Before school, I was never a huge coffee/caffeine drinker. My coffee resume consisted of Tim Horton's, but even that gave me too many jitters. For some reason after I got in, coffee didn't have the same effect as it previously did. I guess it was my constant sleep deprivation that made me lose those unwanted side effects. Since then, I have expanded my coffee drinking looking for good coffee shops.
So when I heard about Roast Coffeehouse & Wine Bar, I was instantly intrigued. Roast Coffeehouse is a specialty coffee shop during the day and a bar serving beers and wine during the evening. A cool concept, no? I decided to go to Roast on a nice day in Edmonton. However, I was finding it difficult to find Roast as it was located in a very remote corner; somewhat of an odd placement for a coffee shop. I would expect them to set up shop in a busier, more common area but this is not the case. But the thing about Roast that catches your eye is the big "R" letter right out front.
As I went into Roast, I was pleasantly surprised with the decor and atmosphere. The decor at Roast was very modern, almost like a lounge type feel. There were big leather couches and nice wooden tables and floors. The walls were covered with modern art and the shelves were filled with coffee machines & accessories.
As you approach the ordering counter, you immediately notice a glass counter filled with many delicious looking pastries. I was not able to try these pastries but when I do, I will let you know.
Since it was lunch (and about 25 degrees outside), I decided on a grilled panini with an iced chai latte. The panini was filled with jasmine rice, pineapple, roasted peppers, and curry chicken. At a price of ~$9, I found it to be very hard to eat even though it was warmly grilled. The panini essentially fell apart in my hands with rice and all the contents leaking out onto the floor. Needless to say, it was messy. But the curry chicken, pineapple and roasted peppers had really nice flavors. The curry wasn't too overpowering and the pineapple added a nice sweetness. I will say, however, that Roast's ready-to-eat meals do seem too pricy for what you get. I can't see myself spending $9 for a pre-made wrap or sandwich on a regular basis when that price could easily get me something fresh at a dedicated sandwich joint.
The iced chai latte was definitely a highlight. This drink had a very strong chai flavor, something that reminded me of Remedy Cafe's chai latte (anyone in Edmonton knows, Remedy has one of the best chai lattes). It had a good milky/creamy flavor, chilled to counteract the summer heat. For ~$5, I was definitely satisfied.
Roast has a plethora of caffeinated and noncaffeinated drinks for every taste bud. It's not a place for daily caffeine fixes given the above-average pricing of the food and drinks, but I could definitely see myself going there to study for the unique atmosphere.