Friday, August 15, 2008

Restaurant Review: Sunshine Cafe

Back when feta cheese was exotic in these parts (no, I am not kidding), the Sunshine Cafe was Rossland's semi-fine dining mecca. A great lunch and dinner place serving fresh salads, good burgers, chef-created dinner entrees, and it had good house-made cheesecake. Their signature was a feta and dill dressing whose recipe was a closely guarded secret. I had many a meal at the Sunshine, as it is referred to by locals, and they did take-away, too. Eventually, they branched out to breakfast. I worked for two years at a business kitty corner to the cafe, and I frequently ordered lunch from there, and the chef was a regular at my workplace, too. He was a nice guy and he had the market cornered.

I left in 1994, and when I came back in 2006, feta cheese was easy to come by at the local overpriced grocery store and the Sunshine Cafe had changed hands. And according to all sources, it had gone down the toilet considerably. When the new owners took over, they got the feta dill dressing recipe as part of the deal, but the Sunshine was never the same. I never went back, and I discovered that The Flying Steamshovel does a decent feta dill dressing now anyways.

In the last few months, the Sunshine has again changed hands. It had been for sale for the two years I'd been back, and finally someone bought it. It's been renovated and repainted, the menu has been updated, there is fresh specialty baking and decent coffee on offer, and from all accounts I'd heard, it was now a great place to eat for not a whole pile of money. Shortly after it opened, I stopped in to take a look because the signs outside touted home-baked goods, many of them gluten free, sugar free, and/or dairy free. I had a brownie that was pretty darn good. Earlier this week, my brother and I went there to have lunch.

The menu is colourfully displayed on a board at the front of the cafe, and as you can see, there is nothing earth-shattering on it. There is an all-day breakfast option after 11am, and twice a week there is a dinner menu with four specials that change each time. Simple though it may seem, the lunch we had today was great - back to the fresh and well-prepared food of the Sunshine heydays. Because I love Clubhouses, that's what I had. It was your typical triple-decker, and contained sliced Black Forest ham, turkey, and swiss cheese. The soup today was butternut squash, so I opted for fries. My brother had a chicken burger (there is also a beef, veggie, and salmon option) with ham, swiss cheese, and mushrooms, also with fries (we're not a squash-loving bunch). Because the kitchen has been opened up, I could view other dishes as well, and the salads looked well-portioned and appetizing. The baking on offer included banana huckleberry muffins, a huckleberry turnover, and a gluten free cranberry brownie. For dessert, opted for the brownie. Now, it is gluten free, so I didn't quite know what to expect. It was dry. Though it was tasty, the texture left a lot to be desired, but I guess if you can't have wheat, it would be a pretty good treat.

The Club with fries was $9 and my brother's burger about $10. For not a lot of money, we had a really nice lunch, and I can say with confidence: the Sunshine Cafe is back! Woo-hoo!

Edit @ 2:45pm: This post was actually written on Monday. Today, I once again had lunch at the Sunshine, this time with my other brother. I had a chicken burger with bacon, swiss, and sauteed mushrooms. The burger was served on a multigrain bun with spring mix, tomato, mayo, and red onion. It was excellent! Once again, the Sunshine delivered!

1 comment:

Gardenia said...

Feta Cheese Dill dressing sounds heavenly!


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