Cafe La Foret
Dear Diary, it’s been 4 weeks since I first stepped into La Foret and I’m no closer to finding the exit, despite searching for over ten hours each day. I’ve discovered multiple flora, fauna, shaman and their magic brown elixir, terrifying wall etchings and concrete monoliths. Luckily there is an abundance of food items and it never seems to rain, but I can’t help but hope that one day I’ll open a door that isn’t a bathroom. One thing is for certain:
La Foret is f*cking enormous.
Latte – 16oz – $4.95
Flat White – $3.75
Legend has it that master beansmiths Timbertrain are the purveyors of the espresso in the mythical land of La Foret, which is strange because I can’t help but feel that the drinks need a little bit more dialing in. The latte, whilst enjoyable, needs a bit more of an espresso kick to ensure the drink works well with the steamed milk. The latte art was pretty decent though.
The flat white was a much better effort, with the milk being steamed perfectly and great espresso to milk ratio.
Espresso – $2.75
Sweet and syrupy with a slightly bitter afternote. Again, probably something that will disappear with time when the shots get dialed in a bit more.
Filter Coffee – 8oz – $2
Great price but the coffee itself was a bit too intense. It seemed to me like they were going for a really dark roast, but it tasted far too over brewed for my palate.
Overall the coffee has potential (especially as Timbertrain are involved, who I have total confidence in) but I think they just need some time to get their recipes tasting right.
Squid Ink, Pear and Proscuitto Baguette – $14
A solid effort here – the proscuitto was smoky and rich and the pears were crisp and tasty. There was a ricotta spread that bought the whole sandwich together and finally some crunch from walnuts. It was delicious but really messy as they’d drizzled balsamic all over it. The squid ink made me temporarily able to breath underwater. Of course it didn’t you fool, it’s a gimick, but it does look pretty cool to have a jet black/grey bit of bread on your plate.
Canele – $3.25
I looked up how to make these and it looks like a complete pain in the ass, so I’m happy that these were good, because I’m never, ever going to try making them (seriously, it involves bees wax). Chewy on the outside, custardy on the inside, not too sweet with a nice caramelization to them. If you like these and want a downtown alternative, try Nemesis.
Lemon cake thingie – $12
Intensely sweet and creamy, with a large amount of effort put into the presentation. This is only for those of you that need to fuel up before a marathon, because the calories from the sugar must be in the tens of thousands.
Other than the above there are breakfast items, pannini’s and about a million different cakes and pastries.
Hats off to La Foret, their staff are friendly, welcoming and full of knowledge about their products. On one visit they were out of something I’d ordered, so they made a point to offer me replacements far over the cost of the original order.
As you make the turn onto Jubilee street the first thing you’ll notice is a big autobody shop. WRONG… that’s La Foret! It’s a monstrously huge venue (I’m guessing 4000sq feet), with giant plants everywhere, more tables than the eye can see, impeccable design and some great communal tables. The bar area looks tiny, but it’s actually a really decent size.
Venture in far enough and you may notice families of monkeys swinging from the many tree branches. I’m also pretty convinced I saw a giraffe.
I live in Vancouver, so it’s a bit of a treck for me, but if you’re in Burnaby I’m sure it won’t take you long to drive there. It’s close to two SkyTrain stations (Royal Oak and Metrotown) as well as plenty of bus stops. The only major gripe I have is that parking is a nightmare. There’s only a few spots in the front, a couple at the back that are usually taken by tables and chairs, and the road parking is really difficult. I had to park a good few blocks away on most visits. I don’t know what the parking was like before they opened but I’d not want to be their neighbors!
With a place so big you definitely need to go overboard on the bathrooms… which La Foret have done. There’s 5 individual rooms, all pristine and meticulously appointed.
Dear diary, I’ve finally found my way out of La Foret! It was an arduous task, fraught with the dangers of wild animals and calorie dense thingamagigs, but I escaped unscathed with a full belly and a respect for their great staff and beautiful eco-system. If ever I wanted to paintball and drink coffee, this place is so big you could get away with it. Good luck getting a seat though, it’s always packed.