At Café Liminal, food is medicine.
The Downtown eatery opened July 1 at 1125 Penn Ave., in the former Colony Café site. Owner Anthony Curtis says the menu is full of good-for-you food that’s gluten- and dairy-free. He’s sourcing as many local, organic products as he can find to make vegans, vegetarians — and the occasional carnivore — happy.
“My real passion is approaching food as medicine,” says Curtis, who launched the Café Liminal concept at Smallman Galley, a restaurant incubator in the Strip District, last year.
Liminal means transitional space. While the pop-up started as Steel City Subs, customers were more interested in the test kitchen’s other breakfast, lunch and dinner options, including the Focus Bowl. It’s a mix of zucchini, carrots, riced cauliflower, broccolini, asparagus, avocado and numerous other veggies, combined with a protein boost of organic chicken, grass-fed steak or an egg.
Other menu items include salads, full plates of sirloin, pork loin or a Breakfast Chimi with organic chicken, egg, cilantro and avocado hollandaise sauce.
Right now, Café Liminal is strictly a takeout and delivery joint from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Once Allegheny County lifts on-site dining restrictions, it will feature about 20 seats, including two outdoor tables. The second-floor loft — which served as Colony Café’s cat adoption center — has been ozone-treated and will serve as a meditation area for Downtown workers who want a quiet place to relax.
If you just want to sit and sip a cup of joe, Café Liminal serves coffee from Connect Roasters, an Illinois-based company that gives back to charitable organizations around the world.
Curtis has the same altruistic spirit, which led him to join forces with fellow philanthropist Sukanta Nag, owner of Adda Coffee & Tea House.
Curtis will use the kitchen in Adda’s third location in Garfield to produce Liminal Nutrition, a healthy line of to-go eats.
“We hope Café Liminal and Liminal Nutrition serve people that are transitioning from what is to what’s next,” Curtis says.