Monday, June 3, 2013

The Squirrel Cage Lights Up Windsor!

When I first heard about The Squirrel Cage restaurant opening here in Windsor, I was a little skeptical because let’s face it, so many restaurants that have great potential just don’t seem to last. The novelty wears off quickly. Our image of being a union-mentality/lunch-bucket town doesn't help either.

The Squirrel Cage owners: John Ansell and Steven Thompson

So the owners of the Squirrel Cage (John Ansell and Steven Thompson) are surely pioneers in transforming at least one area of the city into something worth going downtown for again. With all the vacancies surrounding them, you have a little gem called the Squirrel Cage on 1 Maiden Lane, which gives some hope that this once dismal area will soon turn around.

Keeping up with their Facebook page, Sunday brunch sounded like a perfect time to enjoy a nice meal. The charming café has stylish décor and an urban chic atmosphere, plus some really unique art pieces done by various artists that one can admire or even purchase.

You can definitely tell that the interior and exterior (love their cozy outdoor patio upon entering) layout has an organic flow of subtleness with just the right about of pizzazz to appeal to a wide range of customers. Add in the jazzed up music in the background inside and you have a really appealing hub to take your friends, family, business associates or even a hot date.

The best part is that when you walk up the stairs, you’re greeted with a warm smile and that feeling like you’re no longer just a patron, you’re a friend. Although the service was a bit on the slow side and there was no follow-up on whether we wanted a refill on our coffees, they are still ironing out everything and despite these few issues, the hard-work and dedication speaks for itself.

Entering into The Squirrel Cage

Art and comfy seating 
As far as the menu goes, the Squirrel Cage has a number of different dishes to satisfy any of your cravings and aside from the usual panini sandwiches and soups that people rave about at lunch time, their brunch options offer a lovely chicken gourmet salad, french toast with blueberry compote, eggs benedict, my personal favourite, quiche, and much more. Desserts are simple from brownies and cookies to banana bread, and so I would definitely like to see what they could come up with for someone with an extra sweet-tooth. The portions are large enough to leave you feeling full, but not overly-stuffed and the quality is superb. Each dish is also plated perfectly, as well.

What's cookin? :)

My meal consisted of the ham/veggie quiche, which was nice and fluffy, with a delicious crispy crust as you can see in the photo. The eggplant and peppers on the side had a tangy marinade. Lastly, the home fries were so tasty that I could have definitely enjoyed a bit more on my plate.

The other entrée was a delicious chicken salad with fresh mixed greens, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, with a zesty balsamic dressing.

After the meal was done, it was tough to leave and go back out onto the empty streets of Windsor. Having a place like The Squirrel Cage around is a reminder of why I haven’t quite given up on Windsor yet and why you shouldn't either.

To find out daily specials and upcoming events, check out The Squirrel Cage on Facebook.

PS. Is it the place to go for celebrity spotting too?