Birmingham Restaurant Week: East 59 Café

IMG_0697East 59 Vintage & Cafe was founded in Eastlake as a place for community members to hang out, grab a cup of coffee, and check out their vintage offerings. I’m not usually able to work in coffee shops because of the music/friends/acoustics, but everything about this café was extremely laid back. When I got there, I was also surprised to see that the shop was quite full. It was on the early side — about 11:30, but there was already a bit of a wait to get food.

IMG_0692Their Restaurant Week lunch special, a grilled cheese with a side of tomato soup, was a grownup spin on a childhood favorite. The nostalgia was compounded by the use of American cheese and white bread, but the addition of cheddar and pepperjack added a touch of spicy heat. The cheese was pretty melty, and the bread was toasted to a light crisp.

The tomato soup was a bit heartier than I was expecting, but while I was eating, it started pouring down rain outside. As I’ve said before, rain makes me crave tomato soup, and Saturday was no exception. Unlike a lot of other soups, the tomato wasn’t puréed into oblivion, so the texture was varied all the way through.

IMG_0699I was apprehensive about the white chocolate blueberry cookie since I’m not huge on white chocolate, but it was vanilla-y and not overly sweet. It fit perfectly with the trend of remaking childhood treats into grownup food, and seemed to be sized so that you could nibble on it for a quick treat at the end of the meal.

Though it’s a bit out of the way, I’ll probably be going back the next time I need to get out of the house and knock out some work. I’m also looking forward to poking around their vintage store, since there are very few things more satisfying than finding a one-of-a-kind piece to complete a room or wardrobe. With Counter Culture coffee and tasty looking pastries, who wouldn’t?

Check out the Birmingham Restaurant Week website and James Martin’s blog The Sipologist for more Restaurant Week coverage. 

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