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Make Paradiso your next stop for coffee and lunch

Every day walking to class, I’m tempted to stop and grab a coffee to give me a jump start for the next few hours. I like trying new coffee shops, and there are definitely lots to choose from on campus. I had recently been told about Caffe Paradiso and was excited to try it out. I stopped in on a rainy afternoon for a quick bite to eat and a delicious cup of coffee.

As I walked in the door, the smell of coffee lingered in the air. I was greeted by a friendly employee who took my order right away. The food and drink options were written colorfully on chalk boards behind the counter. The handwritten menu made it for a more down-to-earth environment. As I expected, there were many sandwiches, salads, and spreads to choose from; you can even create your own sandwich. In addition to sandwiches, there are daily soups, and other specials from scratch. Paradiso serves Intelligentsia coffee and espresso and Pekara pastries.

The food was made and brought to the table promptly. I ordered the grilled cheese, as it was one of the specials for the day. There were several choices of bread for sandwiches, including sourdough, multigrain, baguette, and ciabatta. All of the breads were vegan. For my grilled cheese, I went with the sourdough bread, and it was definitely a tasty choice. The bread was fresh and soft in texture. The crust was a light brown and also soft, and easy to bite through.

The cheddar cheese was melted perfectly between the two slices of bread. The cheddar cheese was fresh. The cheese was thick, with a lot of substance. The sandwich had the perfect amount of cheese, so each bite had and equal amount of bread and cheese.

My friend came along and she ordered a turkey sandwich. She also got it on sourdough bread, with provolone cheese, lettuce, and mayo. I stole a few bites for myself, and it was one of the best turkey sandwiches I have had.

The bread was extremely fresh and totally made the sandwich. The fresh turkey was savory. It was thickly layered between the two slices of bread, making for a pretty large sandwich. I could taste the yummy provolone cheese in every bite. However, the very green lettuce overpowered the sandwich. I had to pull some off of the sandwich to taste the turkey and cheese.

There were plent of coffees to choose from, and after a few minutes of going back and forth between my choices, I chose the caffe mocha, and my friend chose the caramel macchiato. Both drinks were decorated with a cute whipped topping design.

Both coffees were just the right temperature, and not too watery and not too thick. The caffe mocha had the perfect amount and mixture of coffee and chocolate. The caramel macchiato was made much like a Starbucks macchiato and was just as delicious.

I loved the atmosphere in Caffe Paradiso. The walls were full of smudged colors (purple, green, yellow and orange), creating a vintage aura. It was extremely relaxed. There were a few booths, table seating, and a small wooden bar area with stools. I thought the tables were too close together, and could be uncomfortable, especially if the place was crowded. There were various pictures placed in the windows and on the walls, enhancing a sense of creativity in the café. Caffe Paradiso was very inviting. There were students doing homework, while several others, people of all ages, were enjoying a cup of coffee.

Although Caffe Paradiso is located on the outside of campustown, and some students may not be familiar with it, it is definitely a place to try out for a quick bite to eat, a cup of coffee, to get a few hours of studying in, or to meet up with a friend. The prices were very reasonable, the atmosphere was inviting, and there were plenty of choices to choose from, that ended in delicious results.

Caffe Paradiso is located at 801 South Lincoln and open Monday to Sunday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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