Cuppa Java in Bryn Mawr

Since blogs and self described ‘foodies’ are taking over the radio waves, everyone is suddenly a food critic. Including me. But in critiquing food, we often forget that food is more about nourishment and comfort as it is about foams and sous vide. And that is why I love eating at my neighborhood coffee shop, Cuppa Java. It’s a place to belong, build community and get something to eat.

On a recent visit I ran into the guy two doors down who told me about the couple that moved into the bottom of his duplex and what kind of dogs they have (an important tidbit for me because I like to take neighbor dogs on my runs.) I sat down next to a former neighborhood intern who was drawing intricate Lao dancers for the media materials she is designing for the Lao New Year celebration coming up in April. For a while I worried about her since her family’s home was foreclosed on over a year ago. It’s wonderful to see her thriving and smiling. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a friend’s husband come in to pick up some take out boxes. I chuckled to myself because I know exactly what’s inside: buffalo chicken sandwiches. She has a bona fide addiction and eats them a few times a week.

My companion ate a grilled cheese and tomato on pumpernickel with a cup of minestrone. His only comment, prior to eating, was that it wasn’t that expensive. For a tiny kitchen they turn out surprisingly good food. Nothing fancy- sandwiches and salads- the kind of food you make at home if you’ve got groceries and time. There was a nuclear family with two pre-teen children (who were quietly reading actual library books!) sitting next to us. The short menu had something for everyone to order including a glass of red wine each for mom and dad.

Even the most avid cooks among us have to admit that sometimes food tastes better when someone else makes it- especially on tired winter evenings. I can tell you for sure, the next time we have a big snow storm and I get home late from work, I’ll march down to the coffee shop in my mukluks admiring how pretty the snow looks on the trees, and I’ll order a grilled cheese and maybe a Summit Pale Ale. Undoubtedly, other neighbors will be there- we’ll catch up and talk about the weather. We’ll eat something warm and decent at a fair price. That’s all the good food I need.

Originally posted by Morchella on Monday, January 30, 2012