared quickly. Really, the fact that we didn’t have to make them ourselves already made this a 5-star experience. Bonus points: we could drink them entirely without reheating.
Leggings as pants: zero
Level of uncomfortableness upon walking in: only 2. It was a quiet morning so I could take my time deliberating over my order without feeling pressure to “hurry up already”.
Disheveled Facial Hair Count: Zero, because we take the time to groom our eyebrows before a Mom’s morning out.
Disheveled Regular Hair Count: Zero, unless you count mine. Fine. One.
Level of pretentiousness: There were a few “regulars” there, but there were low-key and non-judgey. Plus, I wore my going out shoes, so there was really very little room for condescension. A solid two.
Toque count: three, because although I’m writing this in May, we went there in March. I think. It was definitely cold out. [Editor's note: see? CANADA.]
Parking: Nine. It was ample and easy to navigate – not always possible in the downtown core.
Random dogs inside with owner: One. I’m still trying to process this.
Price: since I cannot remember, it must have been reasonable. So, an eight.
We both enjoyed the food, drinks, and overall experience – definitely will return and recommend a visit.
Have you ever been to Balzac's? Do you know what a toque is? Where's your go-to Mom's Day Out destination?