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Subject: La.Va Cafe
Location visited: Philadelphia, PA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 3+ [see key]
Though I greatly enjoy long urban hikes, it's rare when good company, good surroundings and good weather cooperate. Sure you plan for the best, but sometimes you just get stuck with a bitter cold day, four morose companions, and a list of horrible tips coming to fruition as a day spent wandering amidst closed stores.
And then once in a while everything works out just right, such as this past month when I was walking with friends in Philadelphia. We had a small outing planned: lunch at the Reading Terminal, coffee and then a stop at the Mutter Museum. The forecast showed cold temperatures and snow, but that only characterized half the day, as about 2 PM we encountered beautiful skies, a warm breeze and a beautiful neighborhood along the Schuylkill River.
Thankfully, the nice experience lasted throughout the rest of the day, even into the early evening when we were ready to head home. On our walk out, I spotted a sharp-looking corner coffeehouse with large windows called La.Va Cafe and deduced that given our fortune thus far, it could be a nice spot to stretch our legs and grab a quick cup of coffee.
The interior stretches out into a vaulted space with warm decor and classy furniture. The coffee comes from La Colombe and upon sipping their drip, sadly my usual fears were realized as I noted the same tastes of a typical (disappointing) La Colombe cup; bland with hints of char. The espresso sipped a little better, as the barista had decent skills and pulled cherry-toned shots though it still possessed a good deal of char on the end. I didn't note the tea, but aside from the coffee they have a very full menu (which I unfortunately didn't get to try).
While La.Va ended my day in a fair manner, the coffee experience could've been better, especially given what seems to be strengths in other areas. Thus, if you're in the neighborhood, give La.Va Cafe a try for a meal and/or some moderate coffee.