Have you ever checked out a website prior to going to that particular restaurant? Did you expect it to be an extension of the restaurant itself? Of course you must have. Well, this was the case when my guest and I checked out Caffe’s Niche website, but we felt like it just didn’t offer the same flow in person. Simply put, the restaurant had a different vibe. Though its architecture and website portrayal is industrial, the interior decorating seemed a bit too warm for the exposed brick, ceiling piping, and stainless steel foundation. I would say that it was more modern, but with a bit of a girly touch. As my guest pointed out, there seemed to be a decoration conflict. It would seem to flow better if the walls were of a steel grey or cool blue color. Their website, as cool as it is, isn’t an extension of the personality of the cafe, but still, there was beautiful natural lighting and the space was pretty clean.
Caffe Niche offers only the brunch menu on Sundays. What is the deal with brunch in SLC? Why do a majority of restaurants offer brunch? Brunch seems so outdated. Is it to justify that I can order an alcoholic beverage way before 5:00 hits? Yes? In that case, one special blossom drink, please.
My guest ordered a lunch item: the blackened fish tacos which came along with corn tortillas, cabbage and a cream sauce. My guest describes her thoughts about her meal, “Had there not been a cream sauce, these tacos would not have even been mediocre. The fish was blackened and had a good flavor to it, but all around it was a generic fish taco. Everything that is expected on a fish taco was there, but nothing to set it apart from the hundreds of fish tacos I’ve had in the past. When I ordered the fish tacos, the waitress said ‘good choice’, I’m not quite sure what made these tacos better than tacos from another restaurant, but the fish was definitely fresh tasting.” Do you think she will order these again? Probably not.
I ordered the coconut pancakes, because it is apparently the bestselling brunch dish. As anybody knows, all the ingredients it takes to make this can hang out in a pantry and so… the quality of the ingredients were on par with what you can find in your own kitchen. I don’t think pancakes can be served with any flair. Still, it could have been nice to have freshly grated coconut on top of the cakes. But, I did appreciate that the syrup stayed in the middle of the plate. After my first bite I thought, “What a (literally) sweet dish.” Well, hello! Salt Lakers have quite the sweet tooth. It was beyond my sweet tolerance and I needed something to balance it out. One order of sausage please. Ok…I’ll settle for non-crispy bacon. Sigh. I don’t mind eating bacon, even though I don’t eat it often. But, a link or patty would have been far better in my opinion to soak up the syrup on the plate. Drats.
What could have been better about this Caribbean sounding paradise dish? Add more coconut. I didn’t taste any. Neither did my guest when I offered her a bite. Plus, offering a side of protein – even if it comes á la carte without my request – would have added that much more to my experience. Even though this is the popular item of their brunch, let’s be honest – any place could sport a stack of cakes. Regretfully, it wasn’t so great that I would head back to Niche for this brunch item. In addition, I wasn’t a fan of the special blossom drink, but glad I gave it a shot. The taste all around wasn’t so pleasing, and the aftertaste wasn’t a highlight either.
Above all, our server seemed knowledgeable enough, though her opinion on drinks was not to my liking. She was nice and helpful. She was there to take care of us and was respectful of our decisions. She was a solid server. Wish the brunch food would have reflected that same sentiment.
Rating – I would be willing to return to Caffe Niche for lunch which they have nailed in prior experiences.