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If you’re still in that pandemic mindset where the calendar has no meaning and the months are bleeding into each other, I hate to break it to you, but this Sunday (March 8) is Mother’s Day. Yes, many of Calgary’s best restaurants are hosting opulent brunches and many clever catering companies and takeout operations are offering special food kits to pamper those who aren’t yet keen on venturing out, but if you haven’t made arrangements as of this very moment, you’ve probably missed the boat.
What’s the child or spouse of a mom to do without any reservations or special orders on the books? Luckily, there are some last-minute options to make the moms in your life feel properly appreciated.
If there’s ever been a perfect Mother’s Day solution it’s the new And Some Flower Cafe, located in a charming brick building in Sunnyside. This sweet little business is the creation of entrepreneur Raina Moon, whose family owns Moon Korean BBQ in Chinatown, giving her a solid background in food service. Moon is also a trained florist who has long dreamed of owning a business that melds her dual interests of flowers and food. The cafe ties the two together beautifully, with a selection of fresh flowers and a florist station at the front of the room, a busy cafe counter, and about 30 seats throughout for those looking to sit down for a casual meal or leisurely coffee or tea.
And Some is a cafe, not a full-service restaurant, which is lucky for last-minute Mother’s Day parties since it does not accept reservations. The food mostly falls into the category of light and sweet brunch items, with thick buttermilk waffles ($15) accompanied with fruit and the option of chocolate ice cream as the centrepiece of the menu. The cafe also specializes in “croffles,” a croissant/waffle hybrid topped with anything from ham and egg ($11.95) to brown cheese and vanilla ice cream ($9.95) and “cruffins,” a flaky croissant/muffin mix with fillings like strawberry or black sesame, as well as other items like green tea tiramisu and house-made roll cakes.
The drinks here also have a nice twist, with standard hot and cold coffee drinks as well as flashier strawberry lattes and rose and lavender ades and organic green teas accentuated with flower-encased ice cubes. It’s all perfect for creating Instagram-style memories, which fits into Moon’s dainty floral theme.
“I care about the taste of the food, of course,” Moon says. “But the design is also important. Because I am a florist, the way things look is important to me.”
And Some Flower Cafe is located at 540 7th Ave. N.W. and is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The flower shop is open daily from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. for custom bouquets, with pre-made bouquets available for purchase during cafe hours. For more information, visit theandsome.com.
Of course, one cafe can’t accommodate every last-minute Mother’s Day celebration, which is where some ingenuity is going to have to come in. Many brunch-only restaurants will be sticking to their standard no reservations operations on Sunday, but those who don’t want to wait, even if it’s through one of those handy virtual waitlists, might want to put together something special themselves. If you didn’t think ahead to make a reservation for afternoon tea, engineering your own tea with items from a local bakery is a good bet and can be done without a whole lot of notice.
One place to stop is Ollia Macarons and Tea (810C 16th Ave. S.W.), which offers a special Mother’s Day gift box, but in the event they’re sold out of those, their delectable macarons are available by the box and come in flavours like Earl Grey, lavender lemon, and salted caramel dark chocolate. Ollia is also selling Mother’s Day tea cakes, made with a macaron shell base, lavender white chocolate ganache, lemon curd, and Earl Grey whipped cream along with premium teas. If macarons are not enough, other nearby bakeries like the Black Sheep, Butter Block, Yann Haute Patisserie, and La Boulangerie would be more than happy to help round out your selection of baked treats. Ollia also offers macaron-making classes — an IOU for a future class together makes for a nice gift for culinary-minded moms.
Or, for something more savoury, River Cafe (25 Prince’s Island Park) re-launched its picnic basket program on May 1, with menu items ranging from red lentil hummus and BLT sandwiches to artisanal cheeses and caviar. Beverages and other goodies can be added and kids’ picnic items are also available. The baskets need to be ordered at least an hour in advance and can be enjoyed at home, in Prince’s Island Park, or the restaurant’s outdoor picnic garden, with tables available on a first-come-first-served basis. The picnics can be ordered through river-cafe.com.
Elizabeth Chorney-Booth can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @elizaboothy or Instagram at @elizabooth