Now this place brings back some memories! I used to go to a poetry reading here over a year ago, before I stopped having much of anything resembling free time. It’s a non-chain coffeehouse where you’d least expect one to be…the suburbs! It sits in the Cedar Cliff plaza, which is about halfway between Camp Hill and Mechanicsburg if you’re going down Rt. 83. Usually when one mentions the words “plaza” and “coffeehouse” in the same sentence in conjures up images of a truck stop. Not so for this place.
Crimson Frog is one of those coffeehouses that chooses to be an active patron of the arts. They sponsor an open mic night now that the poetry reading moved, and there is a lot of art (which I believe to be local, but don’t quote me!) hanging on the walls. The cafe itself looks like you’d expect one to look; the counter, the tables, the little stand filled with light breakfast fare. One thing that impressed me about this place is the early hours. During most days of the week it opens at 6:30 in the morning, which is a best-case scenario for those of us who need to get to work before 9. Another thing that impressed me was the knowledge and courtesy of the two people running the counter this morning. The girl at the front didn’t give me a vapid look when I asked for a three-way mix of several types of coffee. I applaud her!
The coffee was quite good, but a little less rich than I prefer. Could still taste that slightly tinny, watery flavor, but maybe that’s just because I included some decaf in the mix. Would have also appreciated it not spilling all over my hand when I got in the car, but that was purely my doing. When you’re a geek, dexterity fails are de rigueur.
In summation, Crimson Frog is a rather archetypical coffeehouse for sure, but it’s a good archetype. I could feel the positive vibes when I walked through the door. Or maybe it was just the memories of all the poems I read and all the friends I made here. Whatever the reason, this cafe makes a good little oasis if you’re unfortunate enough to be a part of that early morning west-shore rush!