Esselon Cafe

After a long Tuesday that included vending at the Northampton Tuesday Market and hanging up my first ever solo photo show at Laughing Dog Cyclery & Art Space in Amherst, Chris and I stopped for a late bite to eat at Esselon Cafe in Hadley, MA.

It was easy to see why they were voted Best Independent Coffee House/Cafe in the Valley Advocate this year.  It looked like a killer breakfast/lunch/Sunday brunch kinda place.  I was more than happy to find gluten-friendly options on their menu and a helpful server for my evening meal.

The outside seating, although slightly buggy, was pleasant.  It was nice to sit and relax with an iced green tea and lemon while chatting with my favorite person.  When my teriyaki burger with pineapple and greens arrived, I devoured it…and not because I had worked through lunch and dinner.  The entrée was deliciously sweet and tangy, the burger cooked to perfection.  Chris had the juicy gourmet burger and was quite happy with his pick!

The only glitch was a sides mix up.  I was supposed to have a salad and Chris opted for gf pomme frites on a separate plate so we could share.  The orders came reversed so the gluten-free items stayed together.  Not a gigantic problem as I understood why it happened.  However, even though the staff was knowlegable to my needs and I didn’t get “glutened”, it still made me think twice about the need to be more clear when ordering despite the glitz of a menu with gf options.

I must say that forgoing the much-wanted salad meant getting most of the gf pomme frites (read: house cut fries with kick ass aioli).  I did share…they were too good not to share!

On the way out, I ordered a second iced green tea since.  It was so refreshing that I couldn’t resist.  I had noticed earlier that they stocked gluten-free baked goods, shipped in from Woodstar Cafe, in their glass case and asked about them.  The clerk, apologetic about the sides mix-up, gave Chris a take-away container with a darling gf lemon cupcake.  We waited until we got home to split dessert!

Having stopped in after 8pm, the early-week hours and quick service was perfect for our busy day.  Will I go back when I’m on that side of the river?  Sure thing.  Read up on their menus here and check it out for yourself.

Grade:  B-

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