Restaurant Review: Sonoma Market Cafe

>> Friday, March 18, 2011

One thing I never understood about the North American work day was how people managed to fit an eat-out-sit-down lunch in an hour (and why do the Europeans get a two hour lunch and a siesta?). Seriously, who is able to leave their office, get to the restaurant, eat while conversing and not just shoveling food down their gullets, pay and walk back to the office all within an hour? For those of you that claim that you can do this, please enlighten me because usually by the time I walk to the elevator and meet up with my lunch buddy I’m already 10 minutes in. So with 40 minutes left (excluding the 10 minutes to get back up the elevator and to my desk), I might as well just settle for a light snack, a quick chat and head back where I can then resume my lunching.

Luckily I’m in a situation where my company isn’t a stickler about the exact 1 hour lunch timeframe or else I’d either have to start learning to eat faster (I’m a painfully slow eater, painfully slow) or just result to eating in front of my computer screen and avoid all social contact (ok it might not be that extreme, but I’m trying to make a point so let me roll with it). So I have to take advantage of this lunching situation because there are so many amazing lunch places that aren’t necessarily open Saturdays and Sundays, one of these places being Sonoma Market Café located in the +15s.

Atmosphere: Casual market café as the name states, with “outdoor” +15 seating to enjoy those bright sunny Calgary days.

Price: Mid $10s

Food: After first looking at the inspiring menu at Sonoma Market, I couldn’t wait to try their drool worthy sounding sandwiches, with items on the menu like Strawberry, Turkey and Brie on Sourdough or the Tuna Melt. But sandwiches and wraps aren’t the only things on their menu. They also offer a bunch of different entrees including Butter Chicken and Pasta dishes through to Thin Crust Pizzas.

I settle on the BBQ Chicken and Mango Wrap consisting of moist chunks of chicken breast, cubes of juicy sweet mango with a light cream cheese dressing, fresh tomatoes and lettuce all rolled up in a chewy flour tortilla. I personally love mango, so anything with mango in it couldn’t go wrong in my books. The size of the dish was perfect for lunch and it was also served with a choice of side salads (Sonoma salad, spinach or Caesar). I opted for the spinach salad, which had almonds, shredded egg and cheese with a tangy vinaigrette.

Sonoma Market also offers a dessert for those looking for a little something sweet to start their afternoons and they have weekly specials so remember to ask your server if you’re that somebody! They’re also open daily for breakfast as well and have an amazing sounding menu for that too. I guess one of these days I’m going to have to try that breakfast menu myself!

My Pick: BBQ Chicken and Mango Wrap

Overall: For the amount of time that I had to walk, wait, order, eat and pay at Sonoma. I would say it was well worth it! The dish was fresh and filling, definitely something I’d leave my office for again in the near future and for those that enjoy sticking to the 1 hour lunch. I’m sure Sonoma is more than willing to accommodate your timeframe.

Sonoma Market Café
240 – 520 5th Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 233-0111

Sonoma Market Cafe on Urbanspoon


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