Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
I'm going to tell you now this review is only partial - I did not sample Heartland Cafe's coffee (Not having coffee at a café! Terrible.) nor did I have any of their baked goods which are all adorably hand-labelled in the display case. I didn't try any of their soups, salads or sandwiches (which all looked very tempting), but I did sample their weekend brunch choices.
That photo up there is of their Spinach Feta Fritatta, which I added a touch of ketchup to before snapping a photo of my last bite. It was an eggy concoction with thick layers of potato and spinach, topped with an herby layer of crisp, melted cheese. But that's not all - the fritatta also came with toast flecked with flax, as well as a small bunch of grapes and slices of orange (sour) and kiwi (sweet).
B. ordered their breakfast burrito, which on first glance looks like a grilled wrap with lots of egg in it, but if you look more closely, you'll see that there's a thin layer of smoky refried beans and cheese. The salsa, flecked with onions and cilantro and filled with spices, adds to the lovely smokiness of the dish, which comes with a side of hash browns.
Heartland Cafe reminds me of the homey cafés I used to frequent as a student, where the cutlery and condiments are all laid out for you to get yourself, and you are encouraged to clear your own dishes at the end of the meal. I ordered a bottle of water, which prompted a strange look from the cashier, and it was only after that I realized that there was a water cooler with a tray of plastic cups on top! It's certainly a place where I see myself hanging out, sipping a coffee, enjoying a pastry and reading the paper or working on my laptop.
I did ask B. to go back with me over the weekend, but at $8-$10 per dish, I'd have to agree with him that it is a little pricey for a place where you order from a counter and mostly serve yourself. So although you won't find me there everyday, I'm sure I'll be back for the occasional coffee or treat.
825 1 Ave NE
Calgary AB T2E 0C2