Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cornerstone Cafe in Fernwood

I went into the Cornerstone Cafe wanting to like it, the decor is interesting, it seems to attract people hang out and give Fernwood a place to meet each other.   Unfortunately it came up a bit flat.

Cornerstone Cafe location in 1988
Back in the 1980s I spent a lot of time in Fernwood.   The building the cafe is in was known as the Gladstone Hilton and a very cheap rooming house.  Various friends that were artists or were on the edges of society lived there.  The building was also home to one of my favorite haunts in the city in 1988/89 - Endangered Species Bookstore.  The bookstore was huge and the guy running it was eccentric in a Fernwood way.  It also had a small but very well run cafe in it that served some of the best Thai influenced food I have ever had.

I have lived in Victoria again since 2004 but I am very rarely in Fernwood, there are very few reasons for me to go there.  I may go there more now I have been to Aubergine Fine Foods.

The whole experience at the Cornerstone Cafe was rather hit and miss:

  • Some of the staff were great, some of the staff exuded attitude, bad enough to make me feel unwelcome
  • The coffee was passable but not that much better than even Tim Hortons
  • It was great to see they made their own ice tea, unfortunately is bland and without any depth.  It needed more fragrance - one of the reasons Earl Grey tea makes such a good ice tea - and it did not have the hit of citrus all good ice tea needs.
  • The turkey panini was decent enough, but not at the price.   Turkey tends to be the most boring meat out there when it is used as a sandwich filling.  The panini could have used a better mayo and more cranberry.


I really did want to like the place because it is a project of the Fernwood NRG.   They are the best thing to have happened to Fernwood community and social services in many, many years.  Unfortunately I would only be liking it for charity reasons and not because it was a good eating experience.

Cornerstone Cafe on Urbanspoon
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