Unlike speedy in-and-out coffee shops, cafés indulge fantasies of sneaking off through misty European streets paved with pain au chocolat and lined with biscotti parking meters. Indulge in savory streetside fare with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of breakfast, lunch, and brunch fare at Café Aquarius, located in Emeryville. This Groupon is valid for dine-in or carryout.
Café Aquarius specializes in serving up delicious breakfasts, lunches, and pastries in a casual, cozy environment. Saunter in for weekday breakfast or lunch or weekend brunch, or simply affect Dickensian orphan garb any day of the week and press your face against the glass display counter of grumble-inducing baked goods. Make weekday mornings savory with a croissant sandwich with chive scrambled eggs, wilted spinach, and goat cheese ($5.50), or sweet with custard-dipped french toast ($7, also available at weekend brunch). Opt for lunch fare such as smoked salmon salad tossed in lemon-dill aioli ($12), or the 65th Street burger with 1298 sauce and cheese ($10). Weekend brunch features specialty breakfast fare, such as the tantalizing light and fluffy lemon-ricotta pancakes ($7), and Southern gourmands in breezy linens can gear up for local Atticus Finch–lookalike competitions with house-made biscuits and sausage gravy ($6).
In addition to its tasteful array of sit-down chewables, Café Aquarius also offers a delectable batch of delicious pastries and desserts. Stuff pockets and cheek-pouches with fresh-baked treats, or nibble delicately while taking in the ambience of a cozy space adorned with exposed wooden beams, black metal garden furniture, and non-threatening faux ivy.
- [Owner Patrick] Feehan's objective is not merely comfort food, but the handcrafted, creative neo-comfort food that's been making a comeback in hip venues with pedigreed chefs. It permeates Café Aquarius' seasonally shifting menus in such items as custard-dipped French toast, 3/8-pound burgers, four-cheese mac-and-cheese, personal pizzas, blackened-tilapia sandwiches, and grilled steak with mushrooms and bleu cheese. This comfort-food sensibility infused the savory sautéed potatoes that accompanied our brunch dishes. It informed the hot-pocket style in which Tuffy's shiitake-Gruyére omelet was served sealed around the edges, its East-West-fusion filling spilling out like a gift with each stab of the fork.– Anneli Rufus, East Bay Express