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The minute you walk into Cafe One Eight you’re enveloped by the aroma of fresh coffee brewing and drawn to the sweet treats on display. Bright and airy, you quickly feel at home with the comfortable ambiance and the employees’ welcoming smiles.
Celebrating eight years on West Orange Street this coming November, Cafe One Eight is a well-loved nook in our City of Lancaster, serving espresso drinks, breakfast plates, and salads and sandwiches six days a week. With the counter originally in the back, the cafe has come a long way since it opened its doors in 2011, but one thing hasn’t changed—it continues to be a wholesome gathering place for the entire community.
We recently ventured down Orange Street to try owner Kathleen Smucker’s latest additions to the summer menu: a charcuterie board and a peach parfait. Little did we know, we were in for a treat!
Featured on the lunch menu but available for breakfast upon request, Cafe One Eight’s charcuterie board is an accomplishment Kathleen is proud of—she discussed it for a year and now it’s finally come to be!
Full of delicacies, flavor, and variety, the charcuterie board is perfect for a summer snack to share with friends. Not only is the board a feast for your stomach, but its beautiful display is also a feast for your eyes. Kathleen has always loved charcuterie boards for a variety of reasons—they’re perfect for sharing, a decent size, fun and easy to eat! While it took a while to finesse the final board added to the menu, Kathleen had a blast inviting her friends over to try different combinations of food until she settled on the best one.
As we learned about the boards’ story into being, we eagerly anticipated tasting one, and soon we were oohing and aahing at the beautiful presentation lying before us. Presented on a handmade wooden board crafted by Kathleen’s friend’s husband, the board proudly sports small soufflés of honey and Bavarian Mustard with wooden spoons and three strawberries at its center. On its outer edges, thinly sliced Ciabatta with olive oil drizzle, a soufflé of crumbled goat cheese, dried cherries, prosciutto, pickled onion slices, smoked gouda, 3-year aged cheddar, praline pecans, and hard salami accompany the condiments.
These careful selections include a great combination of flavors and textures, from crunchy pecans to smooth goat cheese, and they’re things Kathleen, her friends, and her kids love! After soaking in the board’s beauty, our mouths were watering as we began to dig in.
To start the taste test, we tried eating it the way Kathleen likes to—by topping a little cheese with mustard and pickled red onion. As the cheese melted in our mouths, we looked at each other with closed mouth grins—so good! Sweet but not overpowering, the mustard (Kathleen’s favorite) tastes fantastic and is a nice complement to the cheddar, which has the perfect amount of sharpness. Next, we paired the bread with hard salami and gouda, which is creamy and delicious! The smooth flavors of the cheese paired with the salty flair of the meat tasted both familiar and totally unique.
The combinations you can create from the board are endless, and it’s utterly indescribable because each bite is different. Nothing competes for attention since the flavors work so well together, and in a phrase, it’s sweet and salty perfection! The pecans are addicting—we couldn’t get enough—and the goat cheese is the perfect amount of creamy that complements the tart cherries, salty prosciutto, and lightly toasted bread.
With all of the great flavors and textures, you can choose your own adventure when it comes to Cafe One Eight’s charcuterie board, and it’s definitely a must-try for your summer palate. The best part? There’s no “right” way to eat it—just savor every bite!
After treating our tastebuds with the board’s delicacies, we also got the chance to try Cafe One Eight’s peach parfait, another delicious addition to their summer menu.
Made fresh with local ingredients, the parfait features local Kauffman’s peaches, Pequea Valley Farms vanilla yogurt (which you can grab from Central Market), and housemade baked oatmeal. After tasting it, we quickly came to the consensus that the layered treat both looks and tastes divine! The light cinnamon flavor of the oatmeal is a great contrast to the sharp, tart peaches, and the yogurt, which has a greek taste to it although it isn’t actually greek, really makes the dish complete. Sweet, tart, and refreshing, the peach parfait is scrumptious!
Next time you’re near West Orange Street, be sure to stop by Cafe One Eight to share a charcuterie board, take a bite of a peach parfait, or enjoy one of their other delightful options. Other summer offerings to look forward to include a mocktail with a kombucha base fondly named “bouchtail,” a honey lavender latte that can be served hot or cold, and shakshuka, a Mediterranean breakfast made with tomatoes, garlic, onion, pepper, feta, and cilantro with avocados and eggs on top.
While their food is undeniably tasty, we would be doing you a disservice if we didn’t mention how awesome their coffee is, too! Featuring locally roasted Square One coffee, their daily blends are smooth, rich, and taste incredibly fresh. From bottomless mugs of drip coffee to flavored lattes and nitro cold brew on tap, there’s a drink for everyone, no matter your tastes.
Cafe One Eight is the perfect spot to enjoy a coffee with a friend, grab some lunch, get work done, or have your next breakfast date. Whether you’re up for a smoothie or want a full meal, they’ve got you covered. A lively, welcoming destination, head to Cafe One Eight to check out their summer menu the next time you’re in the City—we’re excited to hear what you think!