I stopped by Coca Café in Lawrenceville to meet a client for breakfast this Sunday. When I arrived, there was a small line, probably 20 people. The café was due to open at 10am, and the locals were eager to be the first seated.
Coca Café is small; probably 40 seats total. The inside is full of colors, and diner-type tables. There’s an espresso bar in the middle of the restaurant.
We sat in a room behind the main dining room at a small two-top. Our waitress arrived, took our drink orders, and disappeared. With the entire restaurant full at once, I began to wonder how the kitchen and wait-staff would handle the onslaught of customers.
Our drinks came (strong coffee and delicious fresh squeezed orange juice), and we placed our food order. I chose an omelet with avocado, jack cheese and cherry tomatoes. My client had the same; we also asked for some fruit, and dry wheat toast.
As we discussed an upcoming event, I noticed that a considerable amount of time had elapsed. It had been 30 minutes since we placed our food order, and there was no food in sight. I also noticed that the other diners were sans food as well. Gulp, gulp, my juice was gone, as was the coffee. My stomach was grumbling… where was the food?
Finally, after an hour and 10 minutes our omelets arrived. We both dug in. Overall, the food was good- the eggs were a bit overcooked, and the portion of home-fries was minuscule. My fruit was served in a thimble-sized container; very few berries to enjoy.
I think we may have picked a bad day to have breakfast at Coca Café. Perhaps a cook called off, or some of the kitchen was sick- I hope to have a better experience next time.
Chef Chuck Kerber