The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

EC Eats: The simplicity, joy and familiarity of Grand Avenue Cafe

A cafe or a necessity within Eau Claire, who am I to say?

Hangover food, American style diner, quaint cafe, eclectic, cozy, a go-to first date spot, family restaurant, breakfast staple, lunch staple, coffee spot, a place that hits the spot; I won’t argue with how to describe the Grand Avenue Cafe.

However, I describe it as simply some dang good food with a dang good atmosphere. The cafe is something other than what you should try. Instead, it’s a necessity you must experience.

The cafe should be on everyone’s to-try list in Eau Claire.  It is a perfect place to eat with your friends, family, partner, crush, pastor, ex-lover, by yourself or with anything and anyone in between. 

Grand Avenue Cafe is what a restaurant is all about. Its a place one strives to be a regular at. Grand Avenue Cafe is a place that is doing it right. 

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Other than the single-stall bathrooms, there is no flaw within the cafe, and the food and atmosphere highlight this.

Photo by Wyatt Voelker

As the late Anthony Bourdain once said, “Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.”

Served at the cafe is simple food, and there is no other way it should be. But don’t be fooled by the word “simple” and its connotations. Simple foods are some of the most meticulous and laborious foods to perfect. 

But from 7:30 am to 2:30 p.m. daily, the cafe serves up these sought-after and delectable simple foods they have perfected. 

The breakfast staples served all day on Saturdays and Sundays don’t overlook their simple yet perfect lunch menu with classic sandwiches and salads. Picking from the menu can be a struggle for the uncertain. 

Paired with these staples are constantly changing soups, quiches, baked goods and good old bread pudding. 

So if you get bored without change or enjoy a surprise, don’t worry. The cafe has got you covered once again. 

Almost more important than the food in a restaurant is the atmosphere. Something that, if done differently, ruins the entire space. Procured by workers, the decor and the customers within the space. 

The atmosphere is sublime. Upon entrance is a reminiscence of your grandmother’s house—a sense of sweetness, bliss and comfort. A feeling not procured through planning but through time, effort and love put in around the space. 

From the cross-stitch artwork that hangs from the walls to the wallpaper that displays fake books wrapping the building, the cafe curates a particular style and enjoyability.

You may walk into the cafe and see a family enjoying a meal together, a couple on a first date, a solemn older man enjoying the simplicity life offers or a group of hungover college kids. 

But paired with this is an embracing feeling of love, sanctity and familiarity. 

The building’s pink ceilings and surrounding walls hold memories and provide comfort not found in many spaces. 

The building and food cannot be described in this article’s words. Instead, they must be experienced by an individual. The eye, mouth and soul of an individual must witness them.

So if you’re free from 7:30 am to 2:30 p.m., mosey down to the Grand Avenue Cafe and experience all it offers. 

Order a coffee, breakfast, lunch, write in your journal and do school work here. It doesn’t matter what you do within the confines of Grand Avenue Cafe, as seemingly every action is excellent. 

Voelker can be reached at [email protected]

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