I willingly admit that I am not an expert when it comes to all of Berks County. The closer we are to our home in Wyomissing, the more familiar I am with the restaurants and food places.
But I am always trying to grow my knowledge and explore parts of the county that I otherwise wouldn’t give a second thought to.
This week, Julie and I found ourselves in Morgantown for a consignment sale, and needing a place to grab lunch, we took the opportunity to seek out the Morgantown Coffee House, a highly rated breakfast-and-lunch place along Route 23, just a few hundred yards inside the border with Chester County.
Blink and you miss it. The building that houses Morgantown Coffee House looks more like a family home, but it actually houses three businesses: the Coffee House, Painted Table Designs, and Juniper Tree Juice Bar.
The parking lot sits behind the building, just off Twin Valley Road. From there, the entrance is not well-marked. The other two businesses are so by process of elimination, we found it behind Door No. 2.
It’s definitely a cool little spot – hipster farmhouse was how Julie described it. The front room had four large round tables. A second dining room, away from the crowds at the order counter, had several tables for two and four, plus some cushier seats for one.
Menus can be found on clipboards in baskets by the counter. After looking it over, we placed our orders, grabbed our seats and waited for our delivery.
It was a short wait, even shorter for our two incredible mocktails: a rosemary-honey cider and the fall lemonade.
The menu actually had a candied ginger cider, but I was told there was no more ginger syrup and was offered the rosemary-honey instead. And I was told that the rosemary-honey syrup was the best that the shop had created yet.
I was not disappointed at all. The apple cider base was accentuated by the sweet honey. Hints of rosemary throughout added little flavor bursts.
Julie’s fall lemonade featured raw honey and cinnamon, and was even better than my cider. The cinnamon gave it a real bite while the honey sweetened it perfectly.
Our food arrived a short time later. The lunch menu includes hot and cold sandwiches, salads and the soup du jour. I went with the soup – on this day, a tomato and red pepper bisque – with the banh mi sandwich.
It was a good tomato soup. The red pepper came through a little, but I enjoyed it. The sandwich, however, was the real star.
Banh mi is not on many Berks County menus so I was excited to find it on the menu in Morgantown. For those unfamiliar with it, banh mi is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich that includes a protein, pate and pickled vegetables.
In this case, the protein was pork belly (think bacon, but thicker and richer). It was also garnished with cilantro. The savory meat mixed with pickled vegetables made for a perfect mix.
And that dipping sauce – while potent in large doses – added heat while amplifying all of the flavors of the sandwich.
I loved everything about this sandwich…except the size. Even for a half-sandwich, it felt small. In hindsight, I should have ordered a full sandwich and soup to make it a more filling meal (and because I didn’t want to stop eating that banh mi).
Julie’s sandwich was a little more robust than my own.
She had the turkey club, which was topped with bacon, cucumbers and hopped mayo on white bread. All of the ingredients were fresh and vibrant, which made for a very good sandwich.
On the side, she had mixed greens with the housemade buttermilk ranch dressing. The salad was simple, but Julie loved the dressing.
Like mine, her meal was on the light side. However, we were both surprised to find that the meals held us over – for the most part – through the afternoon.
The meal was a little on the pricy side at about $30; $6 of that was splurging on the mocktails. The soup-and-sandwich combos were $11 each which is reasonable enough.
The coffee house is open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week (with hours until 5 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays), and we will definitely be back to try the omelets, quiche and other breakfast offerings.
Also, the menu rotates seasonally. That gives us a built-in excuse to visit again in a few months.
Overall, the Morgantown Coffee House was a great find. It’s a little out of the way for us, but you have to be willing to explore to find hidden gems like this.
Ambiance: Very Good
Morgantown Coffee House
4997 N. Twin Valley Rd
Elverson, PA 19520
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