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Monday, June 18, 2012

Circus, Circus

If you've ever visited Circus Books and Music on Danforth, just west of Jones, you'll know why Pioneer was extremely excited to find out about Circus Coffee, the new cafe that opened up next door to Carter's Ice Cream. The above mentioned bookstore is one of our "go to" destinations for any type of reading quest, so we were sure that the same brand of "cool kid without trying" would be found at its Danforth East outpost.

After procrastinating for a number of months (they opened in October!), Pioneer finally made the trek and it definitely did not disappoint.

The small cafe/coffee house is an unpretentious, laid back space - it's kind of like walking into that first post-grad bachelor apartment in the Annex (with just enough room for a futon and a hot plate!). Bookshelves with interesting reads line one of the walls, and a communal table that seats eight to ten stands front and centre.

The inside-out kitchen was a conscious design decision by Circus impresario Ron Duffy.

"This space is small, and we didn't want to be 'behind' a counter so we created a sort of unconventional floor plan, " explained Duffy. "There's a larger prep-kitchen downstairs, the only downside being that we have to run downstairs to the rice cooker for every rice bowl order - and there are a lot at lunch time!"

Speaking of rice bowls, this was the thing that will keep Pioneer coming back. The combo of guacamole, hummous, julienne carrots and beets, with some other veggies on top of brown rice was just what the doctor ordered after one of Pioneer's famous junk food binges. Duffy also serves up a vegetarian dairy free soup every day, plus a crock pot of chili is often bubbling away.

Lunch was even more enjoyable with a vinyl of ambient tropicalia playing on the record player in the corner. Screeeeech.....wait a minute, did you say record player?? Yep, we sure did. You won't find an iPod docking station at this joint. They're kicking it old school!

Regardless, old school or new school, it's worth a try even if it's just for a cup of joe (organic and fair-trade mind you) on your way to work. You won't be sorry!

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