Brunch Buddies: Té Café
The weather is getting colder, but exams are warming up. I wanted to find a place to have a quick meal before sitting down and getting to work, but I also needed to stop by Giant Eagle to get some groceries. While I was walking around looking for somewhere to eat, I found that Té Café was perfect for my circumstances.
The location: Té Café is located midway through Murray Avenue, so depending on which 61 bus you take, it can still be a fair bit of a walk after getting off the bus. Nevertheless, it’s still pretty convenient for Carnegie Mellon students. There are some colorful outdoor benches, but they were mostly empty. However, in warmer weather I could imagine people sitting there, eating food with their friends.
The food: By far the coolest thing about Té Café was the kind of food it served. It looked like a sit-down café and had the typical coffee, hot chocolate, and La Prima biscuits, but also sushi, bubble tea, and teriyaki rice bowls. It took me by complete surprise when I checked out their menu, and I think makes the place stand out among the other Asian restaurants and small cafes and diners in Squirrel Hill.
I ordered their strawberry bubble tea because I am a girl of habit. Te Café’s bubble tea didn’t stand out to me like other well-known bubble tea places in Pittsburgh, but it definitely was good. I decided not to order one of their teriyaki rice bowls, instead getting their shrimp gyoza dumplings (girl of habit) and their special, a grilled cheese panini. The dumplings were surprisingly savory, and I was even tempted to order a second helping. The panini was also a good sandwich that I hope Te Café keeps on their regular menu; the sesame seeds in the toast of the panini gave it a lot more welcome flavor.
The vibe: Inside there were a few comfy chairs, some small tables, and a large cushion-y bench perfect for sitting down and doing work – which was what most of the customers in Te Café were also doing. They had ordered drinks – whether bubble tea or a large cup of coffee - and were doing homework. As a result, it was pretty quiet, but exactly what I needed. It felt surprisingly serene and welcoming in the chilly summer weather, and I felt like I could just sit in that restaurant for way longer than I ended up doing so.
Lit or nah: So I arrived at Te Café at 11:00 a.m., which is also when the restaurant opened. As more people started to come in and do work, it felt a little bit more lively – but not by much. Despite this, Te Café is still a small treasure amidst all of Pittsburgh’s restaurants, and establishes itself through its interesting mix of Asian and café offerings, with its chill vibes reverberating through every aspect of the restaurant.