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Outside the (take out) box: Milsean Shoppe

Aldergrove is often the forgotten town between Langley and Abbotsford, but just two blocks south of the liquor store on Fraser Highway there’s a little café with big surprises. The Milsean Shoppe takes up the retired residence of an old fire hall that has been refurbished to serve members of the community looking for a good cup of coffee, some fresh food, and a nice atmosphere.

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Date Posted: June 23, 2011
Print Edition: June 10, 2011

Milsean Shoppe
2900 272nd Street Aldergrove

By Amy Van Veen (The Cascade) – Email

Aldergrove is often the forgotten town between Langley and Abbotsford, but just two blocks south of the liquor store on Fraser Highway there’s a little café with big surprises. The Milsean Shoppe takes up the retired residence of an old fire hall that has been refurbished to serve members of the community looking for a good cup of coffee, some fresh food, and a nice atmosphere.

On a sunny day the garden seating can be properly enjoyed. There are a few tables on the lawn and a couple under a canopy, all surrounded by beautiful landscaping that makes you forget you’re in Aldergrove, BC. In the summer, too, the owners like to bring the inside out and open the garage-style doors. Inside there is an all glass annex for seating to enjoy when the weather is less cooperative.

For lunch I had a soup and half sammie special for $7.50 and an iced chai. The sammie, otherwise known as a sandwich, comes in three different options: ham and Swiss, chicken and red pepper, or veggie; and it is panini grilled to let the cheese melt and flavour come out. They also serve salads, full sandwiches, quiche, and, interestingly enough, waffles. For those looking for gluten-free options, they do cater to the allergen-sensitive community. There were six different soups of the day, and all were a little out of the norm. Oftentimes, it seems as though every coffee shop has the same soup supplier offering either chicken noodle, minestrone, or some kind of tomato. At Milsean, there were a couple of ordinary options like Borscht, but even that had its own spin to it. I ordered the intriguing Roasted Yam and Apple, which seemed like an interesting enough flavour combination. The sandwich was tasty, but it seemed more like a glorified grilled cheese with a few other ingredients. The soup, though, was the main event. The flavour was rich, and though the combination seemed to be more autumnal, it was something that could be enjoyed in any season. They also boast a range of their own “sweet things,” which is what Milsean means in Gaelic, including their own freshly made gelato from April to September.

The service is friendly, but not aggressively so like some family owned businesses. The shoppe also doubled as a store, which many coffee shops do. Here there is so much merchandise it was slightly overwhelming. Since I ate outside, I was able to enjoy the beautiful weather and perfectly manicured gardens, but inside there was little room to move and relax with so many knick-knacks lining the shelves.

The lunches are under ten dollars and they boast a large drink menu whether you’re in the mood for coffee, tea or an alternative. It’s open seven days a week; Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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