The Place: A business savvy couple, Sarah and Jordan O’Leary were strategic when choosing a location for their independent coffeehouse and sandwich counter. Forget downtown or the trendy west end. They opened Morning Owl in 2009 on a dreary stretch of Rochester Street, a stone’s throw from the desks of hundreds of cafeteria-weary, caffeine-craving government workers.
The Deal: No place for Night Owls (it closes daily at 3 p.m.) or anyone who likes to linger (two tiny tables and a few window seats), efficiency rules this sweet ‘n’ sexy little sandwich shop that will have you out the door with lunch bag in hand in less than five minutes. The expertly pulled espresso drinks also impress. In particular, Jordan’s Australian Flat White (essentially an ultra-creamy caffe latte) is superb.
The Dish: The old-school breakfast sandwich is habit forming; served on a supermarket English muffin with a wedge of pre-baked frittata-style egg topped with bacon and processed cheese. Art-Is-In dynamite buns are the base for a variety of superior sandwiches pressed into warm-crunchy-soft submission. The O’Learys tweet their daily sandwich specials but the regular menu was recently updated to include a fine fresh sliced pork loin (made in-house) on roasted garlic rosemary bread; a B.L.T.G that’s bacon, lettuce, and tomato with guacamole on a jalapeno cheddar bun; and egg salad paired with a potato dill bun. Simple homemade side salads (tomato bocconcini, mixed beans, tortellini, fruit) could probably benefit from an update as well.
The Cost: breakfast sandwich $2.86; other sandwiches $5.31-6.20; Flat White coffee $2.86-3.81
Morning Owl 538 Rochester St., 613-680-8336, www.morningowl.ca