The above scene at Java Green was serene, but only because I was there during the morning, when it serves breakfast (9 am to 11 am), before lunchtime's zoo-like atmosphere. In addition to all the hot and cold coffee and tea concoctions, the drinks menu has expanded to include a few raw items, three raw lattes (mate latte, ginger latte, and a green tea latte), all for the hair-raising price of $9.00! (The other coffee drinks start at about $3.80, more in line with reality.)
During breakfast hours, you can also get a tasty sweet treat, such as cookies from Sticky Fingers Bakery, or one of the cakes and pies from Sweet-n-Natural Bakery (also sold at Brown's Market and Everlasting Life) and Seemconi, which seems to specialize in delectable-looking cashew "cheesecakes." Had I known about the latter beforehand, my hand would have slipped into my purse to pay for the chocolate cashew cheesecake, and eat the fattening goodness, but that will have to wait for another time.
Not that I was showing any waistline discipline, mind you, but I was going to eat something savory, such as one of the hearty breakfast sandwiches. And for a not-bad price of $5.95, at least compared with the lunch sandwiches. (Admittedly, lunch sandwiches at Java can be enormous.)
The breakfast sandwich above, "Eggcentricity," could have been great. The bread is very tasty, the soy chicken chunks are firm and delicious, and the sandwich itself is a decent size overall (very important for breakfast, IMHO). However, there is no need to shred the soy cheese, as that makes the "cheese" fall out of the sandwich and all over the plate. Also, there's entirely too much garlic in the scrambled tofu! The other breakfast sandwiches, often called "che," also feature the same bread and the scrambled tofu, so I'd forget the ones that don't have the soy chicken. And stick with one of the drinks and sweets.
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Speaking of sweets, Hello Cupcake's cheery exterior just called out to me from Connecticut Avenue. I answered that call, and was not disappointed. That is, after I finally decided which cupcake to buy. The lemon "you tart" was suitably tempting, as was the dulce de leche sweetie. However, I chose a vegan chocolate with strawberry icing. Ooooh, the chocolate was moist and sweet, and the icing, swoonworthy, tastes of real strawberries and piled high atop the cake. It tastes like the bakers actually do bake the cupcakes every morning. Freshness--what a concept!
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I'm looking forward to the premiere of the new season of Top Chef DC tonight, if only to see local boy Timothy Dean obtain even more exposure and success (maybe then I'll finally be able to eat in one of his establishments, as his last DC foray was less than successful). Also curious to see how Tameesha Warren, sous chef at the Oval Room, does this season (the one time I ate there, years ago, was a joy). I haven't watched this program consistently since the season Carla Hall was a contestant. Go DC!