By: Jared Alvarez
The Whisk Cafe seems to be exactly what Elizabethtown needed. I first had a chance to visit on a bitter cold morning a mere three days after they opened. I met a friend for coffee and breakfast. It was 6:30, and the place was nearly empty. A waiter sat us just beside the main door and in front of the to-go counter, a fine spot until the morning rush began. People were in and out of the door just behind us, leaving us washed in a blast of cold air.
Hoping to stave off the cold, I ordered a dark chocolate and raspberry Artisan Espresso. I wasn’t prepared for the sheer size of the drink: the “cup” it was in could be more accurately described as a soup bowl. I certainly wasn’t complaining, though. It was flavorful without being overly sugary.
Owner Amy Kreamer did extensive research on the source of her coffee, tea, and syrups. She eventually settled on the award-winning Red Rooster Coffee, Swallow Tail Teas, and J.T. Copper syrups from Floyd Virginia. Her research paid off, as the drink options are extensive, interesting (hello, lavender syrup), and well-crafted.
To accompany my espresso, I elected to order the Holy Burrito, a breakfast burrito filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, cheddar cheese, and salsa and avocado on top. It was a delicious combination, if slightly under seasoned. My friend ordered the Harvest Omelette. The omelette had a lot of potential: the ingredients were tasty, but it was a bit heavy on the butter.
Another reporter who visited described a similar experience: great service and atmosphere, with food that was a bit hit or miss. When she visited with a friend on a Saturday afternoon, they found the cafe packed. She ordered a house blend coffee and described it as robust without the bitter note that plagues other full bodied coffees. Her Lox Platter came with smoked salmon, sliced red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, capers, cream cheese, and fresh dill with an everything bagel. The ingredients were fresh and plentiful, and the plating was beautiful.
Her friend, who is vegan, was excited to find several vegan options on the menu. She first ordered the vegan eggs, but the chef could not get them to work. She instead tried the vegan “pancake,” which was pancake in name only - it was more akin to baked oatmeal. However, it was flavorful, especially with the complementary peanut butter and blueberries. Her Get Your Greens smoothie was fresh and the ingredients blended perfectly. Our reporter noted that, while their service was quick, some other tables experienced long waits. In all fairness to the cafe, however, it was its first operational week, and it is safe to say that they were slammed by the Saturday lunch rush.
When I returned on a weekday over lunch, it wasn’t busy and the service was prompt. While the menu boasts a variety of conceptually appetizing options, the trend of hit-or-miss execution continued. For instance, when I ordered a Blueberry Avocado quinoa bowl, the bowl itself was excellent, but the chicken was overdone.
Despite the few minor adjustments I would suggest, I still give this cafe a wholehearted recommendation. It is unlike any other option in the area, and although there have been some kinks early on, it is still only the second week it has been open. The menu has a lot of potential to be great, and the coffee is excellent.
Check out Whisk between 6 am and 2 pm, seven days a week, in the Masonic complex in Elizabethtown. Order a coffee or hot chocolate, try something off the menu, and enjoy the farm-chic ambiance - this reporter will be doing the same