Common Ground Cafe
50 Brentwood Blvd Sherwood Park, Ab
My friend and I decided to try out Common Ground Cafe on a recent friday for lunch. She had already eaten, so it was just me who would try out the tasties.
The decor is SUPER cute. A cute little “foyer” of sorts greets you when you arrive and they have on locally made crafts for sale. QUALITY stuff, folks. Btw, the purses/bags they have on display there are KICKASS BEAUTIFUL! I wish I would have got the name of who makes them, but I didn’t. You’ll have to just get your ass in there to check them out yourself.
Tables are topped with re-claimed barn wood, all rustic and warm feeling, and even the chairs have little crocheted socks on them!
Yeah, ok, who cares that the little socks are so the feet of the chairs don’t scratch the floor, it’s a cute touch! The art on the walls showcase local artists that incidentally, like the purses and jewelry, are also for sale. Trust me when I say (cheap ass that I am) they are selling them TOO CHEAP! The art is really, really reasonably priced people. I was impressed with both the quality and the price.
The menu is somewhat limited, (they don’t offer everything under the sun), but that being said, there are plenty of things to choose from. You can have everything from healthy rolled oats or a bagel with cream cheese, biscotti (regular and gluten-free), muffins, cookies, brownies, etc. They usually feature 3 or so soups for lunch and offer a nice selection of coffees and teas, along with locally made specialty drinks (Honey Spice brand) and sodas.
So I ordered a London Fog tea. This is a newly re-discovered beverage for me. I remember drinking them back in my twenties when I thought I was more awesome than I’d EVER be when I was my …. 40’sh… age now.
Turns out, I’m crazy awesome now. (Take THAT, 20-year-old me!)
Anyway, this drink is Earl grey tea made with steamed milk, and a dash of vanilla syrup. Simple, but ohhh SO good! I’ve seen recipes where they recommend steeping the tea with a few lavender buds, but I have yet to try that. The tea that was made for me had a perfect sweetness to it, a nice vanilla hint that didn’t overtake the taste of the tea, and a nice thick, milky foam on top.
Comforting like a blankie hug.
You know what I’m talking about, don’t you.
So comforting in fact, I had two.
I ordered their Lazy Perogy Casserole soup. Yeah.. I know… casserole or soup?? Hey… I’m always up for a mystery, so I tried it.
Here are the photos, take a peek:
Doesn’t look that appetizing does it? Looks thick and heavy. Well let me tell you, I’m half Ukrainian people, and a self-professed Perogy Snob, so that automatically extends to a Lazy-Perogy snob. That being said, this ……. soup?, was INCREDIBLE. The rich flavor of a super cheesy casserole with pasta was dilectable! There was a slight crunch from onions that were cooked, but not strong tasting that added a nice textural component. I was really surprised at just how much flavor this little bundle of happiness possessed. (AND FILLING – Don’t let the portion size fool you!)
If it were me making it, the only changes that I would do to make it out of this world, insanely good, would be to loosen the mixture a tiny bit more with cream… (listen, calories/shmalories, go big or go home), a dash or two of dill, and upon serving, a nice little sprinkle of bacon. But that’s just me and my snobby ways.
I WILL order this dish again.
I have to add, everything on their menu is REASONABLY priced, ($4.50 for the soups WITH a biscuit!). It’s almost bordering on stealing.
Ok… NOW to the best part.
The special part about this little sweet gem of a cafe people, is that they are a not-for profit establishment.
I KNOW RIGHT????
The whole concept is to build a stronger sense of community within Sherwood Park and it’s run by volunteers. This is a whole new idea that Sherwood Park hasn’t seen before, and really goes against the grain of what most businesses are all about. However, not only are they providing Sherwood park with a greater sense of a community connection, I think unknowingly, they are also selling an experience within the cafe. When you normally spend your money in any other establishment, you really don’t think anything about it. But with Common Ground, the prices are so reasonable, it’s not for profit, so you actually FEEL GOOD spending your money there. The food and goods they sell are quality products, the volunteers are charming and sweet, there are lots of opportunity to share community ideas and events at the front foyer. The chairs and tables are comfortable with some sofa chair type seating as well that’s perfect for that catch up convo with your friends, they have a stand of game boards and children’s books if your interested, AND they have a free wi-fi.
What more can you want?
So how common is Common Ground Cafe? Turns out, not common at all.
And it’s a very good thing.
Get out there, meet your neighbors, and at the very least, support this truly wonderful cafe.
It’s worth it!
CTV news came out and did a feature on them. Click the link to check it out!