There's one word that comes to mind regarding Coffee With T: cute.
The small eatery in Stevenson has the feel of a Victorian tearoom - walls painted dark red or deep gold, tea towels hung near the coffee fixings, flowery tablecloths, royal-blue pendant lights hanging over the counter and cute metal chairs.
Coffee With T was launched a couple of years ago by Theresa La Fond, who had worked for more than a decade in the Stevenson post office nearby. The surroundings are plenty cute, but La Fond and associates also are turning out very good food, including soups, distinctive salads, sandwiches and a few entrees that can be taken home for dinner.
The eatery has settled into a lovely niche and appears to be meeting the culinary demands of greater Stevenson quite well.
We started with one of the daily soup specials - tomato-basil crab bisque ($3.99), an enticing medley of tomato, crab and pepper.
The salad selection went well beyond the usual chef/Greek/tossed listings. We tried the spring salad ($7.99), which was made with fresh greens, apple slices, raisins, toasted almonds and bits of blueberry Stilton cheese. It was accompanied by slightly tangy lemon vinaigrette.
We were delighted with a crab-cake sandwich ($9.99), which was made with big chunks of lump meat and only a modest amount of spice, allowing the crab flavor to shine. The accompanying coleslaw was fresh and featured festive purple cabbage.
Three other sandwiches also did not disappoint. A chicken-salad sandwich ($6.39) featured plenty of chunks of breast meat and was served on tasty whole-grain bread. Egg salad ($6.39) was made with herbed cream cheese that had been stirred into the egg and mayonnaise. Finally, a powerhouse sandwich ($5.99) was a meatless creation made with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, Havarti cheese and a basil-pesto mayonnaise.
Several desserts, including gooey brownies and chocolate-chip cookies, beckoned from a prominent case. We opted for a muffin top ($1.89) - "the best part of the muffin!" according to the menu. It was cinnamon-flavored, crusty and delicious, although one does wonder what the eatery does with the muffin bottoms.
Coffee With T sits a little ways north of the Beltway on Stevenson Road. There's plenty of free parking. The small eatery opens at 8 a.m. to serve a limited breakfast menu, including French toast, scones and bagels, as well as a full array of coffee drinks.
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Coffee With T
Waiting area: ***
Where: Stevenson Village Center, 10423 Stevenson Road, Stevenson
Web site: www.coffeewitht.com
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday
Prices: Sandwiches, crab cakes, salads, soups and entrees, $3.99 to $11.99; breakfast bagels, sandwiches, French toast and scones, $1.89 to $4.39; credit cards accepted