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Restaurant Review: City Cafe

The Bala Cynwyd spot shares a building with other businesses, including Clear Channel Radio.

Restaurant:

Address: 111 Presidential Blvd., 2nd Fl., Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Rating: (out of 5 stars): ★★★
Style: Breakfast and lunch cafe

Food: Breakfast staples (bagels, cereal, coffee, etc.), sandwiches and soups
Atmosphere: Brightly lit but not much else
Parking: Lot
Service: Friendly and casual
Price Range: Most items are under $10
Unique Feature: Extensive beverage selection

There is a small but noticeable sign that says “City Café” in a small patch of grass along Presidential Boulevard. I had driven by it a few times and was curious as to what it was exactly. I finished up a round of morning errands determined to find out. I parked my car and entered the building where there was no signage. I hopped in the elevator and pushed “1”. The elevator doors opened up and there was an employee entry card swipe preventing me from entering the locked doors ahead of me.

Not one to give up easily, I got back in the elevator and pushed “2”. This time the elevator opened onto a floor without secure doors and I wandered the corridors until I found my destination. Oddly located for random passersby but ideal for those that work in the office building, the City Café serves breakfast and lunch items. While there are numerous tables and chairs, I would imagine that the majority of the guests grab their food and go as the cashier was surprised that I wanted to actually sit down and eat my late breakfast.

It’s a starch heaven with cereals, oatmeal, Philly soft pretzels, bagels and more greeting you on your way into the café. I noticed the coffee was La Colombe (my favorite) and that there were numerous teas, sodas, juices and even coconut water available to satisfy your thirst. I ordered the lox platter, a small coffee and grabbed a coconut water for later.

I waited at a four top next to the large windows. There is a great view of the pagoda building and the nonstop traffic on Presidential Boulevard. It may not be an ocean view but I found the bright sunshine and humdrum of daily life passing below me strangely appealing. My coffee tasted a bit stale and as I literally got the last drop from the thermos, I’m sure it wasn’t as fresh as it could be. The coconut water hit the spot as always. I would strongly urge you to reach for coconut water instead of energy drinks or sport drinks as it is a natural electrolyte replenisher.

My lox plate came with what appeared to be a hybrid between smoked salmon and cooked salmon. The slices were thick, meaty and matte. There was a subtle smokiness to the fish and it tasted OK. I did appreciate the tomato, red onion and cucumber accoutrements. The bagel was nicely toasted and chewy on the inside. It wasn’t much to look at it in the plastic container but I whipped up a beautiful and tasty breakfast. My secret is to season the vegetables with salt and pepper.

While my breakfast wasn’t the greatest in the history of breakfast, the price was right (lox plate was $5) and I appreciated the large beverage selection. The service was friendly and if you work in the building, the location can’t be beat! 

Hava Nigela January 14, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Hi Clara from the look of it, it looks like it may be Kippured Salmon otherwise they don't know what they're doing. My advice, if ever thinking of ordering that, stick to the Delis!

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