The Great Coffee Adventure: Just a wedding photographer + her coffee-enthusiast husband on an adventure through Pennsylvania; discovering, photographing and otherwise enjoying the unique, independently-owned coffeeshops and cafes of our great state. Coffee makes us happy.
In between the green mountains of Pennsylvania, there lies a little town called Howard. This town is so little that there’s only one stop-light. Life is quiet here. Walking down the street, you can almost hear the soft whooshing sounds of lake-waters lapping the shores. This little town sits beside Bald Eagle State Park, which holds a special place in our hearts forever… as we were married there in a lakeside ceremony in August 2011.
We like Howard. And its small-town, slow-paced life. We like the itty-bitty post office. And the blooming bushes in the park across the street from the cafe. We spent a few minutes strolling through the park, looking at the little monument and breathing in sweet spring air. I pointed out the little fire hall where my sis and her husband had their wedding reception. We drove across the bridge that I had sat beneath for hours and hours on a summer day… I would be reading while my little brother fished and we both waved at the boats floating lazily by.
This new cafe (open less than 3 months!) has captured the small-town vibe in a charmingly homey way. Walk in to a chorus of friendly voices saying “hello! what can I get for you?” and “have a seat! I’ll be with you shortly.” This cafe is mostly cafe with some coffee shop vibes (like the cute little tiled-counter coffee bar) and it’s full service.. so find a seat, browse the menu and order.
There are plenty of fascinating little spots to sit. And the clientele is as varied as the seating. We noticed a grandma and her little grandchildren, a man enjoying his coffee and breakfast solo, a church Sunday school class laughing and chatting in the back dining room and a newlywed couple holding hands in the corner (that’d be us! hehe).
Pleasant. Happy. Homey.
Three words that I would use to describe Cafe on Walnut Street. The pastel greens/yellows/browns of the color scheme were calming and especially impressive to me, because I had never been to a cafe that used that particular blend of colors. It spoke of leisure and pleasant summer times.
Add some sweet little touches like these…
Now let’s get on to that menu and ordering food and drink!
Brandon talks to us about coffee:
Café Americano. The Italians named the Americano, although interestingly enough they do not drink it. During World War II, American soldiers would dilute the strong European espresso (that they were not used to) with water, making a cup of something much closer to the coffee (which they were used to) in America. Hence, the Italian name for an American beverage. One of the biggest upsides to Americanos is that the water reduces the strength of the espresso, without necessarily diluting the flavor (don’t use too much water). So anyone that either doesn’t like the strength of a certain espresso or wants to focus on the nuances of his or her aforementioned espresso, a great solution is the Café Americano. Café on Walnut Street, in their few months of opening, have gone through about eight (8) different espresso blends, in an effort to find one that really says Café on Walnut Street. I don’t know if they’ve settled yet, but if they choose the one they served me, I should think they made a very good decision. Very caramelly (not a word) and very even (a well-balanced word).
Turtle Mochaccino. Espresso. Steamed Milk. Caramel. Hazelnut. Chocolate. Whipped Cream. Trip. To. The Sugar Factory. If there were Oompa Loompas in a Coffee Factory, they would drink Turtle Mochaccinos. I don’t claim to have all the answers, folks. Just the important ones.
Naomi again. You might need a few moments to enjoy this dessert drink. I know I did. Thirty minutes later and I still had a major sugar buzz!Amazing!!
So many dessert choices. We hardly knew how to choose…
Homemade Apple pie. An American classic.
Flaky crust. Perfect cinnamon-spiced filling. With a dollop of whipped cream. *sigh*
Since this is a cafe and they’re open for dinner, there’s a variety of changing daily specials. All just-like-you-went-to-Grandma’s house cookin’.
Honestly, one of my favorite parts of this cafe is their mostly-family-and-one-family-friend staff. They are super-friendly and funny and a little sassy. I heard one of them jokingly admonish a regular customer, “now you behave!” with a wink and a smile. Made me giggle. The staff seemed to match these cute little sayings around the shop.
It’s true that this place knows their clientele. I’m sure my hunting-obsessed little brother will be coming in to read this magazine.
If you like this place, take some of the chalk and write about it on the community chalk board. What a quirky and fun way to share your recommendations!
To experience this small-town cafe (and eat some homemade pie!), check out Cafe on Walnut Street.
337 Walnut Street,
Open ’til 8 pm!