OK, so, this review is long overdue. Presently, I’m sitting about three weeks from when I actually visited this coffeehouse. I’m also presently sitting on my bed, thinking about the loss of a dear uncle which took place less than 24 hours ago. There’s nothing like writing to take your mind off of things, so I figured this would be a good time to type a review following a week that was far more busy than I had anticipated. Expect more posts and quicker ones soon though as I’ll be doing a lot of driving around small-town Pennsylvania over the next few months. These days I’m taking a smoke-em-if-you-got-em approach to civil liberties. Let’s just say I’ve become a lot more grateful for any freedom over the past few months. You all know what I mean.
This particular coffeehouse was on my itinerary for a while because of its remoteness. Middle Creek Cafe is in town of Middleburg, PA. The town is technically a crossroads; the meeting place of main routes 522 and 104 (which are two roads that take you from anywhere to anywhere if you’re west of the Susquehanna Valley). Having a coffee shop here makes incredible sense, and I’m happy to see that logic prevailed by situating this place right at the center of town.
From the outside, the cafe looks rather like a diner. Then again, almost every restaurant in the mountains of Pennsylvania seems to take the appearance of a family diner or dive bar. As I stepped up the wooden stairs and into the dining room, it still looked like a diner, complete with restaurant-style tables. I was starting to think that the interior was even a little spartan, until I turned my eyes to either side of the ordering counter. There’s no way to describe what a horde of meticulously carved wood animals and figures ‘looks like’ so I took copious photographs. The woman who runs the joint, Connie, told me it was her own son that did this startlingly beautiful woodwork. Obviously this cozy little den is a family affair as much as is is a business. In fact, this business doesn’t once feel like one, but rather like an extension of someone’s house, from the moment you see the words of faith and encouragement on the walls, to the lingering scents of country breakfast on the way out.
The coffee I had was a medium roast; they told me it was an Arabian blend and boy did it show its pedigree. It had that sharp, acidic taste that Arabica does give. I’d use the word ‘airy’ to describe it. It’s the kind of coffee you get when you’re on the go and need something simple but solid to fuel you for the road ahead. Apropos for a shop located halfway to anywhere. They aspire to be a better option than truck stop coffee and they succeed on multiple levels. Granted, you won’t find the trappings of hipster life out here. No indie bands play on a stage here and bohemia seems confined to high school drama clubs. Yet, there is art here, as the gorgeous wood carvings and hand-painted signs attest. This is a good place to go. Even if you’re just on your way to someplace else.