The Grounds Cafe in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland
I was just sitting here, struggling to come up with a pun more clever than “finding the garden of eating at The Grounds Cafe,” when it all became clear. The Grounds Cafe located inside Murray’s Garden’s in Portugal Cove and couldn’t have a better name — guys, the ‘grounds’ in the cafe’s name refers to coffee grounds AND dirt, like for gardening. Genius. Alright, I won’t beat around the bush, let’s talk about this great cafe. I had read about this place at the beginning of last summer, it took me another couples months to get there, and here I am in the dead of winter writing about it. Better late than never though right? My girlfriends and I were seeking a new place to meet up for coffee and The Grounds Cafe seemed like the perfect place.
Since I first visited The Grounds Cafe, they have really upped their game — from simple pastries to tofu noodle bowls and hosting amazing communal dinners like the Well & Good Dinner I photographed back in October. They also had a small Christmas market and have hosted a series of workshops, like foraging, wreath making and even pottery throwing. What once was a place my mom went to buy topsoil has become a community hub!
The surroundings at the Grounds
We arrived mid-morning to a huge brightly lit room. This Cathedral of hanging green plants plants and colourful artwork felt like the ideal place for an-hours long girlie chat. In the corner, a local rug-hooking group was chattering away, adding a warmth to the bright white space with concrete floors. The smell of coffee, fresh baked pastries, flowers and dirt was intoxicating.
Butter me up, honey
Both ladies with me, Vanessa and Meghan, ordered breakfast sandwiches, paired with coffee for the former and milky tea for the latter. The veggie breakfast sandwich was basically like a small spinach omelette on a crispy-outside-fluffy-inside country biscuit. Squeeze in some melty cheese and you’ve got a party on a plate. The ham and cheese sandwich also came on a biscuit with greens aioli and honey butter ($6.95).
Flowers in the salad, appropriately
I hadn’t eaten yet that day, so I was looking for a heartier meal. I went with the kimchi quiche and a side green salad ($11.00) and devoured the small quiche, which packed quite the punch. Kimchi is heavy on flavour and dominated the egg-y filling of the quiche in the best kind of way. Appropriately, The Grounds Cafe’s gorgeous green salad was topped with orange and yellow pansies and lightly dressed in a flavourful vinaigrette.
The cafe is perfect for a mid-week catch up with your girlfriends, or a weekend brunch at the end of a mini-roadtrip to the Cove. Occasionally they toy with doing a dinner service, and they are licensed too, so having a beer in the garden of eating is a possibility now. Plus you can pick up your fertilizer on the way out too. This community centre meets farm-to-table dining meets garden centre makes The Grounds Cafe a one-of-a-kind food destination in the city.