Hey, kids – I’m back on campus. For me, that screams less of the normally assumed activities, & more of “C-O-F-F-E-E.” Yes ma’m, I do love my cup of joe in the morning…and afternoons…and a small latte in the early evening. Alright, so I have a bit of an obsession. But, you shall benefit from my caffeine “expertise.”
Hidden, in what many consider the bowels and boonies of Illinois (but is actually a cute little hipster town), of Urbana lies the most adorable coffee shop in existence (thus far) – Caffe Paradiso.
Yes, ladies & gents, the quaint little corner bistro you always dreamt of that remains uncorrupted of corporate coffee bean juice EXISTS. It not only exists, but thrives on the small corner of Lincoln & Nevada under a tidy blue awning. Recently under new management, what was once a dingy and slightly musky study area now morphs into an edgy cafe. To dine & die for, one must assume.
Let’s talk ambience. Apropos lighting – not too dim-dungeon, yet not photoshoot brilliantine either; I shall say “mood” lighting? However, the beautiful windows allow for plenty of natural sunlight to coax out appreciative grunts during morning coffee. The paint job calls on rustic hues of mumustard yellows, burnt burgundy, shy indigo’s, and evergreen’s. Absolutely nostalgic of what imagined Paris or Italian cafes might be.
Ah, back to the coffee, you say? Well, a little hasty are we? But yes, the coffee remains la creme de la creme – not burnt or over-roasted but enough to warrant the heady aroma of a dark brew.
Portions are flippin’ generous. GEN-E-ROUS. I ordered a small cafe latte on Sunday, and the cup made my IKEA soup mug cry, I swear. Beautiful, beautiful people who are so very privy to college kids’ caffeine addictions. My friend only ordered half a sandwich, & they ended up giving her an entire sandwich. Mind you, this was not a small fry – it was a gorgeous, full-bodied sandwich chock-full of jalapenos & beef. We guessed that the nice barista thought E was cute or was just feeling generous. Turns out after further questioning, he merely forgot – but get this – still did not charge us for the extra half. Amazing. Love these chill people.
But the food…how bears the taste to the taste buds? I have only partaken of the red pepper feta croissant, but let me tell you, hon – perfecto. Toasted with flax seeds and just enough olive oil to render it crisp, buttery heaven in your mouth. You will not speak for fear of ruining your moment with ze morsels of goodness. Just sayin’. It’s pretty good, if pretty good is what awesome sauce tastes like. Feast your eyes:
Cozy place, good company, friendly staff, delicious food, & perfect coffee – a girl could live like this. Yes, I think so.