Second Helpings

Java Moon

There was a time when Java Moon was hailed as the conquering hero of the Golden Triangle. It was a coffeehouse in a neighborhood that desperately needed one (you know, to balance out all the dive hotels and new lofts and pawnshops and galleries and whatnot), a coffeehouse that also served breakfast and lunch and soups and smoothies and cinnamon rolls in a yuppie-friendly environment without too much in the way of the "culture" (read: mohawks, drag queens and mopey emo music on the radio) that makes so many small, locally owned coffeehouses abhorrent to the kinds of customers who might be able to pay for their single cup of drip coffee with something other than pocket change. For a while, Java Moon was the greatest thing since sliced bread -- and since it also had sliced bread, the neighbors were overjoyed. But this early success was followed by a period when Java Moon just flat sucked, and word got around about the dry cinnamon rolls, soggy burritos and artless sandwiches. Now, though, the Moon appears to be on the rise again. Lately it's been doing a good trade among laptop-slinging business types, suits trying to do a quick lunch on the cheap and neighborhood liberals hosting anti-everything strategy sessions around the table and armchairs in the back. The food has improved to the point that I occasionally crave one of those warm, gooey cinnamon rolls or a simple grilled cheese sandwich-and-soup combo. The sandwich board has expanded even as the hours have shrunk (the place now closes by two in the afternoon). And while I keep getting weak cups of coffee, I'm more to blame than the house, since I get to choose the coffee for my cafe au lait, and I invariably go for something light and mild and sissified just because I like the name.