The Boston Phoenix
June 22 - 29, 2000

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Joe's Café

Sipping snickerdoodles in the sun

by Sarah Lariviere

on the cheap
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  • Viva Burrito, June 8
  • Wok 'N Roll, June 1
  • Andale Mexican Grill, May 25
  • A few weeks ago in Somerville's Teele Square, a raised cement landing sprouted a handful of metal-and-straw chairs and glass-topped tables. This just-off-the-beaten-path summer haven for coffee-drinking sunbathers and outdoor readers is courtesy of Joe's Café, formerly Little Joe's Coffeeshop.

    Joe's sells a large selection of standard café fare, like bagels and muffins (75 cents to $1) and some basic coffee drinks ($1 to $2), as well as some drugstore favorites like Italian ice ($1 to $1.50) and hard ice cream ($1.50 to $2). The place won't appeal to the snobbish -- i.e., they serve five pre-made flavored coffees. And when we asked about a rest-room, the guy at the counter (named, not coincidentally, Joe) said he didn't have one for customers, "but when ya gotta go, ya gotta go," and he led us through the kitchen. Goods aren't baked on the premises, but everything is fresh, and some of the fillings are homemade -- when we ordered egg salad ($2.25), Joe pulled some hard-boiled eggs out of the fridge and started chopping.

    When you're in the mood to sit outside and drink something cold, head for the iced coffees. The "snickerdoodle" is a Coolatta without the marketing, or the price tag. At two bucks, this creamy cinnamon-and-hazelnut candy-bar coffee treat will make me a regular, and it should be enough to keep those fabulous tables filled till September.

    Joe's Café, located at 1293 Broadway, in Somerville, is open Monday through Saturday from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and on Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call (617) 628-1059.

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