Drop by City Cafe for a vegetarian meal and an opinion
City Cafe in Lawrenceville is a great place for lunch if you don't mind eating breakfast.
You also have to forget meat, because City Cafe is strictly vegetarian.
"I don't eat meat, and I wouldn't serve it," says owner Emil Lester, who moved the cafe when he lost his space in Market Square almost a year ago.
None of that should matter, though. Lester's offering of seven baked omelets (all at $6.95) are tasty enough to create a good lunch. The flavors are not necessarily breakfast-like either, and get away from a mild cheddar-and-veggies combo. The Italian omelet is filled with peppers, tomato and mozzarella, the Mexican features onions, peppers, potatoes and mozzarella, and the Greek has feta, black olives and green onions.
Of course, if a milder breakfast or a light lunch is sought, there is the Dainty Breakfast of poached eggs, fruit and a bagel, or even the Country Breakfast of pan-fried eggs, whole-grain bread, preserves and a side of fresh fruit (both $5.95).
Taking a step above that is the Spicy Egg, Cheese and Burrito Grande with salsa and fruit ($5.95).
There also are simpler breakfast items such as oatmeal with steamed milk, brown sugar, raisins and fresh fruit, or granola with yogurt or fresh fruit and milk (both $4.25).
Lester also serves a daily vegetarian soup for $4.95 or soup and a bagel for $5.95, the latter of which "is big enough for a lunch."
But there is more to the City Cafe than the breakfast and lunch offerings. It is easy to get Lester to offer his thoughts on matters, although he doesn't force them on anyone.
But he holds automobiles and cigarettes in the same disregard as he does eating meat. He bicycles to work from Point Breeze every day and will expound readily on the senselessness of the automobile. On one chilly day recently, he opened the front door of the City Cafe to air it out after the departure of a customer whom he said obviously had cigarette smoke on his clothes.
"It is a true cafe," says customer Chris Chapman of Bridgeville. Chapman, who works for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, became a City Cafe fan when it was in Market Square and still makes trips to Lawrenceville to get a taste of the food -- and Lester.
Chapman talks about the atmosphere of the place being one of its best aspects. With generally classical music in the background, Lester making everything per order and the chances of a good conversation, a stop at City Cafe is far different from a visit to a fast-food chain.
The owner's opinions and his ease at discussing matters make City Cafe an appropriate spot to settle back with a La Prima Fair Trade Organic French Roast coffee ($1.75 for 12 ounces, $2 for 16), espresso ($2), cappuccino ($3) or latte ($3).
Lester also serves seven varieties of fresh-brewed hot or iced tea at $2. The iced tea, by the way, comes in a 16-ounce glass still bearing its bag, a different touch for the colder variety.Additional Information:
Location: 4502 Butler St., Lawrenceville
Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Weather closes Penn State for first time in 8 years
- 11 Ligonier Township residents rescued by boat from floodwaters
- PA Turnpike reopens between Breezewood, Carlisle after crash is cleared
- Shania’s first tour in 11 years includes Pittsburgh stop
- Penguins need trade-deadline acquisitions to bring toughness
- Artist born without arms, legs gives Hampton students peek into her world
- ‘Time for bold change,’ Wolf says in outlining $30B state budget
- Blue Jays’ Martin has ‘nothing but praise’ for former Pirates teammates
- Safety Vinopal, former teammates perform for NFL scouts at Pitt’s Pro Day
- McCandless man, Heidelberg police chief settle civil rights lawsuit
- Police at Uniontown solve 1970 cold case homicide of 17-year-old, but suspect has died