Growler at Large Review: Taloola Café

Category: Growler at Large Review

Kim S.

Viva la vie bohème:
Taloola Café

By Kim S.


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Image courtesy of Kim S.

In “Carey,” Joni Mitchell sings about a little Matala, Crete spot that was popular in the 1960s and went by the name of Mermaid Café. “Come on down,” she trills, “And I will buy you a bottle of wine / And we’ll laugh and toast to nothing and smash our empty glasses down.” I have never been to Crete, nor do I have any information regarding the current status of the fabled Mermaid Café, but when I draw a picture of the place as it would have been in its halcyon days in my mind, it bears a remarkable resemblance to Taloola, a unique Walkerville café with a distinctly bohemian spirit.

Find parking on Assumption or Devonshire, and stroll over to the brick building on the corner of those streets. This is Taloola.

Outside, there is a charming patio lined with yellow pom pom flowers. (I also noticed several containers of bubbles. Whether or not this is a novelty provided by the café to distract its customers while they wait for their food to arrive or if perhaps some whimsical gal or fellow left in a hurry and forgot to take her or his collection of bubbles along is unknown to me. Note to self: conduct further research into bubbles mystery on next visit.)

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Image courtesy of Kim S.

Indoor seating is varied: there are yellow brocade armchairs, benches, standard wooden with could-be-vintage upholstery chairs. Customers place their orders at the front counter, and the food and drinks are then delivered to their table.

While waiting for my food, I took a good look around at Taloola’s eclectic decor. I loved the exposed brick walls, the beaded chandelier, the giant map of the world, and the well-stocked bookshelf. One more noteworthy thing that gave me a chuckle was the clear plastic female torso in the (clean, well-maintained) washroom that bore the following important PSA over its breasts: “Whether you have these or not, don’t forget to roar.” Huzzah for feminist art in public washrooms!

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Image courtesy of Kim S.

The place is full of kitschy personal touches that enhance its character. I’m not going to lie: I had developed a pretty hopeless crush by the time my lunch arrived. Nevertheless, the food is what you want to hear about, no? And so, hear you shall.

Taloola’s menu is extensive, featuring a great selection of reasonably priced healthy vegan-friendly options for breakfast or lunch, as well as a long list of (organic/fair trade) coffees and loose leaf teas. Not to fear meat-eaters, there is plenty to choose from for you as well, such as the kula-turk sandwich – oven-roasted turkey deli meat with a white bean spread, tomato, and cucumber.

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Image courtesy of Kim S.

I ordered the chichi roti (mashed chickpeas, spinach leaves, and a house curry dressing on a vegan-friendly tortilla) and a sweet matcha latte made with almond milk. Everything was colourful, fresh, and delicious. (As far as I could tell, most of the menu items are made to order, so give yourself plenty of time for a nice relaxed meal.)

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Image courtesy of Kim S.

I only wish I’d had more time to grab a cup of coffee and sit back and absorb the atmosphere, people-watch, maybe do a bit of writing. It’s a great locale for the creatively-inclined or for the just plain hungry and/or caffeine-deprived.

Taloola has earned itself top standing in my list of favourite places in Windsor. I fully intend to return one day soon, perhaps to laugh and toast to nothing. I’ll be the one blowing bubbles on the patio. Groovy.

Kim S.‘s Overall Rating GpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-Whole
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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Misty Habib via Facebook May 17, 2013, 5:04 pm

    cute place, a little pricey

    Reply
  • Laurel R.
    Twitter:
    May 20, 2013, 11:49 am

    Taloola is one of my favourite places in Windsor… every time I walk through their doors I feel like I’m home, somehow. Great review – you hit on all the reasons why I love it so very much! My only complaint is that they’re not open on Mondays – my day off… but I guess everyone deserves a break. 😉
    Laurel R. recently posted… So, I’m here. Now what?My Profile

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