At the Table with Ellie: The Loose Goose

At the Table with Ellie: The Loose Goose

A few mornings ago, I awoke yearning for the real deal breakfast, one that included a large stack of fluffy, cinnamon-y slabs of French toast or maybe light, puffy pancakes drizzled — or even better, dripping — with real maple syrup. I had dreamt of this breakfast throughout interterm, a period bereft of pancakes, waffles and French toast.

Originally, I had planned on going to the Lone Wolf, a casual and comfortable breakfast and lunch café that is conveniently situated on the edge of town. I had anticipated sitting in a booth or at the bar and enjoying multiple cups of coffee while reveling in a plate of French toast. It was going to be amazing, until my breakfast buddy ruined everything. Due to the Lone Wolf’s proximity and convenience, he had dined there multiple times over interterm and now found himself desiring something fresh.

Feeling surprisingly accommodating, I acquiesced. As we fired ideas back and forth, I remembered how my freshman roommate had adored these sandwiches she had gotten from the Loose Goose, a café in town open from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. I recalled her raving about some avocado sandwich and that her boyfriend had even had them delivered on special occasions (delivery is available Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.). I had never visited the Loose Goose, partially because I had no idea where it was but more likely because I had forgotten about its existence until that moment.

Although we drove to the Loose Goose, I would say that it is a reasonable and pleasant walk from campus, only two minutes beyond Starbucks. Were it not for the spears of frigid wind that somehow pierce all of my warm clothes and the practice that my breakfast bud had in 2 hours time, we might have walked.

Upon reaching the Loose Goose, we rushed through the door, seeking sanctuary from the cold. While slowly stripping away our heavy winter gear, we inspected the cheerful and blissfully warm café. To my left, I found a massive chalkboard neatly listing the numerous sandwiches available, and below it stood an open-faced refrigerator containing prepared meals and baked treats such as chai tea muffins. A second chalkboard listed the salads available, while a third, visible once we had stepped towards the counter, revealed the breakfast sandwiches. Other signs advertised such fare as homemade macaroni and cheese, daily soups such as French onion and vegetable chili, and smoothies. A quick glance to my right (I couldn’t stop looking at the boards as I tried to choose an exciting and delectable sandwich) revealed a bright, cheery room that was filled with tables and chairs for customers but was small enough to feel intimate and homey as light streamed through enormous windows lining two sides of the room. Paintings of a loose goose playing a saxophone adorned another wall.

I whipped my gaze back to the sandwiches but caught a glimpse of another board as I did so, this one listing such beverages as cappuccinos, lattes and smoothies. As I perused the breakfast sandwich board and carefully analyzed each option, I appreciated their simplicity: I didn’t feel overwhelmed trying to decide if some component of a sandwich might actually taste good with the rest of the ingredients. A few of your options are the Lucille — egg, sausage and cheese; the Count — egg, cheese and bacon; and the Coltrane — egg, cheddar and turkey. None of these sandwiches costs more than $4. Thankfully, the young woman behind the register waited patiently and answered our questions with ease as I slowly weighed each option, finding myself as indecisive as ever. I finally went with another less-than-$4 option—the Solo, which contains simply an egg and cheese.

After finally ordering our meal, we set our heap of winter clothing on two chairs at a bar facing one of the windows and wandered over to fill our cups with organic and Fair Trade coffee. Soon we were people-watching as we sipped steaming caffeine and listened to the jazz music playing softly throughout the café. After a few minutes of almost painful anticipation, we heard our names.

My stomach grumbled as I walked briskly back to my seat with the paper-lined basket containing my sandwich. With the first bite, I realized that I needed to thank my breakfast bud for insisting we try someplace new. I didn’t care about the pancakes I had craved because these sandwiches were perfect: the heat of the egg had melted the cheese, creating a savory mix of creamy cheese and fluffy scrambled egg that held together with each bite, never crumbling away and falling out of my sandwich.

I say sandwiches because I had to try my buddy’s choice, the Big Band, which is comprised of an egg, smoked salmon, Muenster and scallion cream cheese. I was amazed. His Big Band was on gluten-free bread, but I couldn’t have told you that there was a difference. I had my sandwich on toasted multigrain bread, chosen from a list of whole wheat, ciabatta roll, French baguette and other breads, including the gluten-free option.

Throughout the meal, we agreed that we had made quite the discovery. Since that first breakfast, we have visited the Loose Goose four times. I like this restaurant because it is friendly — some customers are on a first-name basis with the staff — and it has options for diners of all types. Plus, as my breakfast bud realized upon seeing the cookies lining the counter, the Loose Goose is a café by day but Sugar Jones by night. So, if you want a tasty and unique sandwich for breakfast or lunch, consider the Loose Goose Café.