Monday, April 11, 2011


With spring officially in the air, there could not be a better time to venture to Styer’s Garden Café. About 30 minutes west of Philadelphia, Styer’s is certainly worth the trip. The café is hidden inside a beautiful greenhouse in the middle of the Terrain Garden Center. If you are at all a gardener, there are plenty of tempting plants, terrariums, gardening accessories, and more to look at before or after dining.

The greenhouse was a perfect temperature the day we visited, but I wonder even with all the windows open what it would be like on a hot summer day. The décor feels like you entered a farmhouse auction: chairs, table, and utensils are a unique mashup of old and new.

For a distinctive beginning to the each meal, Styer’s serves their bread baked in a garden pot---delicious, fresh and piping hot it is a toss-up as to which is better: the bread or the butter it is served with.

We started off with the Artisanal Cheese plate ($18). Served with quince, pear, and cranberry preserves, honeycomb, and crostinis.

Artisanal Cheese plate

The cheeses were a nice mix of super sharp, funky, and mild and we quite enjoyed discovering which flavor combinations worked best together. The fantastic honeycomb, pickled onions & peppers, and intense mustard were all uniquely delicious in the right combinations. The plate also came with “fresh fruit,” but alas this simply meant a bowl of grapes.

Our 2nd course was brought out almost immediately after the 1st, creating quite a bit of shuffling to fit everything onto the table.

I had the Quinoa cakes served with harissa yogurt, arugula and pickled vegetable salad ($7). (Visible at the bottom edge of the cheese photo). While I am not sure quite what I was expecting, it was not the strong curried flavor these cakes delivered. Not straddling any middle ground, you will either love or hate these cakes filled with bites of quinoa in each one. They were exceedingly memorable, which I cannot say for the mac & local cheese ($6).

mac & local cheese

A bland mixture of cheese, topped with breadcrumbs, with surprise mushrooms at the bottom, this mac sank to the pit of my stomach like the titanic.

salmon frittata

One brunchmate ordered the salmon frittata ($11), served with greens.

pancetta sandwich served with grilled asparagus

Another brunchmate ordered the pancetta sandwich served with grilled asparagus ($13)

For dessert we split the raspberry chocolate cake, which was intensely rich dark chocolate with a very subtle hint of raspberry flavor.

While the main dishes were fine, Styer’s strength really is in the simplistic: the bread, the cheese, and their beverages were great—their spiced chai was particularly good. For an afternoon tea in a beautiful setting, you cannot go wrong with Styer’s Garden Café.

If you go:
  • 914 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, PA 19342
  • Phone: (610) 459-2400
  • They accept credit cards.
  • Garden Cafe @ Styer's