With its cozy corner location and picturesque red-and-white striped awnings, 2Schae Café reels you in on looks alone. The spice-color interior centers on an open hive of a kitchen and offers seating for every kind of guest — stools for noshers on the run, tables for larger parties, comfy couches for those who want to tuck in for a spell.
Owners Don and Lisa Schaefer are head chefs, busers and greeters who run the place with friendly efficiency, taking orders at the counter and turning out made-to-order fare in far less time than you might expect.
The menu is packed with interesting lunch choices, but 2Schae is also a good pick for breakfast. I wasn't blown away by the French toast ($6.95), which lacked a flavorful batter. But if the first rule of running a small cafe is to do something better than most, 2Schae follows it by serving up a good breakfast panini and stellar omelets.
The "build your own" panini ($5.95) is distinguished by variety — seven cheese and 17 other ingredient options — in our case, thick slices of turkey, silky scrambled egg and melting pepper Jack cheese on tasty sourdough bread.
And in a city plagued by dry, thick omelets, 2Schae's Mediterranean version ($8.75) was wonderfully thin, delicate and filled with feta, fresh spinach, sautéed mushrooms, red onion, finely diced tomatoes and briny kalamata olives — a true treat that just may be 2Schae's ticket to thrive.
Where 275 Union Boulevard • More info 314-361-5333, 2schaecafe.com • Hours 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday and Friday; 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday