Something I avoid is a packed eatery. Crowded restaurants seem more trouble than their worth for me: Congee Noodle House on Broadway, Sentouka Ramen on Robson, and Rangoli on West 11th (Is Vij`s any better?) to name a few. I`ve been to all these places when less busy and after the experience can`t understand where all that hype comes from.
Typically, I`ll turn at the sight of a line. Basho Cafe was my most recent experience with this. A silver lining, though, is that sometimes in my walk away in frustration, I initiate Plan B hatched on the spot and check out a nearby alternative. When Basho annoyed, Pallet Coffee Roasters entered and catapulted itself into my upper quartile of cafe rankings.
Pallet Coffee Roasters (323 Semlin Drive, Vancouver) opened its doors in summer 2014 and is just off Hastings St. across from Vancouver institution, On Lok Wuntun House. It was founded by Sharif Sharifi and Shane Dehkodaei and is named after that well-known transport tool vital to logistics and the delivery of so many things we know and love like coffee beans and tea leaves.
Pallet isn`t just another modern, good looking food-stop with tasteful wood finishings. What sets its look apart from others is the glass wall partition between the roastery/lab/kitchen and main seating space/service counter. With this added complimentary view into operations, there are no secrets and I don`t worry (some of us do if even a little) about shady practices behind closed doors. Combine that with a cool second level mezzanine with seating overlooking the roastery, a diggin` soundtrack put together by employees with good musical taste, and accessible parking, I was happy to have accidentally found a nice cafe to go to in that community gaining more attention as the colourful East Village.
Image Credits: (1,7) Yelp (2,4,5,6,8) cafeyvr.com (3) images.keizai.bizcafe, coffee, pallet coffee roasters, tea, the east village, vancouver