Artisano Bakery Cafe

The area around my office is filled with every kind of restaurant you can think of, so there is certainly no shortage of places to go for lunch when you wake up late and had to rush out the door before packing something to eat. Not that I would ever do that. I am obviously the responsible one who packed her lunch the night before, always goes to bed early so as not to be rushed in the morning and I would never, ever hit the snooze button 239487342 times.

When I saw that Artisano was open close to the office, I was really excited because there is something magical about having a sandwich made on fresh baked bread. Located in the plaza next to the Mandarin and grocery store, Artisano is a place that promises fresh baked goods, hearty soups and big salads. Needing something quick and relatively healthy, LJ and I decided to try it out.

Walking in, I noticed that it was a mixture between a bakery and a coffee house. You order at the counter and you are given a CD-sized disk that vibrates and flashes once your order is ready. If you are coming at lunch, I suggest you try to come early in order to get a seat – we got there a little after noon and managed to score one of the last tables. The front has a display of fresh baked sweets and treats, and to the left of the cash registers is the pizza oven and the sandwich prep station. If you order a drink, you are given an empty glass to fill up at the fountain machine and refill at your leisure.

LJ and I both went with the combo deal: $8.99 for a half sandwich and soup or salad. The sandwich menu is extensive that ranged from classic sandwiches such as egg salad to gourmet sandwiches such as steak and portobello. The salad menu offered quite a few choices that went beyond a typical garden or Caesar. Finally, the soup offerings were plentiful and change depending on the day. There were at least six choices that I can remember being offered that day, which is a nice treat for those looking for something a little different.

LJ chose the Tomato Bisque for her choice, and it came with a fresh slice of baguette. The portion size was adequate and the soup tasted fresh-made rather than a frozen or canned concoction. Unfortunately, the taste of the soup was nothing special and it tasted similar to a cream of tomato soup that was under-seasoned.  The baguette was fresh and soft and made for a good dipping companion to the bisque. LJ’s sandwich choice was Turkey, Brie and Green Apple on a ciabatta bun, which was fantastic. The bread is spread with a generous layer of cranberry mayonnaise and layered with real turkey breast, slices of brie, green apple and topped with fresh arugula. The bread was slightly crisp on the outside and incredibly soft on the inside, and all of the ingredients worked well together. The cranberry mayonnaise was sweet but worked well with the tartness of the apple. The sandwich is served cold so the cheese was cut in thick slices that were creamy but not melted. 
I decided to try the corn chowder which was full of corn and potato and carrots. It was not a thick chowder, but it was definitely creamy and sweet from the corn. It was served piping hot and was seasoned perfectly. I decided to try the Pulled Pork sandwich upon the recommendation of the customer in front of me and the server at the cash register.  Served on a toasted egg bun with barbeque sauce and coleslaw, the pork is piled high and doused in sauce. The pork was also scooped using what I guess was an ice cream scoop because it was uniformly packed on top of the bun, which to me, did not look overly appetizing. The barbeque sauce is sweet, but the less flavourful coleslaw cut the sweetness a bit. The meat was tender and juicy, but the sauce overpowered the sandwich too much for my palette. I prefer a more muted barbeque sauce so I can taste the other flavours that accompany it.  Probably not something I would order again with the other options available to me, but certainly not the worst pulled pork I have ever had.
Artisano is a great place to go if you are looking for something that is quick, comforting and fresh. The prices aren’t bad for the portion size and the quality of ingredients, and it definitely beats a peanut butter sandwich every day. If you’re looking to spend some time there to unwind, they also have free Wifi! 

Artisano Bakery Café on Restaurantica
Artisano Bakery Café on Urbanspoon
Artisano Bakery Cafe
3145 Dundas St. W., Mississauga


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