(**Originally posted on my old page on Sept. 6, 2020)
Set into an old downtown heritage building right on Baker Street, the Dominion Cafe oozes of a rustic history.
When you walk into a place that is filled with plants and the overflowing scents of a variety of fresh baked muffins, you can't help but to feel an intrinsic sense of hominess. It permeates within you, and sets you at ease while immediately instilling a depth of natural relaxation.
I arrived right before they unlocked their door at opening in the morning. It was before any muffins had yet to be put out. Sitting down, it sure didn't take long for me to want to start eating the air though. It smelled so good that it wound my senses into a frenzied overload. I felt similar to being a kid trying to sleep on Christmas Eve because the anticipation was almost unbearable. It smelled so good that it was torturous.
I couldn't take the wait, so I had to get something else to keep me occupied til the muffins came out. I went with a Chai with almond milk. I don't have those too often, but I really like 'em. They're super sweet with a tiny little subtle bite that kinda sneaks up on you. Man, are they ever good! Chai Latte for the win!
A chai was the perfect thing to keep my mind off the muffins, and it almost worked...almost! You see, the problem was that the muffins' Kung Fu was strong, and they whupped my chai's ass all up over the place...and then put a death grip on my senses! Neither me nor my hot drink stood a chance!
Straight back to torturous!
It was a rough couple minutes at that point as time was standing still in my moment of suffering. When you walk into a place and you wanna eat the air, it's like walking into a wall of anticipation. The payoff in the moment of truth though is so worth it! Sooo worth it!
As soon as the muffins were put out, I rolled right up to the front. Looking at them in the display was like watching an angelic choir sing angelic harmonies! I was instantly drifting away!
I picked the raspberry pecan muffin as well as the vegan muffin of the day. I also got the their Chunky Monkey smoothie to wash 'em down with. It's not your typical sweet fruit smoothie, so I had to try it.
I went for the Raspberry Pecan muffin first because I have kinda been into the sharp tartness that is laced with such sweetness within those berries lately. It was a sensuous pleasure to sink my teeth into that thing. Did it ever not disappoint!
Raspberry Pecan Muffin
The little saucer plates the muffins were served on made me think of being at my great grandma's cottage in the Ontario Muskoka's when I was a little kid. I was taken right back to little grandma's age old cottage with all my cousins...swimming, fishing off the dock, row boating, cooking Jiffy Pop on the little wood cook stove. I could see it all crystal clear. It was a fascinating feeling that was quite unexpected, and I rather enjoyed that. It really added another level of that hominess that I eluded to that was so prevalent as soon as I walked in the place.
Chunky Monkey garnished just right
That smoothie was packed with so much goodness. It was even garnished with chocolate chips & finely chopped walnuts. The Chunky Monkey is a very visually pleasing drink on top of how kick-ass it was to drink down. Its flavour was not overbearing, and in its way, was somewhat odd in how it was packed with so much flavour, but delivered itself in such a subtle way that was refreshing personified. Maaan, did it ever hit the spot!
Unbeknownst to me, I found myself in a beautiful grudge match between the muffin and the smoothie. They were fighting furiously for my attention because of their equally impressive goodness. Each time I looked at both, I couldn't decide which to indulge in, so I enjoyed the little fight they caused within me between my taste buds, belly and my mind.
I wasn't having either though. I was just staring at them waiting for the grudge match to play itself out. I was totally zoned out on how awesome both the muffin and the drink were. Then I'd snap out of it and realize I wasn't eating either, so I'd frantically grab both and shove them in my face at the same time. Caveman the crap outta them!
It was a scenario that played itself on loop a few times. When I realized that, I really saw how good they each were. If there is a food something that draws you into pause while staring at its beauty, and then snaps you out of it to cram it in your face, that's nothing less than every indication of its quality.
I was fully conscious of that, and it led me to sum it up to myself like this...
So, I'm instinctively adding it all up in my head...plants, dishes, the thickness of muffin scents in the air with the slowed down old-time atmospheric feel in this fast paced modern world, and add to it this unreal muffin and smoothie, I can't help but feeling relaxingly rejuvenated from my visit here.
Definitely the best muffins in town! No place else is even close!
There's also the notion that so many of the other places in town are all doing renovations and trying to fancily modernize themselves, but The Dominion Cafe is the place where you feel an embracing sense of home. It is humble alongside its heritage, and welcomes you with open arms. If you're lucky, you might even see a funky skateboard reminiscent of Van Gogh's, Starry Night, come through the door, or even find a piece of vintage clothing.
Good things await at The Dominion Cafe!
From here I am going to leave you with part of a message Daylen (Hotte), the owner, sent me about the ingredients and suppliers she uses. It well represents the love she puts into what she offers to her customers.
We are passionate about everything local, coffee from 3 different Kootenay roasters, Rooftop, Trail Coffee Co. and Juggernaut Roastery. We serve organic ethically sourced teas from New Moon tea co. out of Nakusp. Our hot chocolate is created by Viva Cacao, a local chocolate company in the (Slocan) Valley. Our chai is made in-house and is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. We have made an effort to ethically source as many ingredients as possible. Our eggs are delivered from an organic farm in Blewett and our tempeh is from a small Okanagan company called Vigilante.
We also make all alternative mylks in house, such as pumpkin seed, almond, macadamia coconut, hemp & oat, and pistachio coconut. All mylks are organic and made fresh daily.
We're famous for baking up giant decadent muffins. We bake over 14 kinds fresh daily such as BlackBerry pecan white chocolate, orange espresso dark chocolate and strawberry rhubarb, and have a wide selection in vegan and gluten free muffins and baked goods as well.
The Dominion Cafe
334 Baker Street (one block away)
Hours: Tues-Sat 8:00am - 5:00pm | Sun 10:00am - 4:00pm
Phone: (250) 352-1904