Uptown Waterloo Adventures

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015

Do you like two-part breakfasts? This morning I had a cranberry bagel made with gamut flour (from Healthy Foods and More in Bridgeport Plaza) topped with almond butter, banana slices, and cinnamon. For something cool and creamy, I also enjoyed a bowl of honey Greek yogurt, the last of my blackberries, more banana slices, and some hemp hearts. After photos were taken, I topped this bowl with coconut chips.

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Melty almond butter on a hot and crispy, yet soft, bagel is like a dream! Topped with sweet banana and flavourful cinnamon, this breakfast is one that I can’t wait to have again. It was very filling, too, with the ancient grain flour rather than white flour.

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In the morning, I took the bus to the Grand River Hospital, where I had a volunteer information session.

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Then, I headed to Needles Hall in the University of Waterloo for a blogger’s photoshoot! I was lucky to be selected as one of Waterloo’s first-year bloggers. We got to meet each other and had individual and group photos taken in this beautiful building. They will be posted on Waterloo’s website soon!

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After the photoshoot, I took the bus to Uptown Waterloo.

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Princess Cafe was my main destination! My roomie, Madhulika, highly recommended this place. It had a fun, vintage, hipster vibe and somewhat reminded me of Vancouver.

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They have quite the panini menu! I was debating between the original vegetarian and the goat cheese + onion panini. The woman helping me recommended the original vegetarian sandwich, so that’s what I ordered. The soup of the day was classic creamy tomato, so I asked for a little bowl of that as well. 🙂

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During the school year, apparently many students come here to study. But on the Thursday before the week of class, it was quite empty and quiet. I liked how peaceful it was.

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There is even a vintage clothing shop next door. I browsed through it after my lunch, but found the prices on the higher end. The pieces were very unique and pretty, though.

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They have a large spread of desserts, but unfortunately, are brought in from another bakery and frozen. I wish they were made on-site and served fresh, but they are a sandwich + coffee cafe, not a bakery.

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While I waited for my sandwich, I plopped my folder and agenda on a high table and started to plan my class schedule for next week. I don’t want to be late or get lost next week. 😛 The black uWaterloo notebook was given to all bloggers for free as a thoughtful gift and surprise. I love it!

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I was so excited when my panini and soup came. It also came with a pickle, which, well, I didn’t touch 😛 Not a fan of pickles!

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Grilled eggplant, tomato, roasted red peppers, pesto, artichoke caponata and brie on multigrain bread. I think the best part was the brie and the bread, which was audibly crispy. I’ve never had crispier, tastier bread in my life!

As for the soup, it was tasty and simple. Pureed tomatoes with a hint of garlic, this soup was quite nice for dipping.

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This was a top-notch panini. I’d say it was the best panini I’ve had, but then again, I haven’t had many. Usually with brie in sandwiches, the amount is quite minimal. Here, it was so loaded with brie that every bite had some stretchy, creamy cheese. The pesto added great flavour, and the veggies were tender and tasted very fresh. I will definitely be back to try another soup of the day and the goat cheese and onion panini. Can’t wait!

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Uptown Waterloo is hipster yet old-fashioned, with many cute little cafes, thrift stores, indie cinemas, and bars. I stopped in this cafe, Cafe 22, and found a chocolate pecan tart that looked so tasty I had to buy it. You’ll see!

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With my precious chocolate tart… and new shoes! This was my first ever pair of Vans/Keds/Toms. They are grey Vans and I find them comfortable for the first 60% of the day before my pinkie toes start scraping the sides. Maybe I just have wide toes? I think I prefer my Toms.

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GBS, or German Baked Specialties, is another lovely cafe. They serve gelato but didn’t have many options when I went, so I opted out. But I loved the design inside, with the map-inspired wallpaper and European-style antiques. Very pretty! I think I could sit here with my laptop for hours.

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Then I took a nice 15-minute walk in the sun to Sabletine Fine Pastries, a French bakery/pastry shop on the other side of Uptown Waterloo. There was lots of construction in the area so I had to make a big loop, which was no problem.

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Sabletine is one of the prettiest pastry shops I’ve been in. Check out the elaborate wallpaper and neat glass display. I also really like the chalkboard menu.

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The seating area is in the room next door. They have a long table with high stools, mobile decorations, and a big window with an absolutely magnificent million-dollar view of tractors and sand. Another back room is made for parties of eight or more, I believe.

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I ordered a miniature coconut tart and a miniature hazelnut-chocolate pastry.

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Unfortunately, I found the chocolate ganache too sticky and the hazelnut filling not-very-nutty. The coconut tart base was excellent (a shortbread base!) and quite buttery/flaky, the way I like it. Unfortunately, the whipped cream on top tasted as if it had been whipped a while ago, refrigerated, and piped on in the morning. I wish it was fresher, and had a hint of vanilla. The woman who brought my sweets over told me they were baked fresh every morning, and I’m kind of skeptical about that.

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If you ignore the construction on the other side of the road (unpictured), Waterloo is quite a lovely city for the most part. In the summer, that is! Not sure how I feel about the famous Waterloo winters… :/

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The Uptown Farmers Market started at 3:00, and unfortunately this market was much, much smaller than the one I went to weekly in Coquitlam, BC. I miss the Poirier Street Farmers Market! This one had exactly ONE meat shop, ONE produce shop (that only had carrots, tomatoes, and eggplants), and TWO bakeries. The others sold crafts and other handmade goods. I miss seeing row after row of fruits and veggies! Needless to say, I left with a very little bag and no fruit.

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A simple two-egg omelet with spinach, mushrooms, and goat cheese made a light and delicious dinner. I sprinkled this with truffle salt and devoured it while watching Buzzfeed. I could be on that site for hours!

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Time for dessert! You were wondering about the light dinner, weren’t you? 😉

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Here we have (clockwise from top left) a chocolate-pecan tart from Cafe 22, a creme brûlée shortbread tart from Sabletine Fine Pastries, a cream cheese chocolate brownie from the farmers market, and an almond sponge cake from Sabletine Fine Pastries.

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I cut a third from every dessert. Madhulika and her boyfriend left a little early (before I cooked my dinner) so unfortunately we didn’t enjoy these together. Next time I will buy some more sweets so we can taste test them all together! Madhulika really liked the creme brûlée tart, but my favourite was the chocolate pecan tart.

I microwaved both chocolate desserts before plopping the other two on my plate so they were nice and warm. There’s something about warm chocolate desserts that make me melt 😛

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This is what the almond cake looked like inside. Sadly, this one, like the coconut tart, tasted “refrigerated-for-too-long”. It was the frosting that seemed a little too firm and somewhat stale, but I thought the sponge part had great flavour (texture could be more tender). The almonds outside were toasted, which was a nice touch.

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I had a great time exploring Uptown Waterloo! If you ever head over there, I highly recommend checking out Princess Cafe and grabbing a panini, and then shopping the whole street and taking a look at the Farmer’s Market. 🙂

20 thoughts on “Uptown Waterloo Adventures

    1. It’s because I used a bigger nonstick pan than I usually do… it’s still two whole eggs! 😀 Mmmm the bagel was so yummy. It was actually more cake-like than bready, and had that awesome grainy flavour from kamut. THANK YOU! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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