Living by Purple Perk, I suppose it is kind of a rite of passage to write a review on it. Perk is an institution in Mission, there's no other way to describe it. You would think it's been open for 20 years, but it actually was only established in 2005. Perk is always busy (I think some people sit there for, quite literally, hours on their laptops - I never understood the desire to be outside one's house for that long but it's definitely a thing here at the Perk), and its patio can fit a surprising amount of people (and their dogs) any time temperature is above 10 degrees.
I alternate between going there every time my refrigerator is half-empty and avoiding the place for months (okay, maybe weeks). I almost never stay to eat in, and I am sad to admit I have never tried breakfast there (too busy! Plus Yann's is so, so close), but I have managed to sample most of Perk's sandwich and, of course, dessert menu.
Sandwiches - served with vegetable chips which aren't half bad:
- Thai Beef - probably my favourite of the bunch. The spice is quite nice, and I enjoy the rice noodles and the vegetables.
- Fontina & Capocollo Ham - quite tasty, and a great alternative to overpriced lunch selection at the neighbouring Mercato (sorry Mercato, I love you, but every time I pick something up there for lunch I feel robbed afterwards - it doesn't help that I could never just walk into Mercato and walk out with just a sandwich - much easier to do at the Perk!)
- Cuban Pulled Pork - I also enjoy the pulled pork, salty and delicious (the pickle is a nice touch) but to be honest I think I overdosed on it at this point - so my advice would be not to order it every time!
- Vegetarian Panini - roasted veggies with goat cheese on pumpernickel sounds like a fantastic idea, but something in its execution just leaves me cold - I am thinking too much onion.
Desserts (we all know why I really go to the Perk):
- Chocolate cake - chocolate cake was the reason I first tried the Perk. I don't know how they do it, because it sits on the counter, sliced (granted, under a glass dome) all day, but it is incredibly moist and delicious. Even if you are a chocolate lover, you will have to share if you want to be able to get up from your seat.
- Cheesecakes and pies - Perk offers a variety of these, and all the ones I've tried have been quite good. My favourite is Oreo cheesecake! Speaking of Oreo, this is fantastic: Oreo truffles.
- Cookies - quite tasty, especially the ginger one - fair warning though: the size approaches pizza cookie standards (I've always wanted to try one of those, but somehow I don't think it's going to taste as good as it does in my head. Speaking of sizes, have you noticed Tim's cookies are now normal size? I don't know whether I should applaud them or be outraged).
- Espresso brownie - probably the only thing in the world that has coffee in it that I enjoy. Not exaggerating. Normally I am extremely sensitive to addition of coffee, but in this case I am just unable to notice, and what's left is a tasty, tasty brownie.
Overall, Purple Perk is an excellent neighbourhood coffee place and great for a quick bite and some people watching. If you don't reside in Mission, come and check it out!