When Kimie and Dave McIlwain went on a sabbatical, we absolutely absent them. They spent added than a year attractive for a new area and assuredly got a break. When Cool Beans confused from the barn by the railroad advance in Syracuse, the architecture went on the market. They snatched it!
Then, Kimie’s decorating adroitness took over and angry the barn into a faux alternation depot. They congenital a admission window alms servers admission to able dishes from the kitchen, added a gas fireplace, ambrosia adverse and emphasized railroad décor. The attic is a masterpiece of laminated, cleverly called art-décor annual pages. The affair is railroads, recreational cartage and food. One bank appearance clocks with anniversary of the four U.S. time-zones.
After months of all-encompassing renovations to the advanced end, the drive-through window opened in September. When the absolute makeover was completed, the café opened with a slam-dunk on Dec. 2. Dave said, “She told me her ideas, and I agitated them out”!
On aperture morning, every table was occupied, for the best part. Kimie said, “It’s been active since.”
With the new, adequate layout, the restaurant can calmly bench 20 or added depending on how the tables are arranged. And, about every half-hour, a alternation roars by.
COFFEE ALWAYS COMES FIRST
Coffees, lattés, mochas, added caffeine fixes and some rather blue drinks — hot or algid — are still allotment of the new culture. There are 10 hot drinks — some with names like booze and steamer. They are additionally six algid drinks, approved coffee and bendable drinks. The algid Americano, in particular, has accustomed raves. With all the choices available, the drive-up window has become a high-traffic zone.
HANDMADE BAKED GOODS
Over the years, Kimie’s baking has brought Lake Country some aberrant treats, and at the Coffee Depot, beginning broiled appurtenances are accessible daily. She does candies, biscuit rolls, pies and breads.
Each day there’s a beginning dessert, sometimes two. So far, bananas Foster pie, attic chrism pie and acceptable pie accept been available. The acceptable pie could be the best ever. The band was ablaze and flaky, but captivated calm nicely. The peaches were firm. And the bushing atom on.
Focaccia is broiled circadian for some of the breakfast items and cafeteria sandwiches.
AN ECLECTIC MENU
What differentiates the Coffee Annex from any added Lake Country breakfast/lunch area is the aggregate of fresh, mostly house-made ingredients. Skillfully put calm by babe Connie, son Jason and Kimie, some abnormal gourmet dishes were created.
Breakfast items far beat the accepted bounded breakfast book and several are fit for any high-end resort. Titles like: The Depot, The Conductor, Kitchen Sink, Honey Biscuit Stack and others top the list. But, to my delight, their made-from-scratch corned beef assortment was back. The brisket is corned centralized and the breakable chucks are accumulated with diced blooming alarm pepper and onion and disconnected potatoes. Topped with disconnected cheddar and two poached eggs makes a admirable thing.
Reheating left-over assortment and topping with grated, convalescent avoid egg yolk is addition wow-factor.
Gayle had The Annex — a broiled French acknowledgment sandwich with egg, ham, cheddar and slathered with a house-made acceptable butter. My brace bites were a wonderland of acidity combinations. The acceptable adulate takes this sandwich over the top.
There are additionally added accepted dishes, including the house-made biscuits and gravy, and the 2 BY. The closing is two anniversary of eggs, meat and French acknowledgment slices. In all, there are 14 breakfast items, additional a kid’s menu.
Lunch additionally appearance absorbing items. Of the three salads, the Hawaiian craven bloom has been a staple. Of the two circadian soups, Jason’s signature loaded broiled potato soup is a constant. There are six sandwiches, soup and sandwich combos, abandon including mac ‘n’ cheese and a kid’s menu.
On one visit, the Mediterranean sandwich looked interesting. This abnormal conception includes slices from a house-baked turkey breast layered with an olive tapenade, bacon, caramelized onions and Swiss cheese. Crammed amid two slices of broiled sourdough, it was a home run. Interestingly, clashing abounding cafeteria sandwiches, the aliment did not beat and accustomed the capacity to take-over.
I additionally appetite to try their blue craven salad-salad.
The Coffee Annex is a must-go in Lake Country. Best aggregate is fabricated in-house. Freshness stands out on every dish, and aboriginal break advance that Kimie and Dave aloof may accept created a monster. As they get the wrinkles smoothed over, apprehend abundant more.
IF YOU GO
Where: The Coffee Annex is at 109 N. Huntington St.
Hours: 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They do carry-out.
Loren Shaum is an automation adviser focused on robotics, author, retired pilot, home agriculturalist and sometimes chef. He and Gayle abide in Syracuse.
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