Friday, June 24, 2011

Cafe Fantastico (5)

Cafe Fantastico #1  @ 965  King Rd, just off Quadra
Feb 16, 2010

FINALLY, I hit gold again!!!  Unbelievably good Americano.  And when I looked down at the pastry, they had what looked like really good croissants.  I have been often fooled by 'good looking' croissants, and I am even fussier about croissants than I am getting to be about coffee.

I spent a summer in Tours, France, attempting (unsuccessfully) to learn to speak French.  All I came away with was a discriminating appetite for the perfect croissants.  Every morning before class, we would search out a place for coffee and croissants, until we DID find the best place. In France the coffee shops are coffee shops, and the bakery sends over the croissants fresh from the oven early in the morning.  

So I ordered one.  And it was damn near perfect.  The only croissants in Victoria that are as good as this are from Fol Epi, a small bakery that was selling them in the market last year... only not this year, as they have opened their own shop. Sure enough, the croissants were from Fol Epi.   SIGH.... pure bliss.And they send them over fresh every morning.

It's a very busy place, with what appeared to be a very mixed, committed clientelle. Mostly they seemed to do take out and there are not that many places to sit... but there a couple of nice vintage sofas and chairs.  They roast their own coffee, and sell it as well.


Caffe Fantastico #2 1189 Mackenzie, just off Cook
 March 6, 2010

Again, a bit hard to find, but definitely a favorite of locals in a neighbourhood that has a Starbucks, Serious Cofffee and Moka House within blocks of each other.  By my reckoning, the best coffee on Cook Street.
It's in a tiny food court, accessed though the space between buildings that house the carts of a number of street vendors.  Just a couple of chairs and tables, it's more of a 'kiosk' style place for take out. There are several places to sit just outside the food court that would be pleasant in summer.  The food court also contains several ethnic food kiosks as well.   I had the excellent Americano that I am learning to expect at Fantastico.  They have a small offering of pastries from Fol Epi and Bubba Rose's


Caffe Fantastico, Dockside
March 13, 2010
***** their own.
+++++Fol Epi

I finally headed back over the bridge to check out the newest Caffe Fantastico at  Dockside.  I had heard wonderful things about it.  My knowledge of that area is nil, and it took a bit of time to find it but it was well worth it.  It's small, with few tables, and 'fronts' Fol Epi, the bakery that makes, to my mind, the most delicious pastries in the city.  Their croissants are to die for, crispy, buttery and delectable.  Their Chocolate Croissants are incredible.  The coffee was, of course up to Fantastico's high standards, so a cup of coffee and a croissant was enough to put me into a state of bliss.  This would be a great spot in summer, with its large patio facing the water and city across the way.
Caffe Fantastico - Kings and Quadra

Caffe Fantastico #4:  965 Kings at Quadra
March 15, 2010
***** Their own.
+++++ Fol Epi

It's becoming an addiction.  i can't keep away.  Coffee and a fabulous croissant brought me back to Caffe Fantastico and this is the closest to home.  I love the old sofas and chairs, but this old sofa has had it's day and gone.  I will have to return and draw the new one.  It is even better.  This young man was totally comfortable and at home surrounded by his ipod,  camera, ear buds,  his phone and  computer. The coffee shop is the office of the future!

Coffee excellent, croissant also excellent. As usual.

Tre Fantastico - Humboldt St.

Tre Fantastico, June 13, 2011
810 Humboldt St.
***** Coffee
+++++ Fol Epi Pastries.

 It took me a while to find the new version of Caffe Fantastico, but there it was on Humboldt St., across from the entrance to St. Anne's Academy, in a new hi rise.  It is located on a shady, treed street, and is 'the' coffee shop for a new resort and spa time share.  Unlike their other places, this one serves light meals along with their excellent coffee and pastries.  i was in time to have a lovely lunch sandwich, and sat across from this interesting couple making jewellery while sipping their coffee.  i first thought they were street vendors on a break, but another patron asked them, and it turns out the jewellery was all for the young woman, who was wearing some of her handiwork as well.  They both were off duty servers or baristas who worked at Tre Fantastico.  Nice, bright, friendly atmosphere, and lucky Parkside Victoria Resort and Spa to have such excellent coffee shop right there.



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