By K. Woodzick, Editor
When I lived on Whidbey Island in Washington state, I would get up very early in the morning to work at the local bagel bakery. There is something supremely comforting about an expertly prepared bagel sandwich with cream cheese and lox. Since I moved to the Northwoods, I have been searching for a spot where I could get my fix. I was delighted when I discovered Cafe Sonder’s website.
Cafe Sonder sits on the corner of Chicago and Oneida Street in downtown Minocqua. There is ample patio seating where you can watch the hustle and bustle of the town. Stepping inside feels like walking into a Capitol Hill coffee shop in Seattle. The smell of freshly baked goods and espresso welcomes you as well as the friendly baristas. I was immediately struck by how well the staff worked together as a team. If you’ve worked in the service industry, you know how quickly your co-workers become like family.
The décor is thoughtful, modern, and absolutely Instagrammable. Their food and drink menu has so many great choices, I had trouble narrowing it down. I ultimately decided on a cold brew, Nordic Sandwich, and their Avocado Toast.
The Nordic Sandwich comes with lox, whipped herb cream cheese, shaved red onion, tomato, capers, and organic mixed greens on a choice of bagel or toast. I chose the bagel, topped with the herbed cream cheese and lox. The texture of the bagel/lox/herbed cream cheese combo is magnificent. The bagel is toasted to perfection, with the perfect balance of crunch and softness. The whipped herb cream cheese complements the lox, which is the star of the show for this sandwich. Eating this sandwich feels like being wrapped in a cozy chenille blanket on a Sunday morning. There’s no hurry, and the only task is to slow down and enjoy what the day has to offer.
I am technically an “elder millennial,” so my trip was not going to be complete without trying the Avocado Toast. Hearty, multigrain toast cradles the buttery, fluffy avocado spread, topped with crushed red pepper flakes, pickled onion (made in-house), and hard-boiled egg slices if you so desire. The mouthfeel of this sandwich is divine. Both sandwiches are served with local, aquaponic microgreens from Three Sons Farm in Hazelhurst. While everything I had at Cafe Sonder was incredibly delicious, I was blown away by the blood orange shallot vinaigrette that accompanied the greens. This citrus-forward dressing is delicate, refreshing, and has a unique zing, unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.
I encourage you to visit Cafe Sonder. Their scratch baking, Colectivo Coffee, Rishi Tea, and fresh, locally sourced ingredients all come together to make for a wonderful visit. The menu does have gluten-free options and has many vegetarian selections. I look forward to coming back and trying their matcha offerings, smoothies, and Grown-Up Grilled Cheese. We can all look forward to the addition of beer and wine, as well as Wednesday open mic nights. Cafe Sonder is open daily from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm.
K. Woodzick is a life-long theatre artist and has over a decade of experience as a non-profit marketing professional and writer. They live in Woodruff with their silver lab, River.