Cari Taylor-Carlson

Simple Café Is So Satisfying

East Side cafe offers fresh, light, healthy, often complex, relatively inexpensive food. Delicious.

By - Dec 19th, 2019 01:39 pm
Simple Cafe. Photo taken February 24th, 2013 by Jeramey Jannene.

Simple Cafe. Photo taken February 24th, 2013 by Jeramey Jannene.

At Simple Café, a breakfast and lunch restaurant, they hope to change the world with food, “one bite at a time,” according to their website. “We believe that if you treat each other with genuine kindness and respect…then we will change the world.”

If light, healthy, tasty meals make a difference, then, at Simple they’re on to something important in a world where too much fast food rules. Not only is the food fresh at Simple, it’s relatively inexpensive, with a mouth-watering selection of omelets, for example, priced at no more than $10.95. The food they serve is locally grown, when possible, and the menu changes with the seasons.

Currently you will find four omelets to choose from: Chicken Chorizo Chili with jack cheese; Garden Egg White Omelet; Mashed Potato Omelet; and the Mushroom Omelet. Or, if you want to get creative, check out the Designer Omelets. For $10.95 you may choose three items from a list of 26, maybe pork sausage links, jack cheese, swiss chard and kale.

They serve all the omelets, as well as most of the breakfast entrees, with Simple potatoes. Recently when friends and I came for brunch, we ordered the Mushroom and the Mashed Potato Omelets. There was no shortage of mushrooms, shitake, cremini, and button, in the former, and the latter was loaded with rich creamy mashed potatoes, abundant bacon, and slivers of green onion. If that didn’t satisfy, then the chef added Creole hollandaise to top off the mashed potato omelet. Someone in the kitchen knows how to pile on the calories, one luscious bite at a time. And those Simple potatoes — salty, crunchy, red potatoes, dotted with bits of green onion — prompted my companion to exclaim, “I don’t need anything more, just give me a plateful of potatoes.”

A few days later at lunch, we reluctantly bypassed the breakfast entrees in favor of soup, sandwiches, and salads. We experienced exceptional service when a companion commented on the tepid tomato soup that accompanied her grilled cheese sandwich. Our server overheard the comment, and without hesitation, whisked the soup back to the kitchen and returned with a hot bowl instead. The grilled cheese sandwich made with multi-grain bread had the perfect ratio of cheddar to bread, making a sandwich far superior to the average grilled cheese.

The Roasted Beet Sandwich, one of several vegetarian choices, had sliced beets that hinted of citrus, with grilled red onion, chard, zucchini, and too much goat cheese. The cheese, a tasty accent, overpowered the beets, the alleged star of the sandwich, while the toasted ciabatta tasted as if it had just exited the oven. Also, on the menu for vegetarians, a Garden Burger made with walnuts and brown rice topped with caramelized onions, black beans, and much more. Somehow it all fits inside a brioche bun.

For the Seasonal Squash Bowl, a potpourri of “seasonal” products, the chef combined squash, roasted sweet potato, grilled red onion and toasted pepitas dressed with cider vinaigrette. Likewise, the Fall Chopped Chicken Salad showcased the autumn bounty, with grilled chicken, craisins, squash, red onion and more, tossed in a light vinaigrette. They added whole grain bread making a delightfully light, healthful lunch entrée.

Burger aficionados will appreciate the 8 oz. Mushroom Gruyere Burger served on a toasted brioche bun. Here is a burger that has enough yum piled on to satisfy anyone who appreciates the fixings as much as the main event. Sautéed mushrooms, gruyere, tomato-onion jam, mixed greens, red onion and roasted garlic top that burger to create a mouth-watering event for anyone who can get their mouth around this delectable combination. My companion‘s basic burger, a special request, came perfectly medium with a hint of pink, plus the usual lettuce, tomato, red onion and mayo.

There is also a short list of Craft Cocktails: Bloody Mary; Mimosa; White Russian; Chai Tea Latte with Twisted Path Chai Liquor; and Café Brasileiro with Godiva Dark Chocolate Liquor, Blue Healer Coffee, Vanilla, and Whipped Cream.

So, that’s Simple, where they serve not-so-simple food — fresh, light, healthy, often complex, always delicious.

Photo Gallery

On The Menu

The Rundown

  • Location: 2124 N. Farwell Ave.
  • Phone: 414-271-2124
  • Hours: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mon-Fri, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sat, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun
  • Website:
  • UM Rating: 4.3 stars (average of Yelp, Trip Advisor and Zomato)

If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us