Down to earth sandwiches at the Narcissus
Good bread and good coffee at this Powell Street cafe.
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In Greek mythology Narcissus was the son of a river god and nymph who fell in love with his own beautiful reflection. He loved it so much that he could not tear himself away from his own image and slowly died of starvation.
This is where the term “narcissistic” comes from – a label that us millennials have been slapped with in the era of social media.
When I heard there was a café named The Narcissus (1701 Powell St.), I felt compelled to try it out, if not for the food, then for the selfie – I am a loathed millennial after all.
I am no daughter of a river god or nymph and I choose food over my own reflection any day, so I tried out a couple sandwiches at this Powell Street café after I completed my selfie mission.
Right out of the gate, The Narcissus made two good decisions – serving sandwiches on bread from Fife Bakery and coffee from Agro Coffee Roasters.
I tried the prosciutto sandwich ($8) with swiss and brie cheese, arugula, cranberry sauce and served on toasted cranberry bread. I like all the elements of this sandwich, but when combined the swiss (I think it was a sharp cheddar actually) overtook my beloved prosciutto. The bread was fantastic and I liked the combination of peppery arugula, salty prosciutto and tart cranberry, but in reality it didn’t come through. I’d recommend trying this without the cheddar and a thin slice of brie to balance the sandwich out.
I next tried the veggie sandwich ($8) with avocado, brie and swiss cheese, arugula and a healthy helping of homemade pesto, served on sourdough. This was a really creamy sandwich and the brie truly oozed out in the most pleasurable way. I liked the pesto a lot, but it could have been dialed back a bit to let the avocado come through.
Both sandwiches had a lot of creamy filling and the bread was not cut quite thick enough to support the moist ingredients. A more substantial slice would do wonders.
I also had tomato soup ($5), which was bright and fresh tasting and very satisfyingly chunky. The meal was rounded off with a blueberry scone, which was really two scones sandwiching blueberries. It had a nice density, was moist and had a tasty browned sugar crust.
Nothing was out of this world, but The Narcissus did make a nice little sandwich for those needing a quick bite and a nice coffee.
The space itself is a two-storey room with white benches, tables and chairs. A floor to ceiling shelf unit adds warmth to the space and I love that it has an upper balcony with more seating. The Narcissus will also be serving alcohol soon and will make a nice little spot to have a beer in the heart of yeast Vancouver.