Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lovin’ Cup: RIT Park Point, Rochester, NY

Vegetarian Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

Meet and Greet

Lovin’ Cup is a café bistro, guests are welcome to approach the bar or food counter to order. Once the order is placed at the register, drinks are given at the bar and food is left on the bar for guests to pick up. At the register guests are given a pager. This will light up, buzz and bounce once your order is ready to be picked up.

Mise en Scène
I enjoyed the décor and flow of the interior. Though you can choose to sit outside if it’s warm out, there is plenty of indoor seating at high café tables, large comfortable booths and shorter tables in addition to the bar. Art by local artists hang on the wall, many pieces for sale with a tag of about $400 each. There is also some ambiance music playing on speakers throughout the establishment. Besides being a little loud, the music, which to us did not promote a relaxing atmosphere, ran on repeat. We could have done without the music, for sure.
**We did not have to use restrooms, so no comment on that ambiance!

Choosing a Veggie Treat
We were taken off guard when we first glanced at the menu as we strolled around Park Point because of the creative names given to each menu item. Each menu item had been given a title that we have never encountered at any other eatery. After carefully reading the descriptions of each menu item, we were both pleased to see a café serving a wide variety of vegetarian options. There are actually about 20 vegetarian entries on the menu (no meat, no eggs), including four varieties of meatless grilled cheeses! (I am tempted to go back to try that, though at $5.99 a plate, I am not running over anytime soon…) There are also about five breakfast entries with eggs for vegetarians who eat eggs. Though some meat options (sandwiches) may loose its signature made vegetarian, I am sure sandwiches of any variety along with any other item on the menu could be ‘made vegetarian.’ After debating over what to get, and realizing we were coming during ‘happy hour’ and not meal time, we chose two appetizers- fingerpoppin’ (bruschetta) and burnin’ down the house (nachos).

It must be said, that though the items were freshly made and had a descent taste we are apprehensive to try the nachos again. Firstly, for bruschetta and nachos, a fifteen minute wait is not acceptable. Secondly, when you get food after waiting 15 minutes, you hope it would be toasty hot and look natural. It was lukewarm and the cheese on the nachos almost appeared to like some melted Velveeta ** (not natural cheese). I really want to believe that is not true.

In ordering drinks, we did have a little better luck. I ordered a hot apple cider. The medium size seemed to be a large. Also, since this size was not yet programmed in their register, they decided to charge me for a small size! So far I have had hot apple cider at about five places, and conclude it’s really hard to mess this up! My husband ordered the chocolate jerk, their mocha drink. Hubby likes the bitter chocolate more than the sweet, so continues to prefer Starbucks mocha drink much better!

Checking In
This is not a restaurant where you needed to be waited on, so no comments are required.

See you later
We ordered and paid directly at the register. Upon completing the tray of food, guests return the tray to the waste basket, throwing the garbage away and placing the trays and dirty dishes on top.

Pay Scale
$6-10 per person (This is for two drinks and two appetizers)

Not required. Nice addition, possibly more so at the bar.

Star System 1-5? 3/5
(I believe this establishment is only a few months old, and staffed by all newbies. I think some kinks still need to be worked out (not all menu items able to be rung up, food preparation time is too long, etc.). Overall it was a good experience.)

To find/Contact
Lovin’ Cup
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Park Point
300 Park Point Drive, Suite #101
Rochester, NY 14623
Phone: 585.292.9940
Lovin’ Cup’s website –
Directions (This place is not yet on Google maps! It is near the corner of John St. and Jefferson Road -252. Entrance is on John Street.)

Review based on October 2008 visit.

** I did a search for Velveeta and ingredients. There was no direct links from Google and the Velveeta links through Kraft’s site doesn’t work! I did find on a few sites however that it’s debatable if Velveeta is a ‘cheese food’ (containing 51% cheese or more) or a ‘cheese product’ (containing less than 50% cheese).

Have you eaten at Lovin' Cup? If so, please share your thoughts below.

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Thank you for reading!