Date Posted: May 25, 2011
Print Edition: May 13, 2011
Fort Langley is home to many little treasures, but there’s only one little coffee shop whose reputation precedes it. At the end of Glover, right before the train tracks, Wendel’s Bookstore & Café sits on the corner, beckoning passersby in for a freshly made treat or two.
As the name suggests, half of Wendel’s is a cozy little bookshop that spills into the other half, which is a café. Though “café” elicits thoughts of coffee and scones, their menu is hearty enough to satisfy even the hungriest customer. With a fully functioning restaurant kitchen in the back, their breakfast to dinner menu covers a range of options. Fancy French toast or Belgian waffles for some early morning energy? Sure. Does lunch time only require half a sandwich and a salad or soup? Absolutely. Prefer to try an entrée such as their Tomato Basil Tortellini or Wok Stirred Ginger Chicken? You can find that here. Their display cooler also offers a range of dessert options from cheesecake to brownies, tiramisu to pie; Wendel’s seems to have it all.
The prices range from under $7 to $11 for breakfast, which is served from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. on weekdays and 12:30 p.m. on weekends, to under $15 for lunch or a dinner entrée. They also offer coffee, muffins, and cookies for those who are just looking for a snack to take on the Fort to Fort trail. Not only does Wendel’s make all of their own meals and treats, they also offer True Foods, which is their own line of allergy-sensitive snack options. For those with sensitivities, gluten seems to be a rising villain, True Foods offers ginger cookies and the classic chocolate chip, as well as wheat, dairy, and egg-free pecan topped cookies.
Despite all of the wonders that come out of that back kitchen, there are certain things that need to be kept in mind when visiting this particular establishment. Fort Langley is a small town and as a small town, their storefronts are also rather diminutive. This is fine when peeking through a boutique for kids’ clothes and even delicately moving through the home stores with fragile vases everywhere you turn; however, in a restaurant, things can get a little tight. Anyone who has ever been to Wendel’s can attest to the fact that despite its size, the employees of Wendel’s Bookstore & Café are trained in the fine art of dealing with high volumes of customers and little square footage. If it’s too tight amongst the tables, their corner location offers a wrap-around covered patio throughout the seasons. Also, their system is relatively flawless with an order, take your wooden number and sit situation. To avoid crowds, there’s a level of common sense that a customer needs to have. If it’s a sunny Mothers’ Day Sunday, expect a line. Despite its crowdedness, the service is always friendly, always helpful, and always welcoming, and their quality made food with fresh ingredients elicits a chorus of “this is so good” and “delicious” throughout its table upon table space.
Wendel’s has become an integral part of the Fort Langley experience and the quality of its food and coffee will not disappoint. So grab a drink, a scone, and maybe a Pesto Chicken and Brie panini and enjoy the tiny space with big heart that is this street corner café.