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April 21, 2009

Best Bites: Café Window

Editor's Note:

This is a review of the Vietnamese restaurant Café Window. A new restaurant, called the Café Window opened in the same space in 2011. It serves American comfort food.

97 Blakely Road, Suite 5, Colchester 598-5348

Café Window’s location, right on the edge of Malletts Bay, has housed several different coffee shop/creemee stands, serving frozen treats from the lake-facing window out back. Tom Nguyen, also owner of M-Saigon, expands on the concept with American bagel sandwiches, Vietnamese favorites and unique ice cream treats.

I started with a Vietnamese Lemonade Soda ($2.95) – freshly squeezed, carbonated lemonade with a touch of salt to temper the blinding sweetness. There are also Vietnamese coffee drinks and bubble teas ($3.95) in flavors such as taro and litchi. Tapioca balls aren’t the only mix-in choice – tiny cubes of rainbow jelly are an even more exciting bet.

All the food came to the table blisteringly hot. The basil, sprouts and lime that came with my pho bo vien (meatball soup, $6.95) were out-of-the-garden fresh, as were the cucumbers and lettuce in my noodle dish. The vermicelli with pork meatballs and egg roll was every bit as good, if not better than my M-Saigon favorite. A counter with utensils and a range of sauces sits next to a couple of comfy couches and a coffee table stocked with magazines.

There are homemade cinnamon rolls, coconut jello and sticky rice for dessert, but I recommend screaming for ice cream. I got a Snowman ($4.95), three scoops of a choice of ice creams (mine was green tea) dressed to look like the name suggests with chocolate chips, whipped cream and a cherry. The Love Taste, three scoops in the shape of a heart — drenched in chocolate sauce — was swell, too.

My favorite Vietnamese sandwiches, banh mi – baguettes with marinated meat, pickled carrots and daikons – will be available in the next few weeks, with bread from M-Saigon’s new bakery. I can hardly wait to indulge. Not that I won’t return before that.

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