Friday, February 12, 2010

Cool Bean

I know that they're a dying breed but one of my absolute favorite places to go are independent coffee shops. It's always a pleasure to go hit one up that is feverishly supported by the locals who seem to prefer it to Starbucks.

I was hanging out with my ladies, Kate and Laura, a few weeks ago and we hadn't really eaten much in the line of breakfast so Laura said she knew a great place. We got into her car and took a lovely drive over to the small town of Hopewell. It was about 10-12 minutes from her place in Lawrenceville. She parked across the street from our destination, The Boro Bean. She assured us that we were going to love this place as much as she did.

We walked into the renovated old house and passed a cart of books on sale from the local library which is up the street in an adorable building that looks like it should be part of the Christmas Village my inlaws put up every year. The front counter of the Boro Bean is lit up with lights and a colorful menu that offers up a variety of choices for breakfast and lunch. It's also impossible not to notice the large area of counter space to the right of the cash register that is taken up by dozens of muffins. Not just any muffins. These bad boys are roughly the size of a human head. There are displayed right in the pans and they glisten with the hope of being purchased and enjoyed. They usually have at least four different flavors and I've can tell you that the apple, peach and gingerbread varieties are all fantastic. You can wash it down with a coffee. I asked for a dry cappuccino and it practically floated out of my hand. They feature Small World coffee and although the espresso was bitter (as it tends to be in most places), the drink was well crafted.

Another highlight of the Boro Bean is the panini selection. There are at least two or three vegetarian choices and they also offer delicious homemade soups with at least one meatless option. The last time I went, I decided to go with the grilled veggie panini (squash and zucchini) with gorgonzola cheese and an artichoke spread....

If you order a sandwich, they offer you the choice of chips or bean salad. The salad was great but avoid it if you don't enjoy cilantro. I read something recently that said people either love it or hate it. That there really aren't any shades of grey when it comes to enjoying the flavor of that particular herb. Maybe this is true because I really like it and my brother-in-law cannot stand it.

The Boro Bean is right on the main strip of Hopewell. After you have your fill of goodness, you should definitely take the time to walk off your meal in this charming little town. There's some good antiquing to be found as well a laid back pace that almost feels southern.

Boro Bean
9 East Broad Street
Hopewell, NJ 08525

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