Jitters Café deftly intermixes locally grown, organic ingredients whenever possible to fill empty stomachs with a toothsome menu of soups, salads, and baked goods. Lavish neglected spice yens with a pungent bowl of veggie or meat chili flanked with stacks of crispy tortilla chips ($3.75/cup, $5.75/bowl), or spoon up savory destiny with a cup of the rotating soup of the day ($3.50/cup, $5.50/bowl). A vitamin-kissed mixed greens and spinach salad laced with candied walnuts, grape tomatoes, and judicious sprinkles of feta cheese ($6.75) hones jaw muscles and rabbit impressions. Guests can opt to eschew greenery entirely for the primal chew of cheese, pepperoni, or veggie pizza by the slice ($4–$5). Congo lines of freshly whipped desserts fill sweet teeth with bites of strawberry-topped cheesecake ($5.50), vegan cookies ($2.50), and frosty glasses of ice-cream-kissed frozen coffee ($3.50).
The chefs at River's Edge Bistro culled their recipes from the culinary traditions of the 21 countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea. They make hummus from scratch and flame-broil skewered chicken and shrimp doused with classic Mediterranean spices. Lamb gyro tucks into a pita with a dollop of tzatziki sauce, and crispy falafel balls are drizzled with tahini sauce. A corner of the BYOB eatery hosts live performances by singers, guitarists, and professional finger snappers.
The café menu at Hartford Baking Company displays a slew of sandwiches framed in fresh artisan breads and pastries baked from scratch. Fluffy multigrain bread cushions the roasted turkey slathered in cranberry-sage mayo and caramelized onion jam ($7.45), and the flavor of roast beef emerges full-force when coaxed by a blue-cheese spread and caramelized onions, all resting on a rustic roll ($7.95). Hartford Baking Company counts among its doughy dominion a variety of weekly rotating bread selections as well as everyday flavors including honey whole wheat, walnut raisin, and french peasant bread that longs to eat cake. A slice of signature chocolate arrives swathed in either cream cheese or mocha frosting, and scones or biscotti compliment steaming cups of Harney & Sons tea ($1.89) or Stumptown coffee ($1.50–$2.12).
Consuming between 9 and 13 servings of vegetables and fruits each day can seem like a daunting task. But Robeks turns what could be a chore into a delicious pastime with fresh juices and blended smoothies that incorporate oranges, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, mangos, and other fresh fruits. Elsewhere on the menu, fresh salads, tasty muffins and cookies, and gourmet sandwiches help customers adhere to a healthy lifestyle without hiring an apple tree as a personal trainer.
Featured by Paul Stern on Mansfield-StorrsPatch in 2011—just months after its opening—Coriander Cafe & Country Store has hatched quite the name for itself in Eastwood. According to Stern, brothers Scott and Brett Laffert run the show with Brett, a former chef and self-proclaimed “country person at heart,” transforming local ingredients into gourmet sandwiches, burgers, and straw hats. The shop makes all their breads—from ciabatta to whole wheat—in-house before stacking them with fresh-carved turkey and cranberry sauce or homemade black-bean patties. Yet the cooks don’t stop at handheld fare; the menu changes daily and can include anything from pan-seared haddock over corn-and-chive griddlecakes to braised pork belly with a side of chipotle grits.
Coriander Cafe also welcomes early risers into its country confines for a cup of fair-trade and organic coffee from Red Barn Coffee Roasters, a homemade bagel, or a decadent pastry such as a raspberry scone or cinnamon-sugar donut muffin, which guests can enjoy inside or amid fresh-picked oxygen molecules on the backyard deck. A fully stocked country store outfits fleeting customers with all the necessities, from homemade cookies and Red Barn coffee to gourmet jams and hot sauces.
Passiflora’s eco-conscious menu brims with more than 140 varieties of tea and wholesome fare prepared with local and seasonal ingredients. For breakfast, a flourless veggie mini quiche sparks dozing synapses with the help of sourdough flax or gluten-free toast ($6.99). Patrons access free WiFi after fashioning an impromptu mouse pad out of lunchtime options, which include a basil pesto chicken panini ($8.99) or a homemade veggie burger ($8.99). Meanwhile, black, oolong, green, and white herb bundles from the vast tea menu bathe luxuriously in cups ($2–$4.25) and pots ($3.75–$6.75); smoothies such as cardamom-ginger-mango lassi ($6.50) tempt palates with flavors as smooth and complex as a calculus class taught by Marvin Gaye.