3 December, 2013
Café RumiPosted in : Coffee in Castro Valley, CA, Coffee Shops, Dining in Castro Valley, CA, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez
I have found it at last, a coffee shop with a relaxed vibe, good drinks, and hours past sundown a walkable distance from my apartment! If Café 4 were a mile closer, it’d win for local coffee shop options, but Café Rumi is a very acceptable runner-up, plus it stays open an hour later. Super friendly people at the register who love their coffee, exceptional gyros, bucket seats, and a mix of patrons young and old? What’s not to like? Plus, they offer organic, fair-trade coffee that is roasted over oak locally, which makes for a distinctive selling point all on its own. As evident in their décor that includes a traditional tea set on display and lush fabrics draped over the windows and above the large mirror, Café Rumi has Afghani influences.
The rich red-gold of the walls is inviting, and I love the pressed-tin pattern that adorns the bottom half of their walls, in no small part because we used to have the same exact design on our ceiling in North Carolina. Those Middle Eastern touches combined with modern red chairs and square tables make for an appropriate fusion of styles for Northern California.
More so than the décor, however, the warm greeting the barista offered right when I walked in the door impressed me. She talked me into letting her experiment with a Mexican mocha chai on the merits of her excitement alone.
It was great–I always enjoy the spices of chai mixed in with a good mocha base. The iced coffee was just as good.
In addition to a rotating bakery case (items made in-house), the food menu offers waffles and eggs sandwiches for the breakfast minded and Mediterranean food for those wanting lunch or dinner. My chicken gyro was amazing.
I had to ask if they made the pita themselves because it was so soft and pillowy I thought it had to be fresh (they use a local vendor). The chicken was marinated perfectly, though I was surprised to find it came in big kebab chunks rather than in thinly sliced strips, but maybe that’s just because it was chicken. Do people make chicken in a traditional gyro style? I don’t know, and I’m not complaining either way. The tzatziki was especially flavorful, although it was used in overabundance. Their herb sauce, which I think was a cilantro chutney, was amazing, probably the best part of the sandwich. You can see I drizzled it all over the place.
I fear I may be eating far more gyros than I should in the near future. Café Rumi also offers platters of their kebab and gyro meat, and you can get Turkish-style coffee if you’re in the mood, which I plan to do with my husband sometime soon. Both times I’ve been, a steady stream of patrons have wandered in and out of the space, and I couldn’t help but overhear many of them compliment the café on the coffee, food, and desserts. Free Wi-Fi, wonderful food, unique coffee? I’m set.
4799 Heyer Avenue
Fill up for $4 to $11
Drink up for $2 to $4