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Cafe Lindo, Kennett Square: Am I being too picky?

CindyJ Oct 12, 2009 09:08 AM

Cafe Lindo opened recently in the location where Harrington's used to be. I used to love Harrington's -- the coffee was good, the space was cozy, it was a great place to meet up with friends for a bagel, a cup of coffee and conversation. After Harrington's closed, our go-to place became Talula's Table. Oh, don't get me wrong -- I absolutely LOVE Talula's Table -- but sometimes we don't want our conversation shared with a larger group at the communal table, and there's only one other table there.

So a few of us got together for our first visit to Cafe Lindo last week. Now, please understand, I'm usually pretty easygoing about places like this -- it's a coffee place, for heaven's sake -- but I just found my annoyance growing the longer I sat there. We sat in the room with the fireplace. There were price tags on each of the chairs. I couldn't tell if the owner had forgotten to remove them, or if they were for sale. Okay -- not a big deal. I went to get my coffee, and it was served in what I'd call a tea cup. Sure, one refill was included in the price, but I like a mug of steaming coffee, not a little cup with a handle barely large enough for a finger to slip through. I should mention that I could have chosen to drink my coffee from a larger paper cup, instead. Oh, and did I mention that my one friend who only drinks decaffeinated coffee was charged 25 cents more for decaf? Nitpicky stuff, I know.

So I sat down with my friends and no sooner had our usual gabfest begun when music started blaring. The soundtrack from Phantom of the Opera (which I love) was so loud we actually had to stop our conversation. I politely asked the owner/manager (not sure who he was, but he was the person who first went into the back room to turn the music on) if he would mind turning the volume down a bit. He was very obliging, and turned the music off.

Maybe I've already said too much about too little. Maybe I just need to vent frustration at not having that perfect little neighborhood cafe. Are these trivialities really deal breakers? Has anyone else been to Cafe Lindo? I love supporting the local shops in Kennett. I just don't know if I want to give this particular one another chance to win me over.

  1. t
    tetellita Nov 13, 2009 12:22 PM

    I was curious about this place. We live in Kennett and I love going out for coffee and a dessert. I was looking through the window the other day and thought I saw they served Lipton tea. Call me a snob but I refuse to got to a coffee place that serves Lipton tea! Anyway, was the coffee any good?

    Right now our place of choice for coffee and pastry is Talulah. I love the setting but I only find their coffee OK. The pastries are good but they are too greasy for my taste. Their PB shortbreads are awesome though. I have not found a perfect coffee/pastry yet, but I hope Talulah will make less greasy desserts!

    To FoonBubby, Talulah also has WiFi, they will gladly give you the code if you ask for it.

    1. f
      Foonbubby Nov 9, 2009 06:44 AM

      I live near Kennett and I tend to go to the Starbucks, which sucks. It is too loud, the coffee is burnt and horrible, the teas are pathetic, but they have two things that are higher priority: Free electricity for my laptop and free parking. I can sit and work on stuff for an hour like you're supposed to be able to do at a civilized cafe.

      I'd give Lindo a try but frankly I like to sit for a while and I would end up worrying about getting a parking ticket. The local Hispanic kid who writes tickets (he can't be more than 19) is very aggressive. One time I parked, got out of my car to put a quarter in, and literally 5 seconds later, he was there checking to see if my meter had expired. Which is odd, because he surely saw me put the quarter in it. Menacing little shit!

      If Kennett employs predators to check parking meters then I'm not going to spend money there if possible. I haven't seen anything as bad as that in other towns.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Foonbubby
        g
        gfweb1 Nov 9, 2009 07:25 AM

        The biggest barrier to KS growth is the hideous parking situation. We avoid going anywhere downtown for that reason.

        1. re: gfweb1
          f
          Foonbubby Nov 12, 2009 03:02 PM

          I checked today and the meter outside Lindo is 25 cents per 20 minutes. Kennett must actually WANT to undermine its small businesses.

          Meanwhile I noticed today that Saxby's was closed and there was a sign on the door. I didn't read it. Not surprising. Their chairs are literally painful and they refuse to offer decent food.

          Saxby's was another one of these franchise businesses that was doomed before it even opened. Franchise = ripoff.

          1. re: Foonbubby
            CindyJ Nov 13, 2009 05:18 AM

            I agree with you about outrageous parking meter costs in Kennett. And, to add insult to injury, on some days parking is free and there are no signs to let shoppers know. I believe -- and I could well be wrong about this -- that until recently, parking meters did not need to be "fed" on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. That made sense, especially in light of the Farmer's Market on Friday afternoons. Recently I read in the local paper that they were doing away with free Fridays. Whether that's gone into effect is anyone's guess. Even shop keepers don't know when the meters are in effect. Yes, it's a nuisance, and the meter nazis seem to hide in bushes just waiting to ticket you when that "expired" status appears, and they've taken away the spaces that used to be free behind the library. Where parking is concerned, Kennett is NOT a good example of a shopper-friendly town.

            As for Saxby's, yes, I noticed they were closed. But then, I don't know that many people even knew what Saxyby's was.

      2. CindyJ Oct 29, 2009 01:33 PM

        I was actually back there this morning, alone with my morning newspaper. The music was pleasant and at a tolerable volume, and my bagel was nicely toasted. I don't really know if this is an appropriate place for feedback (and if it's not, I'm sure the CH moderators will have their way with this post), but there are two things which, if modified, would make a big difference: (1) Both times I've been there, the coffee really hasn't been hot enough. Either those thermal carafes aren't doing their job, or the coffee has been sitting too long in them. Isn't it possible to serve the coffee directly from wherever it's brewed? And (2) I really dislike those tiny cups, even if refills are included in the price. Those cups are fine for a cappuccino, but for my morning coffee, I like a decent size mug, and I like it piping hot.

        1. o
          outofphilly Oct 25, 2009 06:14 PM

          Where exactly is Cafe Lindo? I'm familiar with the Kennett... maybe I'll try it tomorrow when I'm in town.

          1 Reply
          1. re: outofphilly
            CindyJ Oct 26, 2009 06:13 AM

            It's on Broad St., just south of State St. If you're familiar with Kennett, it's the old Harrington's location (which I REALLY miss!).

          2. o
            otto135 Oct 25, 2009 05:24 PM

            I enjoy supporting Kennett businesses too but the staff here was completely nonchalant and the idea of sitting on furniture that might be sold out from under you is unsettling. I went in to Holly Peters Oriental Rugs once with a Dr. friend who can well afford to buy the entire content of the store a few times over and we were completely ignored because we were a bit dressed down. The woman working there sat the entire time and barely looked up at us. We had a few questions but quickly realized that she felt we weren't worthy of having them answered. Cafe Lindo will not be a destination . I'm still true to Talula's for super friendly service and a delicious green tea latte..yes, a bit overpriced but worth the splurge.

            1. b
              barryg Oct 12, 2009 09:24 AM

              Your criticisms seem legitimate, but if it's just a coffeeshop these quibbles seem par for the course. I've been to much worse. I'd give it another chance.

              What I am wondering, though, is how your go to meet up place went from a coffeeshop to a $125pp restaurant that you need to reserve a year in advance??

              2 Replies
              1. re: barryg
                CindyJ Oct 12, 2009 12:48 PM

                I'm not talking about DINNER at Talula's Table -- I'm talking about coffee and maybe a scone. While it's true that for dinner, reservations must be made a year out, Talula's Table is actually very accessible to anyone who happens to be strolling through Kennett Square from very early in the morning until 7:00 PM; that's when the lights dim and the real magic happens. During the day, TT is a cafe with a wonderful selection of gourmet foods, to-die-for pastries and great coffee. As I said in my original post, though, the communal table (which is just a part of what makes TT so charming), can be a drawback when the conversation isn't meant to be shared or even overheard by others at your table.

                Yes, I agree that it's a little strange to mention Talula's Table and Cafe Lindo in the same breath, but they're only a block apart.

                1. re: CindyJ
                  t
                  tetellita Nov 13, 2009 12:24 PM

                  And I love Talulah's frittatas for brunch!

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