While the timid Vermont morning sun was coming through its front windows, we walked into this very inconspicuous cafe right off Main Street. It had been a nice Saturday morning so far. We had a productive visit to the farmers market not more than a block away. Now it was time for a hot tea and perhaps a small bite to round up this early outing.
August First Cafe greets you right at the door with a comforting embrace in the form of the sweet smell of cookies and toasted bread. To the right , you can see a nook with some old books on an old wooden shelf. The tables are small, with metal stands and are placed close together. There is exposed brick walls all around the room. The chairs, all mismatched as if they had just been gathered a few at a time from disparate sources, are almost placed back to back. The exposed beams and the large duct running the length of the space like a backbone, provide the space with industrial, old world character. It feels cozy, casual, welcoming …an oversize dining room adjacent to an open kitchen that just happens to have a counter loaded with snacks and freshly baked loaves.
It was challenging to make a choice among all the fantastic looking pastries available, but the generous raspberry bar won the day. Some Darjeeling tea and a cup of french pressed coffee and we were off to the races…well not quite. We just sat by the large glass garage door at the front of the cafe that opens up to the small deck. Not being used to this climate yet, we preferred to soak up the warmth from behind the glass rather than venture on to the outdoor seating area. We lingered for well over an hour over our steaming cups, looking around the cafe and talking. Interestingly, there is a sign posted by the register that discourages the use of laptops and most patrons were just conversing and enjoying their food. Certainly, a welcome change from other eateries where everyone buries their face in their own little screen.
The tea was flavorful so I decided to have it without any milk. The raspberry bar had a thick layer of raspberry on top and a soft, almost cookie dough like bottom that held up nicely to the fork. Not too sweet, with a slight hint of acidity from the berries, the bar was just the right thing to complement the hot coffee. It was a medium body, smooth brew with low acidity and a pleasant aroma. Unfortunately, the only available gluten free item that morning was the coconut macaroon. I did not fancy any coconut at the time, but I will be sure to try them next time…maybe with a different type of tea.
August First Cafe is indeed a place where you can linger and enjoy a respite from your busy day. It seems to me like a great spot to grab some lunch, buy some bread for the week or meet with friends to have a really good chat. If you are, like me, looking for alternate gluten free options, they will accommodate your needs by substituting (or rather avoiding) the bread in the breakfast menu. Instead they will provide you with an extra helping of eggs. I recognize the fact that we are not talking about a dedicated GF kitchen by any stretch of the imagination, but they are considerate and careful with the request, which is more than what I tend to find elsewhere. Maybe in the future we’ll see some August First gluten free bread for their sandwiches or breakfast plates. That would be a dream come true. In the interim, try their savory bowls which are made with rice and are suitable for gluten free folks. They will not disappoint you.