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April 8, 2009 > Restaurant Review: Mission Coffee

Restaurant Review: Mission Coffee

By J.D. Wolfe

For a while, on every corner in every city there was a coffee shop where people could hang out, read a book, meet friends, work on business projects or just enjoy a cup of coffee. Often, the uniqueness of such a place is lost on franchise operations. With the changes in our economy, to see proof of just how important this personal touch is, just look at how many franchised operations have closed.

Mission Coffee, on Washington Boulevard, just a stone's throw down the hill from Mission Boulevard and Mission San Jose, is easily one of the best places to enjoy all of the above ...and more. Parking is in front and across the street in a large lot.

A group of people meet in the morning on the front porch and seem to solve all the problems of the world. They are the "Porch People" and if you get there between 8-9 a.m., you will learn all about current events from every perspective. Look for Jim, he is the leader.

Inside, tables invite patrons to enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee. An area with a couch and big soft chairs creates a living room atmosphere as well. What makes the interior really unique is that nothing matches; I mean this in the most complimentary way. It is absolutely as eclectic as a place can be. A book section invites visitors to borrow a book or drop off one And you can buy a new mug or other beverage-related items from shelves nearby. Nifty little gifts are available and interesting art displays hang from the walls. For those who play the piano, one resides at Mission Coffee beside a stage used for nightly performances on weekends. Saturday nights can find this place packed like a nightclub! Amazing - good talent, too!

Mission Coffee truly reflects the style of owners Don and Gael Stewart. This family operation makes you feel welcome, as if making a personal visit to a close friend's home for a friendly chat. Attention to your comfort is the goal and is clearly demonstrated by the aroma of freshly roasted and ground coffee - their own blends. When you stop in for a cup of coffee, be sure to look for the large bags of fresh coffee by the roasting machine.

You can get homemade cookies (chocolate chip with walnuts sells out fast!), fresh pastry croissants with chocolate, strawberries, blueberries, etc. Don't forget to ask for a cinnamon twist roll (the best). Along with toasted bagels and really great breakfast sandwiches Mission Coffee has a complete variety of beverages, from bottled sodas to coffees and teas - hot and cold. For those who like even more variety order a frappe, shakes or smoothies, and more. There is something for everyone on the breakfast menu!

Mission Coffee is also the place to go in the afternoon for lunch or an afternoon snack. I eat there often for lunch. A sandwich menu covers hot and cold specialties. I order a club sandwich and they make it exactly as I like it.

Let me make a shameless plug for the front counter crew. Although often busy with orders, they don't panic. They work methodically and make sure everything is prepared especially for you while you wait. These college students take pride in how they serve the customers. They are very sharp and know the regulars.

By the way, on some week days you can find me on the outside porch in the morning talking with the Porch People. A snack for the loving group of pet dogs out there is appreciated since they like hanging out, too, along with the birds looking for leftovers! Mission Coffee is a really great place! Stop by!

Reviewed March 27, 2009

Mission Coffee
151 Washington Boulevard, Fremont
(510) 623-6920

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