I like some things here, am not too keen about some things, and have a question about something.
The coffee is very good and the baked goods that make the reputation are top-rate. Check out the sandwiches, but especially the rhubarb galette. The ice tea is also good. I think a place that makes its own ice tea, rather than rely on a pop company, now defines the minimum standard for a restaurant that understands it is supposed to make and sell food, not just dispense goods from a food distributor, so this place makes the grade.
The salads reminded me of my 1970s days when alternative food was just getting going and we ate tasteless salads because they were good for us. That's a bad legacy of thinking and food preparation we need to work hard to overcome, and that's not happening here.
In my e-book on Food and City Building, I argue that places like his have a function, which planners refer to as a "third place" -- sort of like a neighborhood Cheers where people come to meet friends, not just eat on their own.
As a visitor, I didn't feel like I was a guest in a neighborhood, but a customer at a business. I think they should relax the "laptop free zone" rule, and let some of the students in cramped rooms and lonely writers hang out along the edges, so we get a core number of regulars who come here partly for the company -- ie companionship, not the business.
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