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Mar 6, 2012 08:59 AM

Mussette Cafe - hidden away with an "interesting" model

Tucked away on an alley that comes off the parking lot of a Toyota dealership (the Pattison Toyota on Burrard downtown) with no front facing entrance to a street, this little cycling enthusiasts hangout/cafe offers up some very good espresso. Don't let the address of 1262 Burrard fool you - you won't find it. You have to go through the alley in the back by the Toyota parking lot to get there.

The spot is owned by Dave Vukets of the Trek Red Truck racing team, and it shows in the decorations which are HEAVILY cycling themed. The walls are lined with racing jerseys, there are TV screens showing cycling, there are cycling magazines, and there were about 10 bicycles in various locations around the space (many were from the cycling oriented crowd I imagine and some likely permanent). The only non-cycling themed things I found there were the actual coffee/pastries and a free foosball table in the back!

They are serving 49th Parallel beans, and taking the preparation seriously. They made a very nice espresso shot after spending a lot of time weighing the grind and weighing the final espresso right before serving.

The sweets, while they looked good, were a bit disappointing. I had a slice of chocolate cake, which was extremely dry.

For the gluten free crowd there was a lot of focus on gluten free options in the selections (for the record I do not think the dry chocolate cake was gluten free though).

They also had a menu from the European Breads Bakery which has a location facing the main street behind the alley (Burrard). Apparently you can order some food from them if you'd like. I'm a fan of the main European Breads Bakery over on Fraser, but this Burrard location was not to my liking when I went there - so I'm guessing that the pastries may also be their fault! I know I won't be ordering their food - that is for sure!

So it is nice to have a good espresso shot in this area, which previously didn't have a lot of good coffee options nearby. But I'll likely skip the sweets and food unless they find a better source.

I wonder if this alley based location will inspire others? Or if it will fail due to lack of foot traffic?

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  1. This is the kind of tip that makes my day! Let's hope this turns out like the Linden Alley Blue Bottle in SF and becomes a mecca for java enthusiasts as well as cyclists. It is well situated as you say in terms of there being nothing much drinkable coffee-wise in the immediate vicinity.

    1. I can see the connection to 49th Parallel as a lot of the brain-trust are cycling fanatics.

      2 Replies
      1. re: eatrustic

        I didn't know that - makes sense!

        1. re: eatrustic

          While it's true, some of us are cycling fans, I think choosing a roaster based on who rides bikes would be a poor business decision.

        2. Just as a point of information here... Dave does not own Musette. The owner is Thomas Eleizegui. Also, fun point of information, I brought Dave along to the very first Chowdown years ago!

          Musette is a terrific option in that area of downtown.

          4 Replies
          1. re: peter.v

            Okay, what other secret coffee places are you holding out on us, peter? ;-) And I remember Dave if you are speaking of Korean resto with tire rims...

            1. re: grayelf

              Secret? There are no secrets (although my bunker in Riley Park contains numerous brewing devices...).

            2. re: peter.v

              Ahhh.....Thank you for the clarification. Apparently it is owned officially by, "Caffe La Musette Inc." and just operated by Dave. :)

              Since you know him can you recommend a better source to him for baked goods perhaps?!?!?