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.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.