Nestled comfortably on Highway 14 between Sooke & the popular surfers haven Jordan River is the tiny community of Shirley, British Columbia…distinguishable only by its hard-to-miss roadside wooden sign and the most adorable little cafe tucked into the greenery - Shirley Delicious.
Apart from looking like a cabin straight out of a disney movie - the parking lot of Shirley Delicious was consistently packed with surf-board topped cars whenever we drove by during our stay in the area - so we knew we had to give it a try.
Shirley Delicious business partners Sheena & Phil have a history that is almost as adorable as the the cafe itself. On Salt Spring Island in 2009, Phil gifted Sheena's mom (a friend) with a bottle of Australian Shiraz to be opened on Dec 21, 2012 when the world was set to end. Sheena accompanied her mom to visit Phil in 2012 with the fateful wine bottle and upon discussing the cafe - a partnership began. With the doors to Shirley Delicious opening in March of 2013 - the rest is history! Clearly this is a match made in business heaven because when we arrive... every table is full and there is a line-up to the door. Despite the crowd, Phil (hailing from Cape Town, South Africa) is being greeted by name by several newcomers walking into the cafe, and he doesn't skip a beat in welcoming each person (locals & tourists alike) and simultaneously running the espresso bar.
It was 1:00PM when we arrived, and we were both very hungry and feeling a bit sluggish from an active morning of exploring the stunning nearby French Beach Provincial Park. We opted for a couple of fresh sandwiches and a Black Chai (for me) and a Mocha for Kris.
The chai and mocha were so creamy and delicious - and the latte art was on point! Isn't it so much more cozy and fun to drink?!
We had to wait a few moments for a free table, but when it opened up, it was tucked into the back corner right beside a window, and the soft rain outside with comfort food on its way for lunch made for the coziest atmosphere ever! I loved every special little nostalgic touch that made this cafe so personal.
My sandwich was the Conversano, which was a veggie blend (roasted leeks, eggplant, bell peppers and zucchini) with creamy brie on focaccia. The focaccia was divine and so fresh! The sandwich was super hearty and very tasty - though swapping the mayo for a tart basil pesto would take it to another level.
Kris opted for the Amanzimtoti which was tuscan ham, cheddar and grilled pineapple also on the house focaccia. Kris loved the focaccia as much as I did, and we wished we could take a loaf home! It was that good. He loved his sandwich and thought it was very creative and something he would definitely order again.
Next up was dessert, and while our bellies were definitely satisfied… the desserts were the real winners here.
First was a Gluten-Free Blackberry Lime Bar. I am such a sucker for anything that has that sweet yet tart & tangy citrus kick. This nailed it! It was like a mild key lime pies sexy older sister. So dayum good.
And then, my friends, came the game changer. The literal cherry on top of the cake. It's a mouthful - but a delicious one. The Cherry Espresso Cheesecake Brownie.
I don't even know how this is possible. This brownie deserves an award, or a plaque, or maybe even to rule its own country. It's rich, dense, the perfect balance of flavours, and SO freaking amazing I cannot actually EVEN. I would probably offer up my first born child for this recipe. Seems appropriate given the fairy-tale-ish-ness of the whole general building. Easily the best brownie I have ever had. Well played Shirley Delicious - well played.
I love to hear from you! Where is the cutest little cafe you have been to? Send me a tweet @wayfaretrail or better yet - send me your pics on instagram (@wayfaretrail).
Love you guys!