I have this tradition. It began at the end of my first semester at D’Youville, when I spent over three months eating cafeteria food and cafeteria food alone. I had transferred to DYC from a state university and I feared my days of delicious food had come to the end. As my first semester was winding down, it looked like my biggest fear had come true. That was until I caught wind of a little café on the corner of Porter and West avenues. I quickly found a friend to come with me and try out this newfound eatery. After walking merely one block from school, there it was – Morning Glory Café – tucked beside another building screaming, “I have the fresh, local food you have been dreaming about all along!” We entered the quaint café and looked around. There were five small tables and smiling employees behind the counter, oh, and a line-up of hungry customers. I knew right away it was going to be a hit.
Since then, I have had this tradition. The day before a huge exam, usually for one of the challenging science classes, my study partners and I take a break from our studying and call in to order our favorite items on the menu (so it’s ready when you get there). After enjoying our delicious meals, we feel energized enough to cram a few more hours of studying in!
Owners Mary Lou and Pat opened Morning Glory Café ten years ago and since then have seen it become a huge success. I was curious whether owning a café had always been a dream of theirs, so I asked Mary Lou what made them open Morning Glory. She laughed at this question, and explained that there was no dreaming involved. She simply had heard from her mom that an old tailor shop had closed and she saw a great opportunity to start a venture of her own. So Pat and Mary Lou partnered together and completely renovated the space. Soon after, the café opened and they were in business.
What’s on the Menu
While the original menu only featured coffee drinks and wraps, today’s menu offers something for everyone. For the early birds, there’s specialty breakfast sandwiches, bagels, and wraps, along with coffee and espressos. For the lunch goers, the menu has everything from Philly steak wraps, to pecan mandarin orange salads, to white pizza on focaccia bread. The cafe also serves daily soups and hot paninis, right off the grill. With over 40 items on the lunch menu and an infinite number of possibilities, Morning Glory keeps me coming back for more. My favorite item is the Harvest Wrap. Of course for your sweet tooth, they have smoothies, pastries, biscotti, and muffins. And did I mention, Death by Chocolate Brownies?
The Secret behind their Paninis
During my interview with one of the owners, I had a burning question – what was up with the strange names for the paninis? I had never heard of a “Dan” or “Jamie” or “Kush” sandwich in my life. Mary Lou let me on to the “secret” that these were some of their first loyal customers when the place opened. And that is the thing, once you try the food at Morning Glory Café, there is no option but to become a returning customer. The charm of the small café keeps you coming back for more, that and the owners know most of the patrons by name.
While Morning Glory wants to stay true to their original identity, they are always looking for new ideas to add to the menu. The café also provides catering for meetings and special occasions.
Ever since that “life-changing” day back in the spring of 2010, Morning Glory Café has been my “go to” place to grab a bite to eat. With at least half of their clientele being D’Youville College students and staff, Morning Glory will continue to be a part of campus life.