13th STREET COFFEE HOUSE
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Food style: coffee house cafe
Veg Scale: mostly vegetarian, tons of vegan and gluten free items labeled
Part of town: Cathedral area
Found among the quiet and quirky row of shops and cafes along 13th street, this aptly named coffee shop and café is a must visit while in town! Situated in a converted old house, the setting is just as cozy and inviting for the busy office worker on a quick lunch break as it is for a café dweller planning to spend the day typing away on a laptop – read: free wifi! The outdoor patio invites passersby up the front stairs bordered by blooming potted flowers and into the front foyer lined to the right with a community bulletin bursting with flyers advertising yoga classes, urban garden assistance and local music concerts among other eclectic offerings. Along the same wall is a narrow staircase leading up to the restrooms. To the left, indoor seating begins, wrapping around to the counter where you place your order with one of the friendly young staff. The menu is colorfully written across the blackboard-painted far wall and is mainly vegetarian. The vegan and gluten-free options are numerous and clearly labeled. They are the only fully licensed coffeehouse in Regina and offer a varied selection of seasonal and worldly drink specials along with a menu brimming with locally sourced produce.
Unfortunately we were in a rush to get to the airport so didn’t get to enjoy as much of the local ambiance as we would have liked, but we were able to order a few delicious options to go. I went for the Power Salad (GF), a delightfully filling mountain of marinated tofu, savory seasoned chickpeas, fresh red bell peppers, red ripened tomatoes, and juicy cubes of cucumber atop a thin bed of “power greens” and capped off by crisp bean sprouts, sweet shredded carrots and tangy purple cabbage sprinkled with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. I’ve noticed the consistency of tofu in Canada is far denser and more textural than the standard American fare; a palatable detail I very much appreciate. I would compare it to the “high protein” style I’ve found at some health food stores in the States and at Trader Joe’s. I had my pick from 6 house-made dressings, all vegan and gluten free, so I chose the creamy and satisfying Caesar (GF). A savory blend of exotic spices that I couldn’t quite put my finger on turned the chickpeas into the stand out star of this salad. Let it be known, this is no ordinary salad. I’ve never had my hankering for crisp, fresh veggies so satisfied and my hunger so fully satiated by a salad as I did by this gorgeous green gargantuan. I was not over-stuffed nor was I left craving anything. This salad was, dare I say it, perfect. Hats, were I wearing one, off to these guys J
Chris opted for the Marrakesh Stew (GF), a creamy coconut curry originating from the city of the same name in Morocco. Comprised of melt-in-your-mouth potatoes, carrots, zucchini, raisins, green bell peppers, chickpeas and sweet potatoes all swimming atop a base of fluffy quinoa (or brown rice, your choice) this dish was a comforting option more fit for a rainy day. The curry was not overly “coconutty” nor overly creamy and could have done with some more spice and stronger flavor, but the vegetables were perfectly simmered just to the point before being overcooked and it was very filling. I don’t know that I’d order it again especially as they have a number of other curry offerings on the menu that piqued my interest.
We finished off our meal with one of their Superfood Bars; a decadent mixture of seeds and dried fruits held together by an abundance of chunky peanut butter with a thin floor of rich dark chocolate underneath. The best way I can think of to describe this sweet treat would be to invite you to imagine the lovechild of a Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup and a homemade trail mix bar. Every mouthful an explosion of new flavor combinations, half a bar would have been more than enough for us to split after our meal! It should, however, have been kept in the fridge as it immediately began melting the moment it was handed over – the better to lick your fingers with, my dear!
Overall I found this spot to be my favorite in Regina thus far. In fact, I want to come back to town just so I can experience an afternoon of writing and reading at this café and explore the surrounding area! Join me for a salad, tea and “thrifting” excursion, wont you?
I am an actor/writer/content creator based in Los Angeles. I travel extensively both as the host of the new vegan food travel show The Road Less Eaten and on my own. This blog will chronicle my journey around the globe as I hunt down all the vegan options in every part of the world, no matter how big the city nor small the town.
Copyright © Ally Iseman 2016. I own my awkward. Thanks for enabling me.