A Divine Coffee Intervention

When the bells of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist ring out on Sunday mornings, churchgoers scatter across Abercorn Street to visit another “bell,” the Mirabelle Suites & Cafe.  Named in lieu of the beautiful cathedral chimes, this charming establishment hears them ring on the hour seven days a week, and so far they have managed to beckon more than just parishioners.  


The part-cafe-part-suites is located at what might be one of the best spots for a cafe in all of Savannah at 313 Abercorn Street.  Between the cathedral across the way, a trolley stop to the left of the church, and St. Vincent’s Academy just around the block, the cafe is a go-to for folks who require their morning cup of Joe or tourists who are in dire need of a sugar boost.  The suites are an ideal destination for bridal parties who are booked for a wedding at the cathedral as well as visitors to Savannah who wish to stay in the heart of the Historic District.


I owe the cathedral (and maybe divine intervention) to my discovery of Mirabelle’s when I popped my head in after mass last week to see if they sold cappuccinos.  When what to my wondering eyes did I behold but a mouthwatering display of coffees, quiches, and waffles (and cappuccinos in case you were wondering).  


The cafe has accumulated a local following since it opened in May 2015.  When managing partner Brandi Bradley came onboard later in the fall, she had to learn the art of Belgian liege waffles.  She said she uses her staff as a point of reference when creating new waffle hybrids, and she tries to tap into what flavors are trending.  From there, she concocts a variety of interesting combinations from brie with raspberry (the Brie and Raspberry special) to bananas and caramel with pecans (appropriately named Monkey Business).


My first waffle at Mirabelle’s was their Brie and Raspberry special.  To Bradley and Mirabelle’s credit, my inner writer disregarded all adjectives – all words – when I took my first bite.  If heaven has a taste, it’s a melting combination of creamy cheese and sweet berries frosting a warm bed of yeast and powdered sugar.  I’m not hyperbolizing.  These waffles are no joke.    


Bradley and her staff make Mirabelle’s specialty Belgian liege waffles with yeast and pearl sugar cubes for a rich, unique texture, best served fresh from the iron.  They make the dough in house, and assemble it into balls which are left to rise.  The next day, the dough balls are placed in the cafe’s in-house Belgian waffle iron and pressed to perfection.


All of the ingredients used at Mirabelle’s are either locally sourced or made in-house, making for an intimate feel between the food and friendly staff.  In addition to regular sandwiches, the cafe serves paninis with waffles as the bread.  Though the waffles are the top item at Mirabelle’s, their panini’s are following in hot pursuit.  


Mirabelle’s pseudo European-inspired ambience is downright adorable, thanks to Savannah’s own Rethink Design Studio.  Every window and table has a view of the cathedral in all its splendor.  The four suites offered above the cafe overlook the same scene, and they come with a full bed and bath with a kitchenette.  It is entirely plausible (and acceptable) you could stay in the suites, walk down to the cafe in your robe and slippers, grab a specialty drink (a couple featured latte flavors include Snickers, Milky Way, and Cinnamon Bun), then retreat back to your little corner of Abercorn.  


For now, Bradley and her team are just having fun making waffles, and they hope to continue to provide quality customer service to all of Savannah.  Bradley’s favorite waffle flavor so far is the Monkey Business special, a play on bananas foster and my second Mirabelle waffle after my inaugural Brie and Raspberry fusion.  


It’s about time waffles get the recognition they deserve, in my opinion.  Cupcakes and donuts had their moment.  With the help of hungry tourists, loyal locals, and maybe even a sprinkle of divine intervention, Mirabelle and her savory waffles will not be a passing trend anytime soon.