Waking up one summer at noon (because you know a girl's got to sleep) I was hungry, of course. However, sleeping in too late I was way too lazy to cook. So I got up, got dressed, met up with my boyfriend and nagged his ear off because I was hangry.

We decided to turn to yelp (which should every foodie's best friend) and searched for breakfast in Montclair, New Jersey. A few results showed up for some popular breakfast places, most of which we had been to. Scrolling down a little further I finally came across a breakfast cafe that we had not been to. I saw a picture which, if my boyfriend had seen, would have had him dragging me out the door. Trying to be romantic, I kept the cafe a secret to myself and told him to get in the car.

We drove to Fairfield Street in Montclair. This part of town is small and has some unique spots, but is definitely not the most popular area of Montclair to those unfamiliar with the town. So I parked right around the corner in a two-hour parking (which is my favorite because you don't have to search for random quarters hidden around your car) and walked a short block up to Tiny Elephant. This was the point where both my boyfriend and I were almost too giddy to control ourselves in public.

The Atmosphere

Since it was summer, Tiny Elephant had plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy some food, the pleasant town, and the weather. There were less tables inside than outside, but right in view was the open archway to a small local bookstore (which is where my boyfriend turned into the heart eyes emoji in real life).

Directly connected to this cafe is Watchung Booksellers, which is a independent community bookstore. Although the bookstore is small itself, it holds a wide variety of books and has a very friendly staff.

Tiny Elephant is a family owned cafe and bakery run by chef Alison Meade and pastry chef Dana Bachan. Alison grew up cooking and decided to follow that passion getting a degree from the French Culinary Institute in New York City, while Dana is a self-taught baker. 

The two sisters opened the cafe in 2014 when Comfort Food Kitchen, where Alison was previously the chef, closed their doors. Watchung Booksellers wanted to bring books and pastries together and decided to ask the sisters to open a wall to bring the stores together. This created the perfect pairing for book lovers, food lovers, and more.

The Food

The menu is full of dishes made with fresh foods, and you can really taste it. They always have different specials depending on the season and they bake fresh goods daily.

My first time there I tried the Green Goddess Sandwich. I'm not typically a fan of cucumber, but this sandwich just would not be right without it. The avocado was perfectly ripe, which is hard to find in my world. And the 7 grain bread was out of this world. It wasn't your basic store bought bread, it held up and had such great flavor from all of the grains in it. The sandwich really used perfect ingredients to make a marriage that was so simple yet perfectly done.

Something unique they do on their breakfast menu is a "pancake of the day". My boyfriend ordered it our first time there and happened to get Maple Bacon Pancakes, which even tempted me as someone who doesn't eat meat!

Our second time around, we decided to each get a meal and then share one as well because we were so in love with the food from Tiny Elephant.

I ordered the Heuvos Rancheros Wrap which had fluffy (but not wet eggs - so the wrap wouldn't get soggy) with pico de gallo, black beans, and more perfectly ripe avocado. It also had fresh cilantro cream sauce, which just gave the wrap an extra boost. On the side were crispy, seasoned potatoes, just to add to a carb lover's life. 

My boyfriend again order the pancakes of the day, which this time were blackberry. He enjoyed there more than the first and still finished the whole plate.

Our third, shared dish was a special. We enjoyed a pesto flat bread with yummy Jersey corn, sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese. We were also able to add shrimp on top for extra indulgence. I have never had my eyes roll to the back of my head as quickly as I did with this flat bread. Everything worked together to give my mouth one amazing flavor after another. The Jersey corn was so sweet, the shrimp was seasoned and cooked to perfection. I just wish this wasn't a seasonal flatbread.

Don't Make My Mistakes

Then there was my first mistake. My first time there, I missed out on their amazing drink selection. Since they don't having a drink menu in the cafe, when you go you must remember to ask what drinks they have. I have no idea what I ordered because I don't speak coffee language. Despite my lack of knowledge, I ended up with this delicious drink the I would get again, if I could remember what it was.

My second mistake is that I still haven't tried anything from their bakery. Maybe it's because I'm so full after having one and a half meals or maybe its because I'm already looking into the bookstore, but the bakery is something you better try out.

And my third mistake. The first thing I noticed once we sat down was a chalkboard above our table advertising their Pasta Night. Every Tuesday Tiny Elephant does Build Your Own Pasta Night. You get to pick one of five pastas, one of five sauces and then you can add in veggies, meats, or fish. There are endless possibilities when it comes to Pasta Night and yet I haven't been back to try it out for myself.

Seeing a description that says "local cafe with fresh ingredients attached to a bookstore" may make people think they'll show up to some hipster, boho epicenter or something along those lines. But his cafe is for everyone. My obsession with elephants and fresh food along with my boyfriend's obsession with books brought us to this place. The two of us are very different people, the people we sat next to both times were very different, and even their staff is very different. The one thing that everyone loves about Tiny Elephant is the warmth and comfort that radiates, and nothing can beat that.