Address: 7133 Germantown Ave.
Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★
Style: Independent coffeehouse
Food: Tasty, locally made baked goods and sandwiches
Atmosphere: Neighborhood coffee house/art gallery
Parking: Hit or miss street parking (easier during the weekdays)
Service: Friendly and casual
Price Range: Inexpensive
Unique Features: Extensive hot and cold drink menu, vegan and gluten-free items.
Despite the (albeit) slow decline of Starbucks, there is still a Starbucks everywhere you turn. The corporate megachain churns out millions of cups of coffee a year and charges a premium for it. Even without all the corporate maneuvering, I can honestly say that I don’t care for Starbucks coffee, which I think is over-roasted and tastes burnt.
Stumbling upon a place like InFusion fills me with such glee—I can’t begin to describe it. It’s a refreshing change of pace to find a coffee shop that specializes in fair trade, organic and sustainably produced coffees and teas (because they care and not because it’s in vogue) and doesn’t charge you an arm and a leg for it, a coffee shop that has freshly made sandwiches and baked goods produced by local bakers, a coffee shop where the staff is genuinely friendly and will watch your coffee for you while you use the restroom.
I stopped by InFusion for a very late breakfast and ordered a turkey bacon, cheese and egg breakfast sandwich on a nook and cranny filled Thomas English muffin, a Vietnamese iced coffee and a ham and cheese croissant for the road.
The staff was kind enough to grill up my breakfast sandwich so that it was warm and toasty with melted cheese. While I am not usually a fan of turkey bacon, the kind they serve here is delicious. It was wonderfully savory and didn’t taste healthy—and I mean that in the best way possible. The eggs tasted fresh, weren't overcooked, and the muffin was crisp along the edges and made for a tasty sandwich.
The Vietnamese iced coffee is described as being “strong, sweet, creamy and cold” by the shop and it was indeed all these things. The coffee is very strong. A Vietnamese iced coffee is a great summer drink because its strength allows it to turn into regular iced coffee when all the ice has melted. I enjoyed it very much.
But after a few days had passed, I hadn’t had a chance to eat my ham and cheese sandwich. Curious as to how it would taste, I wrapped it in aluminum foil and baked it at 375 F until the cheese melted (seven minutes), and it was still good. The slices of ham were thick and tasty, the cheese slightly funky but nutty as well. The leaves of spinach did not survive very well but didn’t have much of an effect on the sandwich. I added some of my own champagne honey mustard to supplement the stone ground mustard that was drying out on the bread.
This is a very likeable sandwich and I can only imagine how much better it would have tasted had it been fresh.
The service at InFusion is quite casual but equally friendly. There is a nice hum of energy to the space, and people of all walks of life peacefully co-exist in the art gallery/coffeehouse interior. A changing table in the rest room make this an ideal pit stop for moms although students cramming for a final would feel equally welcome. It really has a little something for everyone.