Café Mirror doesn’t, in fact, have any mirrors, but that’s not surprising considering this café has an identity crisis that any self-transforming superhero could appreciate. It’s a coffee shop that serves Chinese food! It’s a deli with coffee-shop trappings! Or is it a Chinese joint with ... well, you get the idea. The Mirror’s schizophrenic menu runs the gamut from flavored coffees, beef loc lac, and a pastry case filled with turnovers, bow ties, and scones to curry dishes and traditional deli sandwiches. But once you get past the confused pedigree (the menus on the wall advertise Pepsi, yet the place sells only Coke), there’s a lot to like in this eatery, located in the thick of Brighton Center.
Generous portions of chicken and vegetables made the chicken lo mein and chicken fried rice (both $6.95) likable. Both entrées got some needed zip from doses of soy and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. Breakfast items were heroes in their own right, with the smoked-turkey club ($4.95) sporting flavorful turkey, lettuce, tomato, and crisp bacon on lightly toasted white that wasn’t drowning in mayonnaise. Chunks of green and red peppers, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes peeked out of the light and fluffy two-egg veggie omelet ($5.95) with home fries. And what better way to top off a lo mein, omelet, and turkey-club meal than with a milk shake? The strawberry shake ($2.25) was no mix — its base of rich strawberry ice cream triggered childhood memories of hot sidewalks, chlorinated water, and sunburns.
Café Mirror’s interior? You guessed it: an eclectic mix of pink walls, wood paneling, and a single exposed-brick column in the back. Seating for 26 comes with table service from a small but attentive staff, and large windows afford a great view of the goings on in Brighton Center.
Café Mirror, located at 326 Washington Street, in Brighton, is open Monday through Friday, from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Saturday, from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (617) 779-9662.