Every once in a while a cafe comes along that’s so good, so beautiful and has such great staff that you wonder how you ever lived without it. That place is called Olive and Ruby and I highly suggest you go there instead of Willow Cafe Bakery, because no good things will happen if you chose to visit the latter.
Caution: this review has some swearing in it. Wait, nope, it has a lot of swearing in it.
12oz Latte – $3.59
Honestly, I don’t think this could even be classified as a latte. It’s more like supernova temperature milk in half a cup of black slime that is supposed to taste like espresso. I watched the baristas efforts and the workflow was as follows: Start pulling the espresso shot. Watch a 2 oz shot come out. Wait until approximately another 6 oz of water has flowed through. Put aside to cool down. Add milk to pitcher, ensuring to spill lots. Put steam wand into milk and start steam. Walk away and do other things. Wait until the milk has spilled almost half of the contents of the pitcher all over the counter and turn off steam. Pour milk into the espresso. Look at resulting mess. Come to terms with the fact that it’s awful. Shrug shoulders and give to bewildered customer.
As you can imagine it tasted appalling. I’m putting this in as an entry for sh*ttiest latte I’ve ever had.
Turkey Chipotle Cheese Sandwich – $7.29
Look at it – isn’t it presented nicely? Wait ok well, um, isn’t the lettuce, um lovely and green? I don’t know, what do you want me to say here? It was a few layers of processed turkey with some plastic tasting fake cheese. I’m fairly certain there was no chipotle in it. The most amazing thing about this sandwich is that they managed to find tomatoes with absolutely no taste to them. Why? Because f-you science, that’s why.
Apple Strudel – $5
Points here for effort on the size. This thing was as big as a cinderblock, so if ever you needed to prop up the four corners of a car nearby, in order to steal the wheels, Willow Cafe Bakery has you covered! My favorite part about it, aside from being warm on the outside and cold inside, was that it had picked up a turkey taste from being put on top of the sandwich (the gift that keeps on giving!)
Apart from their questionable milk skills, the staff were poor. Not especially chatty or helpful, but at least they didn’t manage to set themselves on fire whilst making my food, which is a plus. For the second half of my 20ish minutes in there they were no where to be seen. One can only assume they had locked themselves in the bathroom and had accepted their fate, rather than realise it was a push door rather than a pull door…
Willow Cafe Bakery looks like every other generic neighborhood coffee shop, however, to add character they’d decided not to clean it. Take a look at the mold on the window sill on the above photo and you’ll see what I mean. This is a corner stone of any cafe and should never, ever be neglected.
It’s right between Cambie and Oak, on 16th so it’s actually not a bad location. There’s lots of free on-street parking and buses are plentiful.
In keeping with the rest of the venue, these were dirty and lacking in any form of comfort. Unless of course you count the rotting empty shelving unit as comfort. In which case, you’re likely a swamp person and have bigger problems to deal with.
Just stop, OK? How am I supposed to say something good about this place? What do you want from me? How about this – Willow Cafe Bakery is an excellent place to run to in the event you’re chased by angry raccoons around Cambie and 16th…. but there’s no guarantee there’s not angrier raccoons inside. Oh and someone let the staff out of the bathroom please, it’s been days.
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