The Crooked Mile Cafe reopened in August, serving breakfast and lunch. Photos by Meredith Goad

What is it with cars crashing into restaurants on Brighton Avenue? The Sinful Kitchen was shut down last week by a car that took out its front stairs. Before that, the Crooked Mile Cafe on the corner of Brighton and Stevens took a hit that resulted in the entire building being razed and rebuilt.

That was two years ago. The Crooked Mile finally reopened in August, and it was worth the wait. The building’s footprint looks pretty much the same on the outside, but spiffed up. Inside is a warm and welcoming space where I could see passing a free morning enjoying one of the cafe’s specialty lattes – maybe the Nutty Englishman, or the Almond Joyous. There are four tables (two that seat two people, and two that seat four), as well as four counter seats overlooking the street. The cafe has a front door, but everyone seems to use the back door off the parking lot because it’s the most convenient.

I suggest checking out the menu online before you go because the colorful chalkboard menu is so large and tightly written it will boggle your mind. Breakfast items such as egg sandwiches and bagels are served all day. I tried the Scrambler, a $4 cup full of cheesy scrambled eggs that I added sausage to for $1 extra. This low-carb option was creamy and fresh, and much better than what you’ll find at fast food places. The lunch menu is much larger, and all items are prepared as a salad, sandwich or wrap. Each lunch also comes with a choice of apple or chips. Pricing is easy to follow here. All lunches are $8.50, or you can order a half portion for $4.95. Add a cup of soup to a half-lunch, and it’s $4.95. The soups served on the day I visited were veggie lentil, pasta fagioli and creamy tomato.

Shea’s Veggie Wrap, made with provolone, hummus, cucumber, tomato, carrot, red onion and lots of greens, in a wheat wrap

The sandwich options include an Italian, tuna melt, roast beef, BLT, turkey melt and other standards, as well as some more dressed-up ones like the Chicken Bleu (grilled chicken with blue cheese crumbles) and the Spice of Life, made with curry chicken salad, cranberries, walnuts, red onion and greens with balsamic vinaigrette. I tried the Shea’s Veggie Wrap, made with provolone, hummus, cucumber, tomato, carrot, red onion and lots of greens, in a wheat wrap. It was fine, although nothing extraordinary (more hummus might have helped). I was happy with my apple, which was sweet and crisp. If you want dessert, try one of the cookies or brownies from the case.

Crooked Mile also has a large specialty coffee menu, as well as plenty of other choices to keep you warm this winter, including chai and hot chocolate. The cafe’s iced tea comes in lots of interesting flavors, including pineapple, pomegranate, mango and blackberry.

And if any of these items entices you to visit, just please, be careful with your car.

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