date of visit: Saturday 30 June 2012
So, I used to have a cat called Balthazar – I was naming cats after sizes of Champagne bottle (prententious? not at all – the current cats are named after physicists …). And when I spotted the newly opened Café Balthazar on Fiveash Drive I wanted to visit purely on that basis alone. Despite the massive renovations of the complex (now called Pasadena Green), Café Balthazar, which is very black, silver and sparkly, is easily visible from the road.
We used a trip to do a weekly shop as an excuse to check out the café. After a particularly unpleasant half hour or so in the supermarket, I was more than eager to have a sit down and a coffee and cake.
As I was dropping the shopping in the car, Andy was in charge of my coffee and cake ordering. This meant I had a coconut macaroon tart (yum!) and a cafe latte, which is my standard coffee ordering. However, Café Balthazar offers the discerning coffee drinker quite a choice, including filter coffee (yawn) and siphon coffee. I was pretty ticked off that I missed out on the siphon coffee because, as far as I know, I’ve never had it before. That – and the kit for producing it looks pretty cool. I guess that’s an excuse for another visit …
The cafe latte was good – no reservations at all about it. I see that the coffee also gets the thumbs up over at Coffee Snobs. The coconut macaroon tart (which, judging by the broad selection of cakes, is probably bought in rather than made in house) was good too although I thought that the pastry was a little bit thick. Andy’s coffee éclair looked really tasty and must have been because I didn’t get to try any.
The baby’s high chair matched the décor (black and much more stylish than he’s used to!), and both the babycino and my tart got the seal of approval. The café seems very family friendly – there were plenty of other babies and children around (but, thankfully, NOT running amok).
In a wise move, the café also has an ice cream counter which opens directly into the supermarket entrance. I can imagine that in summer they’ll be doing a roaring business there!
Café Balthazar also does proper lunches and the food I spotted on other tables looked like good, solid servings.
The people of Pasadena should be thrilled to have this café on their doorstep. I always get the impression there’s not too much in Pasadena (I’m happy to be corrected) and the busy, happy vibe of Café Balthazar can only be a plus.