Momento Coffee House


It’s pretty rare that I come home from an food or beverage experience and go straight to the computer but today that’s what I’m doing. Why?

momentocoffeehouseBecause I just came back from a really excellent beverage experience. I had been cleaning the house all day with the reward in mind of trying this new place, Momento Coffee House at 2766 West 4th (at MacDonald).

I arrived just at closing time but they were so welcoming I came in anyway. The owner Rick asked what I was after and I said, “Something cold.” He proceeded to whip (literally) me up a maccha iced tea using the apparently highly prized Jagasilk Dragonfly. This is quite a performance and worth watching. He added fresh lemon juice and cane sugar syrup and presented me with this vibrantly green drink. I was a mite trepidatious as I haven’t loved the hot matcha tea I’ve had in the past but this was something different. The lemon really set it off and there wasn’t any of the “dusty” mouthfeel I’ve encountered previously. Bear in mind I know less than zero about matcha or any other tea, but this was a refreshing and unique drink. Though pricey at $5.50 for what I think was 12oz, it was worth every penny.

I’ve been waiting for this place to open ever since I noticed they were going to be serving Intelligentsia. Apparently the 15-month wait was largely due to city hall delays (boo!) but Rick has a philosophical attitude and is raring to spread the word on the quality stuff he is brewing and serving. Next time I will try some of their coffee. They have Hario brewers that are quite intriguing. He auditioned a lot of different coffees including Stumptown before settling on Intelligentsia. I really liked how psyched about coffee and tea he obviously is, and it appears his staff feel the same way based on the barista named Rod who was in attendance.

And what if you are hankering for a snack with your Dragonfly or Intelligensia? You are in luck. The baked goods are made specially for Momento by an Italian woman who came out of retirement to supply the store. I took a ham and cheese scone ($2) home to try tomorrow a.m. and while we were chatting Rick insisted I try the orange and the lemon madeleines ($1 each or 3 for $2.50). I know nothing about madeleines but these are wonderful. Lots of real flavour, light but with a bit of a chew, so very tasty. And he plied me with a chocolate one as I was leaving which I can tell you was better than most chocolate confections I’ve had — like the best two-bite brownie ever. No preservatives used in any of the baked goods either it appears. He also has a breakfast sandwich and several grilled options with lunchier fillings, plus a pear tart…

The place is lovely inside too with yellow and red walls and a signature piece of art entitled Momento (as in the Spanish word) from whence came the shop’s name. There is also an installation of Jesse Read photos of graffiti in Rome that is intriguing — almost 3D.

So if you’re in the hood, heck even if you’re not, considering dropping by. New hours starting Monday are 6 am to 8 pm and (glorioski) he is hoping to stay open till even later soon. Finally, somewhere to go for good coffee after dinner!

Last modified: July 21, 2009

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