I’m no coffee snob, but I do know a thing or two about good food – or even better, good food choices for a board game café. A café doesn’t need to have a big menu; in fact it shouldn’t, allowing the café to focus on making those items the best they can. I want to support an owner that is as excited by their café, as I am to be there, therefor I seek out the subtle elements and crafty details they put into every dish.
One thing I have noticed while playing games is that my left hand is usually busy doing something like holding cards, moving a meeple, or hitting my forehead in frustration, leaving my right hand free to shovel food or drinks into my face. This leaves one hand clean and worry-free from board game sloppiness. The last thing I want is to open a game and have bright orange cheezy-powder all over the white meeple, or a chocolate fingerprint on a card for the longest train. One handed foods: Eureka!
Well, not quite a moment of enlightenment – but that is something I look for on the menu. That, and sharable food. I don’t know about you, but when I get food at a café I typically want to try everything on the menu – twice. I like items that let me say “If anyone wants to try one go ahead”. Usually someone will be thinking the same thing and voila: success.
Flat-breads are a common staple at a board game café; delicious, relatively clean and totally sharable. So are sandwiches, but if it’s just a boring sandwich then I don’t want it, I want an artisanal sandwich; handmade, using high-quality ingredients and great bread. In case you don’t know; the 4th Earl of Sandwich (an English nobleman) in the mid-18th century was said to have eaten food in this manner just so he didn’t need to leave the gaming table! For this reason, I think every board game café should have a signature sandwich.
Foods like salads, soups, spaghetti and sloppy joes are items that I don’t necessarily think you should get while playing a game but are great in-between or after. I would never want to be so arrogant as to say to never put these on the menu but, People: we need to make good food choices to be responsible and respectable to the property of the café and to the people around us.
My two favorite menu items on a board game café have to be… [drum roll please]… charcuterie and candy! These are two of the most interesting items to find on the menu because
1) They are made to share with friends;
2) One café can have a completely different concept than the next;
3) They can be as fantastically designed and fun as the café can imagine; and
4) They can include local, high-quality, homemade ingredients; unique café-specific twists that can be simply wonderful.
What do you think? What are your favourite (and least favourite) choices on a board game café’s menu?