Up to some personal one-on-one strength training this fall? Along with the fitness centres, of course, come the attendant protein-shake and juice bars. But here’s a model that goes one further: a gym and a café.
Ten bays north of Art-Is-In Bakery is the best panini ever, as well as some dynamite desserts. Victory Caffe is the brainchild of Anna Barone, owner of Victory Performance Centre where she’s also the chef. Barone aims to help people get back on track in terms of their bodies. Her café started off as encouragement for clients to eat what’s good for them or, in Victory’s case, what’s good, period.
You can tell by the sources — Purebread and Waratah Downs Organic Farm, for example. But you can also tell at first bite. Like Smokie the Salmon panini, with goodly amounts of both smoked B.C. coho salmon and arugula. For even more flavour, this sourdough sandwich is also filled with cream cheese, house-made scallion mayonnaise, and capers. Another panini just as plump and fresh-tasting is made with roast chicken and pesto (both done in-house), avocado, and havarti. Pepitas give crunch and dried cranberries a burst of fruitiness to a lightly dressed barley salad.
For dessert, dive into the dark-chocolate brownies. Or go for Anna’s Shot: espresso with maple syrup and a little coconut oil may sound odd, but it’s absolutely luscious. As for breakfast, Barone’s magnificent Mookies tread the line between muffins and cookies. Oats, zucchini, and olive oil, yes, but filled with lots of chocolate chunks and dried cranberries too. Guess we’ll never be content with plain old smoothie bars again.
Breakfast $4–$13.50, smoothies $7.50, lunch $5–$11, desserts $2.50–$4.50. Open Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
250 City Centre Ave., Bay 132, 613-686-1725