At Café Tiramisu, you can enjoy a pizza calabrese, beet salad, or simple cup of coffee — while, just metres away, your child in the play area is being supervised by staff and your partner practices a yoga sun salutation.
It’s all part of what owner Seble Amelga calls her “lift-me-up” vision.
During her years as a homemaker raising three girls, she dreamed of a place where people could meet friends over good food and be able to bring along the kids.
“When people open cafes, it’s mainly for the food or for the coffee. But what makes [Café Tiramisu] different is, I want to bring a ‘lift-me-up’ experience to this cafe,” says Amelga, who’s referring to the refreshed feeling one gets when breaking free from one’s hectic life.
Its in-house babysitters take children off their parents’ hands, while “Lift Me Up Fitness” lessons are in session. The yoga and Pilates lessons, which are priced per eight weeks, can be attended by both adults and kids.
But this lifestyle-oriented spot is not an anomaly. Other new Edmonton restaurants, such as Noorish Conscious Eatery and Superfood Elixir Bar, offer more than a menu and give a packaged experience.
On the surface, it’s a superbly decorated organic and vegetarian restaurant, but owner Sheniz Kassam is also trying to feed your mind, body and soul.
“We bring people in, lure them in with really amazing gourmet food, and then expose them to different ways of healing themselves, and transforming and understanding what this world is about,” says Kassam.
Downstairs from the dining room, you can find your zen in a meditation den or get colon hydro-therapy. Yes, it’s pretty much a self-administered enema, that’s supposed to rid your colon walls of mucoid-plaque. If that’s not for you, you can order from the menu Gratitude to Greens, a “cleansing elixir” drink.
And for aspiring artists, young and old, Quirky Art Café on 111th Street and 65th Avenue lets you practice your painting talents or get a caricature drawn of you by owner Cathy McMillan, all while you nibble on a pastry. McMillan says she wanted to combine a coffeehouse with creativity, so it’s not just your digestive system working while you’re there, but your right brain, too.
Though all of these places cater to different groups, it’s obvious that local restaurants are thinking outside the to-go box.
This article appears in the June 2012 issue of Avenue Edmonton.