Coffee lovers will want to raise their cups at Young Folk and the Kettle Black’s new aromatic location on Victoria Row
© Photo special to The Guardian by Tristan Gray
Christopher Francis is one of the province’s top coffee experts. He uses his skills to roast perfect blends at Young Folk and the Kettle Black’s new spot on Victoria Row.
Ah, Labour Day weekend — everyone’s least favourite holiday as it means the end of something wonderful.
The brilliant Atlantic Canadian journalist Harry Bruce years ago wrote the definitive column for this weekend, called “Labour Day is the Dreaded Bell in the School Yard of the Mind.”
After Christmas, children rush to meet each other with the question, “What d’ja get?” After Labour Day and the first day of school, children greet each other with the question, “Who d’ja get?”
Quite a difference.
And speaking as a teacher of long-standing, the news here is that teachers ask exactly the same question as students on the day after Labour Day.
Labour Day also means the end of this column for another long winter’s nap.
We have found some wonderful new spots and discovered some new tricks learned by some old dogs at some of our favourites.
Chief among the outstanding discoveries of this dining season is the sublime Terre Rouge bistro and quirky little Buono Mangia, both in Charlottetown, and the rollicking and delicious Lobster Barn on the wharf in Victoria.
We missed a couple of highly regarded spots, too. We should have made it to the wonderful King Barbecue out on the Trans-Canada Highway on the way out of Charlottetown, and we never got to Ms. Daisy’s in Summerside to see how they were managing during their thrilling dispute with authorities over a liquor license.
However, one place we did get to (actually two places, now) is Young Folk and the Kettle Black in Charlottetown. What was once a nifty little coffee shop on Water Street has now become something of an empire, having also opened a tiny but very aromatic coffee roastery (is that an actual word?) nestled on Victoria Row.
Owners Adam and Rebekkah Young always seem to have something new on the go with “Young Folk.” Over the winter, they took a big chunk of the main floor of the Water Street location and turned it over to famously creative chef Robert Pendergast who installed a kitchen and immediately started turning out homemade bread, hearty soups, intriguing sandwiches and other surprising delights. Much of their seating was moved upstairs.
Christopher Francis became the friendly face of their new Victoria Row location, where the smell of roasting beans of all sorts now beckons serious coffee aficionados.
Francis is a fascinating person in a number of ways, not the least of which is his coffee sense. While some musicians have perfect pitch, Francis apparently has a perfect coffee palate, which enables him to detect subtle differences in blends and degree of roasting, all by taste.
If you like to drink coffee — and talk coffee — this is the place for you.
And of course, they couldn’t just leave it at that. Suddenly a pizza oven has appeared in the Victoria Row location, and a very tasty breakfast pizza (like an egg-based breakfast sandwich, but on a pizza) is now all the rage in the city area below Province House.
That will be enough for Summer Savoury for this year. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.
And to quote the school kids of Avonlea, “Why ain’t it always summer?”
Each Friday throughout the summer, Bob Gray points readers to quality Prince Edward Island eating establishments in his Summer Savoury column. Suggestions and comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow him on Twitter @bgray5.