I had a family "function" to go to in Connecticut, so I figured on my way home, which was still early-afternoon, I'd make a stop by some local cafes. Connecticut is much bigger than Rhode Island, and they have some pretty large cities. I felt for sure that I'd find some good coffee.
I traveled down Rt.95 in Google Earth and looked at the various cafes that popped up. Ninety percent of which were Dunkin' Donuts locations. Ugh. And I landed on two, Cafe Lulu and Cafe Atlantique. Both seemed nice. Atlantique was like Atlantic, but better, and Lulu had a nicer website. I tossed a coin. Atlantique it is!
Damn. I had high hopes. The outside and inside were all nice. Lots of seating. Free WiFi (along with an older-than-shit computer on which they were trying to sell internet access). Good menu with good sandwiches. But holy crap the espresso was bad. I had grounds in my espresso. Grounds! Where did they come from? It was burtn beyond words. The delicate taste of liquid charcoal bathed my taste buds. I'm sure that if I had just drank poison, I'd have been fine. The menu and location were good, but with espresso that bad, it kind of defeats the purpose of a cafe. Still, a menu of crepes, panini, and other light foods means that this would be a damn fine place for a bite.
But my visit was not a waste! Right across the street was a place called the Ice Shack... or Ice House. Something. I can't remember. It doesn't matter. They had frozen. Soft serve. Ice. CUSTARD! Ohhhhh it was good. It's hard to find ice custard but it's so, so worth it. Rich and creamy. Powerfully flavorful in ways ice cream just can't be. Decadent is a good word. Unbelievably unhealthy, I'm sure, but I could not possibly care less. It's good and this was very good custard. It's unfortunate. The last place I knew of in Rhode Island serving good ice custard was Rita's Ice Custard Happiness, on Mineral Spring Avenue in Johnston. Apparently, the Japanese-sounding name did little to help their business and they went under some time ago.
So yeah. I'll have to try Lulu soon. They apparently roast their own coffee.
Ice Shack/Ice House/Ice Hut/Ice Temple/Ice Ziggurat: +++
Cafe Atlantique: ++
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