I am a former journalist and editor, currently writing fiction for adults and children. Visit my website at www.karengrikitis.wordpress.com.
Published May 27th 2015
A calming retreat with heavenly views
How Angel's Café acquired its name gives a clue to the ambience of this cool little rest stop along the Bow River pathway, Calgary. Its charming, cosy interior and comfortable outside seating area ooze charm and warmth, as does its owner Cathy Jacobs who can be heard chatting to customers about life, love and all things holistic.
The story goes that 14 years ago, proprietor Cathy was approached by a rather scary, hooded stranger at her concession stand whom she invited for a coffee and a chat. A week later he returned looking much changed and told Cathy that on that earlier day he had been going to take his own life but an 'angel' stopped him and through her kindness inspired him to turn his life around.
Since then Cathy's concession truck north west of the city by the Harry Boothman pedestrian bridge and overlooking the River Bow, has been replaced by a hut with a patio area and covered extension where cyclists, hikers, joggers, in-line skaters and mothers with strollers can be found enjoying the view over a light snack or coffee.
Inside there is a bookshelf stacked with board games, free holistic magazines and a notice board carrying posters advertising free meditation events and a festival of alternative medicine, among others. On the terrace outside the comfy seats are covered in woolly blankets for those chillier days and there are patio heaters and a big log-burning stove for when the weather is really cold. Children's toys are available to keep the little ones amused while mums have a chat.
Angel's heavenly theme is reflected in the menu items, such as Paradise Found Veggie Wrap and Devilish Egg and Angelic Shrimp Sandwich. Gluten-free and vegan sandwiches, wraps and salads are a feature of the menu. Lunch items range in price from CN$8 to CN$13. Breakfast and burgers are available, along with a wide range of coffees, teas and soft drinks. There is also a Little Angel menu for children and a range of ice-creams.
I tried one of the summer salads, a chai latte and a date slice – which was just what I needed after an hour's walk from Calgary. The home-made pastry selection is excellent, as is the choice of tea infusions. Customers are encouraged to help themselves to milk or cream from the fridge.
Angel's Café hosts music events in the summer and provides the use of emergency bike repair equipment for cyclists. The cafe is accessible by car from Trans-Canada Highway 1 or the Shaganappi Trail NW. There is a large car park nearby. Alternatively you may wish to walk, cycle or jog the 6km or so along the Bow River Pathway on the north side of the river heading west out of Calgary.