Being stuck indoors when the weather is fabulous can be a lousy, lousy thing.
That's why the Buds took advantage of the beautiful sunshine earlier this week and enjoyed a leisurely lunch outside at Centre Cup Coffee in Wheeling's historic Centre Market district.
Not only does the coffee shop offer a wide variety of lattes, chai, coffee, tea, frappes and smoothies but also several salad, sandwich and wrap options and a bevy of yummy treats such as cookies, biscotti, muffins and other sweets. Where do we sign up?!
T-L Photo/TASTE BUDS
Fresh Cranberry Walnut and Spinach salads paired with cool frappes. Delish!
Fresh salads at Centre Cup include the Cranberry Walnut, Spinach, Chicken/Egg salad, Wedge, Chef and Garden and cost $4.95 - $5.95. Patrons wanting a sandwich or wrap can choose chicken or egg salad on a croissant or in a wrap, B.L.T., or turkey on a croissant or wrap. Also ringing in at $4.95 - $5.95 they are served with chips and a pickle.
Both Buds have previously attended events in the shop's conference center where they were served the yummy chicken salad on fresh croissants and a selection of fresh fruit - the perfect luncheon fare. The chicken salad definitely earns the Buds approval! This time, however, they were in the mood for fresh salads.
Bud Em - in an uncommon display of personal restraint - ignored the chocolate brownies and fancy cookies that adorned the counter and ordered the Cranberry Walnut Salad composed of a bed of fresh field greens topped with chopped red onion, cranberries, walnuts and shredded cheddar cheese with a delicious Raspberry Hazelnut Vinaigrette dressing. The fresh and healthy salad was just what she needed. Not too big or too small, it was the perfect size for a light lunch.
To make things a little more interesting, she ordered a white chocolate mocha frappe to drink. Admittedly not a coffee drinker, Bud Em wasn't sure how well she would like it.
Well guess what? She didn't like it. She LOVED it.
A four dollar drink addiction has been conceived. Thanks Centre Cup!
Bud Shaunna immediately zoned in on the spinach salad, mostly because the words "Feta cheese" were contained in its list of ingredients. Feta, Bud Shaunna loves you very much! This salad featured fresh baby spinach topped with a generous amount of sliced strawberries, blueberries, walnuts and - of course - Feta, served with a deliciously light Raspberry Hazelnut Vinaigrette. For $5.95, this was a perfect salad for lunch, especially with all the fresh ingredients. It was very obvious that neither of these salads contained pre-packaged anything!
Not really wanting to wreck her healthy lunch too much, but torn by the delicious drink options before her, Bud Shaunna opted for a sugar-free vanilla iced chai latte. The spiced chai flavor has always been Bud S's favorite, but honestly, for being sugar-free, this one tasted quite good! It was a great compliment to a satisfying lunch.
The Buds especially enjoyed eating their lunches at a round table set up right outside the front door of Centre Cup. It was perfectly shaded and we had a bird's eye view of a large part of the Centre Market area. What a fabulous way to spend a lunch time!
If you're looking for something fresh and light, consider swinging by Centre Cup Coffee AFTER breakfast. The drinks are great, but it's definitely worth your time to check out their lunch menu and sink your teeth into something that isn't served in a cup!
The Buds can be reached at tastebuds@timesleader online.com