Thursday, March 24, 2011

Elevate yourself at Transcend on 109

I needed to get out. The house is a middle of the week mess. I've been working and sleeping the opposite hours as J. We are officially out of coffee because I didn't leave myself enough time for a cup of the already brewed pot that used up the last of the grounds. Let me explain. Roommate Mel and I thought we would be extra clever and set her fancy coffeemaker to an alarm to have some brewed for J before he left at 6:45 the next morning. It took the last of this batch of coffee to set the pot and it made a full one. Mel and I were then supposed to wake up at our more acceptable hour of 8 or 9 and pour ourselves some of the rest. Neither of us remembered and when I got home last night after work at around 10:30, the coffee was cold and the mood was tense.

J was an angel and cleaned up after the mess I left when I prepared a big pasta casserole to stretch over the next couple of busy days and nights' lunches and dinners. We are a good team and he helps me when it's my turn to get tasks finished and the last part (i.e. doing the dishes or folding the clean laundry) gets dropped as I race out the door to catch the bus to work.

Morgana came over for a visit late this morning and we drank tea in my cold house ... the furnace is still on the fritz. When she mentioned that she wanted to go out to eat even though she wasn't really hungry, I knew it wouldn't take much convincing to go on a blog-research outing.
Since the move I've been getting our coffee from Transcend Coffee.

This operation began further south near Argyle Road - a local award winning roasting house, the good folks at Transcend spend several weeks every year on coffee travel - visiting the countries where the beans are grown and agreeing to buy from individual producers at fair prices. They then import the beans to Edmonton where they continue to be roasted in small batches at the Argyle location. This cafe opened in the old Pharoah's Pizza place on the corner of 87th Ave and 109 Street. It's a big, bright cafe with really really good coffee and espresso. For weeks I had been walking past this place mid-morning, on my the long trudge home from physio, reading the lovely sandwich board extolling their cappuccino and waffle deal - hot and fresh and only $6!

Today was the day. Today was our day to take time out from school, worries, the rudding piles of snow that still line the streets, and pause and enjoy something purely for ourselves. The cappuccino was creamy and rich and artfully rendered. For our waffle toppings we could choose from maple syrup, apple brandy butter, rosemary whipped cream, and jam (which changes periodically, today was Blueberry). They get their jams straight from The Jam Lady at the Saturday Strathcona Farmer's Market.

Though I was only supposed to get one topping included with my waffle I sprang for both the maple syrup and the rosemary whipped cream and just coughed up an extra buck. Still, at $7, this is the bargain of the year, as far as I'm concerned. The baristo brought us our delectable Belgian sweets and for a good 15 minutes or so Morgana and I ate in virtual silence, stunned by sensory overload.

I highly recommend stopping in at any of the Transcend locations as soon as you are able. Give your self a bit of time to escape from everything else and lose yourself in a cup of something. But be advised, you may want to bring your Mac laptop for fear of standing out...

3 Locations:
Garneau Café
8708 - 109 Street
Edmonton, AB T6G 1E9

Argyll Café
9869 - 62 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T6E 0E4

***And just recently opened***
Jasper Ave Café
10349 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5J 1Y5


  1. I like your style Danielle! I hadn't checked this out until now but I've recently become obsessed with good food, prepared properly so I will digging through the archives for sure! Keep up the good work and info!


  2. I have to get that waffle again. I think the apple brandy butter was...transcendant?

    and I want that lasagne recipe one day it has all my favourite things in it. Keep up the good work love