Cafe Drift and the Rundown of Azkaban: The Return of the Java

8 Jul

As my titles become progressively less funny and my nerdiness more and more apparent, I will remain JUST AS AMUSED AS EVER while my subscribers drop like flies…  (Is it Jedi or King?  OH YES I went there.)

330 Main street, Middletown, CT

860-346-JAVA (5282)

Website

Monday – Thursday: 7:30am-7pm;  Fridays: 7:30am-10pm; Saturdays: 8am-10pm; Sundays: 9am-6pm

Popeye's Chicken crepe and Harney and Sons Mint Verbena tea

Javapalooza is hands down the best place in town to sit and do work on a laptop.  It is also the best cafe in which to have a formal meeting that you want to disguise as an informal meeting, the best place to buy gingerale, and the best place to get hit on by people with laptops that are a good deal older than you are but a good deal younger than your parents.  It’s not the best food, coffee, tea, atmosphere, or prices, but it is definitely the most mainstream, user-friendly cafe with the most outlets, which makes it the best place to bring your computer and/or homework.

The place is fairly vegetarian friendly, offering both made to order and ready-made salads and lunch ‘wiches.  They usually have one vegan soup of the day.  The soups are generally pretty good, as are the ready made sandwiches if you get them toasted on the grill, and the crepes, which were introduced a few years back.  The scones and stuff are alright if you get them warmed up.  Even though Java is open pretty late for Middletown standards, they stop preparing food at around 5pm on a lot of days, which I don’t think is the best business decision.  They also don’t re-stock particularly often, so if they’re out of gingerale you might not see it again for a month.

Best stuff on the menu: Gingerale (it’s that fresh-ish stuff that the Usdan cafe has recently started carrying.  It costs as much as a bottle of Budweiser at a bar, but is way more worth it.), vegan tomato soup, spicy chicken crepe, popeye’s chicken crepe (with spinach and mozzerella, pictured), bananas foster crepe,   the ready-made sandwich with the ham/granny smith apples/honey mustard, apple fritters (when warmed up), and the Harney and Sons Paris tea, one of the few flavored teas I really love (unfortunately Java hasn’t re-stocked it in months).  The coffee is whatever but some of the baristas make a good girly latte if you’re into that- try the pumpkin spice, Lex on the Beach, or Mint Mocha.  The beer menu was designed by one of the baristas from a while back, so that’s also worth a try if you’re willing to shell out for it (why do they have beer?  Because they were trying to attract more people to music nights.  I can’t say it worked and I can’t say it didn’t.)  See the full menu here.

Student Discount: 10%, but only the owner will go out of his way to give it to you.  You definitely have to ask for it, and some of the servers don’t even know how to do it on the cash register.

Middletown Cash: Yes, according to Wes (I haven’t actually witnessed it used)

Price: On the depressingly high end of standard.  A tea bag and some hot water will run you $2.  So will drip coffee.  The prices are a bit too high for the product.

Service: Used to be at least a little bit cooler–now rather disgruntled.  The daytime crepe chef is super nice though.  Also, the current owner bears mentioning: although he goes out of his way to give Wes students discounts and he tries pretty hard to socialize, he’s always made me feel awkward.  I’m not sure if it’s the same guy, but there was one owner, Neil Dinerman, whose alleged homophobia didn’t make him so popular with the Wesleyan community.

Atmosphere: A little like a train station, only people stay for longer.  Expect families with children, police officers, high schoolers analyzing boy problems, couples with their wedding planners, community college students doing classwork, metro looking guys on laptops, very young scene kids who either don’t know about or are afraid of Klekolo, that guy who just orders a bacon egg and cheese and leaves, and the occasional Wes kid.  The decor is trying to be cool but also inoffensive–and fails–I’m not a fan of the posters.  The music can be great, boring, loud, or soft depending on the barista and whether the owner is in.  They have occasional bands at night but I’ve never seen anything particularly worth comment.

WiFi: Free!

Prime laptop real estate is on the stage in the front and also at the very back of the store.

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