Cafe 153 [4/5]
4 (80%) 1 vote

Cafe 153
Cafe 153 opened at Bridge Street last summer. A reader had added it to the suggestion box so the hubby and I stopped in for a late lunch after seeing the new Avengers movie. Two o’clock Sunday is hardly the lunch rush, but there was a still a steady trickle of people coming in to study, grab a snack, or while away the afternoon.

We placed our order at the counter. For me, a special of the day–a grilled cheese sandwich, tomato bisque soup, and an unsweet tea. The hubby opted for a turkey panini, which came with chips, and a can of soda.

Drinks in hand, we scanned for a place to sit. Given my love of nooky places, I was enchanted by the upstairs eating area. Large enough to seat a crowd, the meandering layout and a smattering of leather armchairs gave it a cozy feel.

We seated ourselves at a table for two and chatted while we listened for our order. I sipped my tea and found it delightfully strong and flavorful, and if my small cup was mostly ice at least the refills were plentiful.

From our seats, we could look down on the counter below which was loaded up with alluring pastries comfortable under glass domes. Our server had offered us samples as we placed our order and that small bite of the lightly sweet, flaky apple danish had convinced me they would be good. Alas and alak, apple danishes are not exactly a well balanced lunch, so they remained in their case.

Our food came up quickly and we happily tucked in. My tomato bisque was smooth and creamy without being thick. Chunks of tomato and bits of basil floated in the lightly vegetable flavored soup. Pepper provided a mild flavor, but the slight burn at the back of my throat hinted at something with more of a punch. The bread was served with small pieces of herb infused bread. The bread seemed a little odd considering the special came with an entire sandwich, but it was delicious and balanced well with the soup.

My sandwich was a bit of a disappointment. The sandwich was constructed with two slices of multi-grain bread and at least two types of cheese–cheddar and Monterrey jack–and “grilled” in a panini press which overcooked the bottom. The pressure of the panini press had also compressed the bread, leaving the sandwich with a tough texture that I found unpalatable. My husband thought it was perfectly tender, so your mileage may vary.

Cafe 153
My husband’s sandwich was a panini made on the same multigrain bread. He especially liked the tomato and the hint of basil in his sandwich. I was tickled to see that once he had selected his chips (Cheddar Ruffles) they had taken the trouble to actually plate them instead of just hand him a bag. (Am I the only one who hates the greasy, powdery mess that chip bags leave on your hands? I have perfected the art of two fingered chip eating.)

Cafe 153 offers that classic coffee shop ambiance. It’s a place where you can lounge, philosophize, read, dream, socialize, and load up on way too much caffeine. Coffee drinkers are greeted at the front door by a huge selection of beans. The available patio seating would make for great people watching in nice weather and I appreciated that they offered both bottled and canned sodas. The pastries were the giant size I’ve come to expect at coffee shops–muffins so large I must hold them in two hands–and the sample of apple danish was promising. My soup was well above expectations but my sandwich…I won’t be ordering that again. I will, however, absolutely be back.

Total for the meal: $19.84 (includes one special, one panini, and one canned soft drink)

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