Cool Way to Start, or Reboot, the Day
Breakfast never ends, but the lunch options will tempt you as well
2708 Park St., Riverside
Caron Streibich covers dining out throughout Northeast Florida. If you have information about new restaurant openings, menu changes or other food-related news, contact her here. Streibich is also the host of our regular Folio Weekly Bite Club gatherings. Follow the Bite Club on Facebook or Twitter to learn more about it.
In the heart of Riverside lies a casual yet
borderline hip café, complete with free WiFi and a self-service bottomless coffee station.
Breakfast is available even at lunchtime, which is a bonus. Sometimes you just want (OK, need) an omelet, eggs Benedict or French toast in your life after a hectic morning has passed.
In addition to a clever build-your-own omelet selection, Cool Moose's menu boasts four Benedicts — traditional, smoked bacon and tomato, smoked salmon, and veggie.
Daily specials are scrawled across a blackboard, including the homemade soup selection. A recent offering, the Desayuno de Costa Rica, caught my eye: a breakfast platter with scrambled eggs, chorizo and cheddar on a grilled corn tortilla, topped with tomatillo salsa and accompanied by sweet plantains, black beans and rice.
The lunch sandwich options run the gamut — Cuban, chicken salad croissant, ham and brie panini with maple mustard, half-pound Angus burger with sharp cheddar, a gyro with tatziki, and a classic Reuben, to name a few. The chicken salad croissant, made with all white meat, is tossed with crunchy celery, red onion, walnuts and a slightly sweet honey mayo. Complement the sweetness with a side of garlicky truffle fries.
For vegetarians, options include a veggie burger on herbed focaccia bun, a marinated grilled portobello panini with roasted red pepper, provolone and sweet basil pesto (which pairs nicely with a side of crisp sweet potato fries dusted with sugar), and a grilled cheese sandwich.
Cool Moose's buttery Texas-style toast makes for a simple yet satisfying grilled cheese. You can add slices of tomato or crisp bacon if the mood strikes. Or pair your 'wich with a cup of soup for dunking.
Open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Cool Moose can be counted on for an inexpensive, laidback bite. On the weekends, the outside tables fill up fast with patrons — mimosas in hand and pups in tow.
For a filling yet wallet-friendly meal, order an egg, cheese and apple chutney breakfast sandwich on a flaky croissant. It's the perfect amount of sweet and savory. Add a side of grits and blueberry coffee and you're still out the door for less than $10, including tip. Can't beat that. And ask for a coffee club card, earning you a free cup after your first six.