A little Gem on the Roof
I love the word, ‘Bookends’. Not only it is one of my favorite ‘chic books’ by Jane Green, (Yes, I read all her pink-covered books when I was a single girl along with entire DVD series of Sex and the City). There is something nostalgic, deep and romantic about that word….I’m feeling love.
‘Bookends’…! I’m bringing a few books I haven’t finished. (All downloaded in my ipad. I kind of feel ‘sad’ about this, what happened to ‘real’ books???). I walked up the damn long staircase to the ‘Book Ends Cafe’ located on top of Antioch University. Whew….at this point, I do need a good lunch to replace the calories I just burned walking up these stairs.
First of all, huge outdoor patio comes with the cafe, thanks to the University. At the corner of the huge patio, small door leads me into the cafe. Super cute!
There are students, professors and guest speakers getting lunch, chatting and hanging out…..all of sudden, I feel smart.
Greeted warmly by husband and wife team, Dominic Shiach and Carmen Deforest, I’m immediately drawn to homemade quiche, cookies, and banana bread at the counter. I may hit those even before my lunch. I’m drooling as I click my camera hoping to sit down soon and chow down one of those sea salt chocolate chip cookies.
Dominic grew up in a family where food was more important than….hmmm…family. He studied Restaurant Management at French Culinary Institute in NYC and has been dreaming of opening a restaurant of his own. After moving back to their hometown, Santa Barbara from Brooklyn where he got much of culinary inspirations, he and Carmen jumped on an opportunity of opening a cafe with open arms. Good decision, guys!
Feeling the Roof-Top Love
The cafe is quietly located above Antioch University right by Saturday farmers market. Guess where they get all the ingredients. That’s right, my friend! They use all local, responsibly grown ingredients and make mostly from the scratch. Food is simple yet delicious. You can really taste the quality of each ingredients. And most of all, I can taste the love. Everything is made with LOVE. It sounds weird, but when I taste food, I can tell if it’s made with love or not……it’s my sixth sense! And these simple food is prepared with love in deed.
Brisket Banh Mi is one of the most popular sandwiches. Slow roasted brisket, pickled carrots and radish, cilantro and Jalapeno vinaigrette – very tasty and flavorful!
Carmen’s favorite, Pickled Beet Sandwich is made with roasted pickled beets, feta, kalamata olives and smoked Aioli. It’s utterly delightful.
Lemony Chickpeas Salad sandwich is no doubt my favorite – marinated smashed chickpea salad, avocado, market lettuce and Tahini Harrisa dressing. It’s nutty and tangy…it had me at the first bite.
Let’s don’t forget salted chocolate chip cookies. Chewy cookies with big chunk of dark chocolates with touch of salt flakes on top. Am I on the rooftop or in the heaven?… Without knowing, my white cookie bag is empty.
They not only serve delectable sandwiches, they also serve local Kombucha, local green star coffee, homemade granola, fresh deli salads made daily (with love!) including ‘fresh made’ pasta (mission rose pasta Co) salad, local snacks and McConnell’s ice cream. You can’t get more ‘local’ than that! You do feel like you are truly a part of the community here. Their deli salad changes everyday depending on what fresh ingredients they get, so you can basically go there everyday and never get bored.
What a perfect spot to do your work, (free wifi!) homework, study or just to escape for a few hours from your roommates or significant others when you need your space. Do you remember the Sex and the City episode where Carrie had to escape to a coffee shop to write when Aden moved in? Sometimes we all need a little space. The patio is huge, you can have all the space you want! Your quiet little sanctuary…plus yummy food. I feel LOVE.