Smoked trout and sweet potato benedict. Acorn squash chicken sausage strata. I'll admit up front: I don't know what strata is when I'm not talking about rocks, but it's these musical names that won me over when sitting down at Simple Cafe on Farwell Ave. on Milwaukee's East Side. The first time I walked in here, it was on a whim. I hadn't heard about it, but it looked as if it might have breakfast food, and my pal and I were hungry. I quickly fell into a deep, lasting love. I've been back a couple of times, and recently took my mom for her first. She felt similarly after her starter soup of a butternut squash, cinnamon concoction that tasted like it was a dessert, not a vegetable (or fruit, you biologists, you). I myself had a Korean BBQ bowl. I'm wussy about spice, but loved it despite the burn. What a pretty, savory mess for my mouth. Just look at me sassily grinning away with that broccoli.
So Simple Cafe makes really good food, that's a given. But even cooler is how they make it. They have a mission of sustainability and keeping local growers in business. I just went and read a little more about them on their website, and my own desire to support them continued to grow, above and beyond just wanting to try their pumpkin pancakes. I found this:
"It starts with people. The people who grow and raise our ingredients. The people who work in our cafes and the bakery. The customers who make it all sustainable. Everyone has a story and their stories become those of Simple Food Group. We want to change how people treat each other, how people eat, how we take care of what we have been provided, how people run their businesses."
A restaurant concerned with integrity and people's stories? That's my jam. (I hope they make jam, too, because my toast would love it.) Check them out!