Mid-November has been unseasonably warm---much to the delight of people everywhere grappling with the inevitable darkness that comes with the onset of winter, as well as the bleak darkness of the current news cycle. We can only speculate that among the 127 people killed in Paris last Friday, some of them were out enjoying a cup of coffee, while basking in the splendor of an unseasonably warm Parisian evening. It was in the midst of this everyday joy that tragedy struck. We also know that undoubtedly among those also killed by terrorists in Lebanon and Kenya recently, there were also many coffee-lovers.
While lots of commentary has been focused on the horrors of terrorism and the tenuous quality of day-to-day life, we will add to the cacophony by saying how precious life is. Even the opportunity to grab a cup of coffee from a renowned small cafe in Maywood, NJ on a balmy Monday night is special---a chance to simply be a coffee-loving human sharing a universally beloved brew on the first day of the workweek, well that's something wonderful.
A Moon Doggie Monday
On Monday, November 15, a friend of mine and a fellow blogger, George, suggested that I join him on a short trip from Montclair to Maywood to try the coffee at Moon Doggie. George is on a quasi-quixotic quest to visit the 98 coolest coffee shops in New Jersey (based on a NJ Monthly Magazine round-up). So far, he's hit about 35---and I was honored to accompany him to #36.
En route to Moon Doggie, George offhandedly suggested that I check the closing time. Experience has taught George that neighborhood coffee shops tend to close on the early side, especially during the week. We cut it close, but we were determined to get there before it closed at 5 pm. We made it with three minutes to spare.
Moon Doggie is an unassuming, independently owned neighborhood coffee shop in a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare with head-on parking. Once inside, we noticed the eclectic decor and the comforting icons of coffee-drinking---mugs, pastries and muffins, mid-century consumer art and pop culture that celebrates the American coffee-drinking experience. Being Americans who like to drink coffee, we decided to partake.
Self-serve coffee for the coffee connoisseur
Once Dave the barista handed us our cups, we headed over to the deceptively straightforward coffee-dispensing canisters. George found the Guatemalan coffee to be flavorful and sufficiently hot in contrast to the New Moon Coffee, which was not hot enough. Nonetheless, the New Moon coffee was redeemed by its smooth, spicy body.
I agreed wholeheartedly with George's assessment, so I had a bit of both and left with a cup of hot Guatemalan. We also shared a pumpkin spice muffin, which was huge, homemade, healthfully concocted and the perfect blend of pumpkin and spice.
Overall, it was worth the hustle that it took to get there. In addition to the friendly neighborhood vibe and the accommodating barista, Moon Doggie gave us a warm spot to chill and enjoy a good cup of coffee, if only for a few precious minutes.
Next time you're in Maywood, check out Moon Doggie!