On The Trail For Tea

And The Food Is Worth The Trip Too

By Rachel Birdsell

TFW Contributing Writer

Trailside Café & Tea Room
546 W. Center St., Unit A

Preamble Ramble

Oddly enough, even though Trailside has been in business for almost two years, I only learned of its existence in the past six months. It took me until last week to try it out. I’m not sure if the reason I didn’t know about it is because I’m extremely sheltered or if there just isn’t much advertising being done. If not, there needs to be. People need to know about this place.

Food for Thought

I was thrilled to see a brunch plate offered. I was even more thrilled to learn that the brunch plate came with a poached organic egg, ham, roasted potatoes, scone, lettuce and spinach salad and mixed fruit. That’s a lot of brunch.
The poached egg that was perched atop the ham was perfect. The white was set and firm, but the yolk was soft and rich and thick and had the decency to ooze all over my ham like any self-respecting poached egg would do.
The ham wasn’t quite as stellar. It had a good flavor, but it was thinly sliced lunch meat-type ham and was served cold.
The potatoes that were tucked under ham were also a bit disappointing. They weren’t bad, but they didn’t taste like they had seasoning on them and they were skinless and were pasty. Kind of like what Rush Limbaugh would be if he was a potato. And nobody wants to eat Rush Limbaugh or even think about him while they’re eating.
The apricot and walnut scone was heavenly. It was made with real butter, and anytime real butter is used in a restaurant, I’m impressed. The only difference between this scone and one I’d make at home is that these were cut before being baked rather than after.
The lettuce and spinach salad was, indeed, just that. It was nothing but lettuce and spinach and the house dressing. The dressing was very good and paired well with the other items on the plate. It was light with just a slight tanginess.
The fresh fruit was fantastic. There was a slice of fresh pineapple and then a medley of apples, kiwi, bananas and grape halves that were all perfectly ripe. I also have to tip my hat to whoever took the time to halve the grapes. It made eating them so much easier, and I didn’t have to worry about nailing a fellow diner in the eye with a grape as I frantically tried to chase it around my plate with my fork.

Bottoms Up

Being a tea room, Trailside has a great selection of teas. I had the Tinderet Estate, which is a black tea from Kenya. It is fruity and malty and absolutely delicious. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I bought some loose tea to bring home with me. All of the teas there are available for purchase by the ounce and are comparable to grocery store prices.

The Sporkcast

(1-5 sporks)

Atmosphere: 3.7 mahogany sporks with palm tree handles
The décor at Trailside has somewhat of a very relaxed, British colonial feel. There are a lot of undraped windows that make it feel much bigger than it is (it’s quite small). There are also a lot of plants, some maps on the walls, and if you look up, you’ll notice sheer white drapes of fabric hanging from the ceiling. Flowers are on every table, and I love that the vases are mismatched.
Food: 3.6 poached sporks
Even though the ham and potatoes were lacking, the rest of my plate was divine. It is something I would definitely order again. Plus, the portions weren’t skimpy. My entire plate was covered with food.
Staff: 3.9 extremely friendly sporks
The entire staff was so completely friendly and was very helpful with my tea purchase. I was well taken care of and felt like I was eating a friend’s house rather than at a restaurant, except they didn’t make me help clean up the kitchen afterwards.
Dollars spent: The brunch plate was $7.95, and for the amount of food I got, it’s more than a fair price. They have other specials throughout the week for the same price, as well as soup, beans and cornbread, chili and hot dogs.
Chance of returning: I will most certainly and definitely return to Trailside. It wasn’t just a brunch; it was an experience and a great one at that. Go try it out for yourself, and you’ll see what I mean.

If you know of a great place, drop me a line at rabirdsell@gmail.com. I’ll check it out and let you know what I think.

Categories: Legacy Archive
Tags: featured