I love the look and feel of Cafe Maude. The rich, vibrant colors are cozy and inviting. The space is well utilized. And as a bonus, there's also usually live music (piano during our visit). I thought we might regret not making a reservation given Cafe Maude's popularity (and a slightly awkward exchange with the host where he kind of seemed to hint at just that), but we ended up getting a booth immediately.Our server was friendly and helpful, which I was grateful for since I'd heard mixed reviews in the past. I was disappointed to learn that they were out of the quiche of the day but quickly recovered, asking the server for her recommendation between the bacon avocado omelette and the chorizo hash. Without any hesitation, she steered me toward the chorizo hash.Served with a fried egg and baby red potatoes, along with avocado and harissa on the side, I was quite impressed with the hash. The chorizo packed a nice little kick (sometimes a little more than this spice-adverse wimp is used to...but my water glass was kept full throughout) and the potatoes were fabulous. Obviously, the harissa hot sauce wasn't my cup of tea, but the avocado was a nice complement to the chorizo. Overall, it was very good.
My friend went with the smoked salmon omelette, which she also noted was very good.
I'd say that Cafe Maude definitely lives up to its "civilized leisure" tag line, paying great respect to its namesake Maude Armatage. It's easy to see why Cafe Maude is often considered a neighborhood favorite.