Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Since the fall of 2010, Johnston Street Java has quietly crept up the caffeinated ladder and is now one of the hot spots for students studying, coffee klatches and the self-employed who think, “You know what? Sunlight. Sunlight and fellow human beings. Yes!”
Its location at 3123 Johnston St., a stone’s throw from the Grand 16 cinema and in front of J&R Educational Supplies, is no coincidence: The coffee shop’s owner is Peter Martin of J&R. The manager is Nathanael Johnson who also owns Mosaic Café in Eunice. It’s mainly Johnson who creates the menu made up of sandwiches, pastries, Italian sodas, coffees and teas. While there isn’t always room in the parking lot, don’t let that fool you; there is probably space inside or on the wraparound porch.
“Typically coffee shops do well near movie theaters,” says Johnson of JSJ’s success. “We [opened] at a time where people were ready for something new and different.”
Handily, Johnston Street Java also has an easily accessible drive-thru.
The sandwiches are basic, hearty and tasty. The ham sandwich is simply French bread, ham and pepperjack cheese dashed with horseradish and put into a panini press for a few minutes. The horseradish taste isn’t intense enough to scare those put off by its strong flavor. Its marriage with the pepperjack cheese adds just the right amount of bite against the sweet, smoky ham. Most of the sandwiches have no more than a few ingredients, and Johnson has just rolled out sandwiches made on foccacia — $3.90 for the sandwich. You’ll pay extra for chips and a drink, which can be regular coffee, tea or soda.
Johnson credits the Orleans Coffee Exchange for helping Johnston Street Java get off the ground. “We were able to find a business that really specializes in Grade A coffee, true micro roasters.” This family-owned Big Easy company has been around since 1985. A micro roaster is much the same as a micro brewery — small batches made to exact specifications being inspected every step of the process. A typical bean batch is less than 150 pounds versus the hundreds of pounds per batch by a commercial roaster. The flavor of the coffee is deep and often flecked with, no surprise, chicory. Try anything from the regular coffee to the usual suspects: iced, cappuccino, café au lait, latte and more. The prices range from about $1.70 to $4.65 depending on size and flavors.
Now speaking of caffeine and its various delivery systems: I went to a very intensive college, made all the more intensive because my parents taught at the same university, so staying up to study or finish books past my evening shift was a nightmare. Had I this Chocolate Espresso Puck then I wouldn’t be writing this now; I would be a research assistant for Neil DeGrasse Tyson. This thing is a round brick of high quality milk and dark chocolates combined and poured over coffee beans. And it is serious. The chocolate is creamy, not waxy, and the beans provide just the right satisfying crunch that tells your brain it’s going to be awake for a while. It’s quite rich, but don’t let it fool you — you’re going to finish it.
Johnston Street Java does have plans to expand in the future but in what capacity is uncertain. Until then, check it out at the location that started it all and read about it in The Independent’s just-released Spring 2012 Restaurant Guide, in the new Coffee & Pastries category.
newsy bits for the fam
Festival International de Louisiane is right around the corner — April 23-27 — and IND Monthly’s second annual Fest fIND contest is along for the ride.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
Georgia-based fried chicken chain would go up against Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and others (like the Popeyes near its proposed location).
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The perfect color for Easter Sunday
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
A Scott businessman has pleaded guilty to failing to report a conspiracy to award Opelousas Housing Authority construction bids to his company.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
Egg-citing ideas for sharing at family gatherings
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, April 15, 2014:
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Court-appointed examiner says Lafayette businessman was “effectively on both sides” of transactions, opens door for legal action against him.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Lafayette-based insurance broker/risk management group bought by Florida firm for undisclosed sum; principals Landry and Harris continue to run local operations.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
The life and legacy of Dave Perkins will be commemorated with a special INDesign Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the 2014 event on April 24.
Easy crafts in time for Easter
The Cane Fire Film Series presents “The Great Flood” on Monday, April 14, at the AcA.