In a word: Cat-alyzes the neighborhood.
JM ate the ham and swiss honey mustard panino with a lemonade and a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie for dessert.
Nichole ate the bacon English muffin sandwich and a small chocolate hazelnut gelato.
The bill was $18, or $9/person, plus tip.
JM gave Java Cat a B+; Nichole gave Java Cat an A- (see our grading rubric).
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Java Cat has a wide menu that includes homemade gelato, bakery, wraps, panini, breakfast sandwiches (served anytime), soup, Gail Ambrosius chocolates, and croissants, in addition to the usual coffee fare.
JM's panino was good, if a little underheated. The ciabatta was nice, reasonably tasty but with mostly muted spices, though not as good as that at In the Company of Thieves. The chips were better than most, being actually light and crispy. The lemonade was a little strong on the sour and light on the sweet, and, as a finale, the peanut butter cookie was just the right kind of soft, crunchy enough not to be a doughball.
Nichole found her breakfast sandwich a little pricey - but it was served fast, on an English muffin with a tidy round of scrambled egg, a slice of American cheese, and bacon - good, but not remarkable.
The gelato, on the other hand, is worth a special trip to Java Cat. Nichole chose the hazelnut chocolate from a selection of more than a dozen homemade flavors in the immaculately tidy freezer case. The "small" was actually a very generous scoop (and as it turns out they'll even serve multiple flavors per dish). Tiny bits of hazelnut studded the dense yet smooth chocolate base, and left a delicious lingering taste.
Upon further examination of the menu Nichole found the good deal: the soup and sandwich that comes with a small gelato, for about the price she paid for her meal. There's always next time.
Java Cat also proudly displays a well-earned "Obsessively Clean Restroom" award, and really the only fault we could find is that a personal bias against cats (sorry, cat loving readers) made the over-the-top cat decor a little unappetizing. Bus-your-dishes-tub-as-litterbox just doesn't work for us, we guess.
All told, the neighborhood really needed a place like Java Cat. Whether you live nearby or are just passing through, give it a try.