The organic herb, vegetable and flower garden that Holly constructed at the back of the Mt Lebanon Caffe came into its own during May. Lots of rain mixed with sunshine will do that I guess. The back porch thereby looking rather beautiful in an industrial sort of way. As soon as we could we started using the herbs in various quiches, salads and significantly in our theme dishes. This month we explored Tastes of Israel. A geo-politically complicated and emotionally charged region with fantastic food.
Despite the confusing on again off again Spring weather, we had a fun month at Orbis Caffe.
March is nearly over, we have had our fill of snow, but not of Tastes of India! This huge country has a vast array of regional dishes influenced by the various prevailing religions and histories. Unfortunately a lot of people only get to experience the narrow range of dishes that have become popular in mainstream western Indian restaurants. This is not to say that these dishes are not delicious but rather that they tend to present a limited flavor profile as this is what "plays in Peoria".
Last year we explored lots of European countries and some of the Americas, so when we were deciding how to kick off the new year, we thought of Asia. This was also strongly motivated by Holly who has a particular liking for various Asian cuisines.
We kicked off in January with Vietnam. The fresh flavors and French overtones made the brunches and the dinner quite delightful. We were a bit obsessed with Bahn Mi after the month ended.
Our old website was built quickly and on a base that was quite unstable. We have built a new one with the help of someone a lot more competent and here it is! Hopefully you've been getting some updates in the meantime through Twitter: @orbiscaffe
The overall information will be similar but a little better organized. We couldn't transfer too much from the previous site and lost all the updates on dinners and catering - oh well... We have some pictures we can upload again and will do so in due course.
Thank you as always for your support.
The food theme for this month is "Tastes of America". We have had various people laugh at this and ask us whether we'll be making hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and the like. This is a bit sad to me but to an extent it validates the choice. We are huge fans of America and in this our first year anniversary month which also coincides with Thanksgiving, we though we would give it a go. There is a wealth of produce to use and a number of distinctive regions and influences that we'll try and explore through the brunches and ending with the dinner which will be on Saturday December 1st.
The Schutte family is heading off for vacation from October 26th to November 4th. We will be a little short staffed and so will have shorter hours. That being said Orbis will have the highly talented John Casamassa in charge so coffee will be great and the place ship shape and Bristol fashion. Sunday Brunch will be limited to quiche, fritatta and our regular food items for the next two weekends. Your continued support and patience over this next week or so will be much appreciated.
August was a fine month. Tastes of Northern Italy brought Osso Bucco, Risotto all a Milanese, fresh made tortelli pasta filled with butternut, Amaretti cookie and Parmigiano to the table along with a collection of buttery, basilly, fontina-ry, asiago-y delight. So yum and so classic.
Once again, summer languor and sloth have coincided such that it has been ages since the last update. Paradoxically though, it has been a reasonably busy period for events and activity at the Orbis and The Orb.
We are pleased to have new signs up at both locations. These are hand done by Tony Purcell, up and coming local artist and friend who also did the scooter murals and internal signage in the store. We are convinced they are a great investment based on Tony's future success. He has just had an exhibition in LA which you can view on his website via our Links page.
Tonight Improvisational Piano with Classical Themes - Douglas Taylor. Sunday brunch - "Tastes of Italy - Sicily" will feature a classic and unusual Sicilian breakfast and delight: granita with briosca. A real icy sandwich.