The last few weeks here in the CT, I’ve been covering a lot of Asian food places and little else. I figured it’s time to cover some different territory, so for this week’s issue, I’d like to let you all in on one of my favorite little places to get work done and relax: Boulder Coffee Cafe.

Boulder Coffee is a tiny cafe located on the corner of Alexander Street and South Clinton Avenue. The place sits right in the South Wedge neighborhood, which is made pretty apparent by the giant, beautifully painted murals that plaster the brick exterior of the cafe. Inside, the cafe is a dimly-lit hidey-hole with old-school TV sets, fluffy sofas, grandma’s favorite loveseats, and tons of table space to sit down and socialize at. This is a good thing, because Boulder Coffee has a few things that you might want to take a seat for.

Every Monday, Boulder hosts a comedy open-mic night for anyone stopping in to try their hand at. I went to one when the place was managed by a different set of owners about a year back, and there were about five people trying some stand-up that night. Some were actually pretty funny, some not so much, but all of them definitely earn respect points for sharing their craft in public.

On Wednesdays, that very same mic is up on stage for open-mic music nights. I’ve only ever really been to one of these, and it was pretty much just high school kids from some local band playing, but hey, they were pretty good, and I bet that there are a ton of other local musicians who pop in from time to time to show the town what they’ve got.

Fridays and Saturdays at Boulder are pretty much a bevy of shows or performances of any genre, all of which they’ve got a calendar for on their website for visitors to keep track of and pop in.

It’s going to be expected that if we’re talking about cafes, we’re talking about coffee, and I have the biggest disappointment for you all today: I’ve never had a cup of coffee at Boulder. I’ve had their tea, specifically the peppermint, which is my current go-to peppermint tea in Rochester when I’m driving around. I gave up coffee some time ago, so I never will be able to try their roasts, but from the tellings of someone I’ve taken there before, it’s a bit hit or miss depending on what kind of coffee roast you like. Granted, this was about a year back, so things could have changed a ton by now, especially since it seems like they’ve been sinking more care into their roasts. The good news here is, if you, much like I, like booze, and still want to hang with your caffeine-pumped, coffee-snob friends, they’ve got you covered. Boulder’s got a good selection of beers to choose from behind the counter, including cheap stuff like Genesee and nicer craft brews like New Belgium Fat Tire (one of my favorites).

On top of drinks, the place also has sandwiches, wraps, salads, cookies, brownies, and macarons to bite down on. Their macarons are pricey, but they come in good flavors, and their oatmeal raisin cookies are gigantic and hefty, making for a good end of the day wind-down sweet.

The sandwiches at Boulder are surprisingly awesome. They’ve only got a few right now, including a tuna melt, a veggie mix, and the “Susan BLT Anthony,” but some of them are genuinely better than sandwiches I’ve had from dedicated sandwich shops. My personal favorite is the Cobbs Hill Cajun, which is total fire. It’s a toasted panini with chicken, roasted red pepper, swiss cheese, and cajun mayo, and it’s hella tasty. I nabbed the thing to fill my stomach when I took my brother there so he could do some homework a while back, and I was thrown off by how good it was. They even have the option for putting together a breakfast sandwich of whatever combo of eggs, bacon, sausage, and cheese you want, but it comes a bit steep at about five bucks.

All in all, Boulder’s a good place to take your friends out to if you want to kill time and hang, catch some local performances, or clamp down and work at a table to meet some deadlines. Coffee prices aren’t bad at all at $2.50 for a 20-ounce (yo, that’s way cheaper than Starbucks, and just about at Dunkin Donuts’ level), and food, at eight bucks for that panini I had, will be tasty, but not necessarily the most cost effective deal of your life.

Still, I highly recommend everyone here on campus go check Boulder Coffee Cafe out (c’mon, my dudes, this city has some culture, contrary to what many of you may think), and give the townspeople some love by ordering a drink and watching them play out some of their material on stage. You can try to get to Boulder by hopping the Orange Line and walking to it from the drop off at the “South and Alexander” stop. The shuttle comes by Rush Rhees’ ITS stop at every hour after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and every hour after 9:00 a.m. on weekends. ‘Till next week: Peace out, people.

Tagged: CT Eats

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