As the hub of campus, Carleton’s Unicentre is teeming with places to grab a coffee or a quick bite to eat. The Food Court has everything from salad to sushi, and the top floor alone has both a Starbucks and a Tim Hortons. But what if you want to get away from the fluorescent lights and long lineups of typical grab-and-go food?
Turn left at the top of the fourth-floor stairs and you come across Rooster’s Coffeehouse. Dim but for a stream of natural light coming from the windows in the corner, the room is filled with comfy armchairs, couches, and small tables. The coffeehouse is bursting with students, their conversations bubbling as they do homework, hang out, or even have a nap. Chill music and graffiti wall-art give it a lounge-like atmosphere. The area is calming and relaxing—perfect for a break from the everyday grind of student life.
Cheaper than Subway, healthier than A&W, and faster than Tim Hortons, this CUSA-run café is a unique experience made by students, for students. On top of that, Rooster’s is environmentally and globally friendly, boasting the widest selection of organic and fair trade teas and coffees in Ottawa.
Rooster’s is also well -known for the food they specialize in—pitas. The employees were quick, efficient, and friendly, and even as a vegetarian, I found tons of selection.
I ended up buying a pita filled with feta, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions. The vegetables were crisp and fresh, cut into easily edible pieces, and the pita was soft and chewy—I just wish there had been a whole wheat option for those who are more health-conscious. The feta was sharp and savoury, but it filled almost half of the pita, making the taste a bit overpowering. The pita bread was also very thin, bursting open halfway through and making for a messy meal. Despite this, the crunchy vegetables complemented the soft, savoury feta, making for a complex texture and a flavour reminiscent of Greek salad.
For dessert, I opted for a plastic-wrapped caramel pecan bar. This triple-layered delight was both aesthetically pleasing and delicious. The bottom layer of oats, sugar and butter was melt-in-your-mouth smooth, contrasting the crispy texture of the pecan crust. Sandwiched between these was a layer of dark chocolate chunks which added a nice dimension and helped make the dessert not too sweet. Though it was a bit messy and greasy on the outside, the bar would hold up against any grandmother’s home baking.
Not the typical campus fast food joint, Rooster’s offers a satisfying change of pace for students who want a place to work, lounge, or of course, sleep. My only advice? Make sure to sit down while you eat so you can savour the food—and control the mess!
Rooster’s Coffeehouse is open 8a.m.-8p.m. from Monday to Thursday, 8a.m. to 6p.m. on Friday, and 10a.m. to 4p.m. on Saturday.