Whitewater coffeehouse-café sure hits the sweet spot

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Joan Neeno, Special to The Gazette
Thursday, October 17, 2013

When looking on the Web for the locals' favorite restaurant in Whitewater, a name popped up that I had never heard of−The Sweet Spot. Checking out their website, which features ridiculously pretty pictures of baked goods, sealed the deal for us on a recent Saturday morning.

The café is located in the old Whitewater Hotel. In the summer, there are tables on the sidewalk for enjoying a cup of coffee and looking at Cravath Lake across the street. Inside, there is the bakery and coffee counter where you order and several spaces with tables, couches and comfy chairs for noshing, lounging and chatting. Much of the artwork on the walls is local and nothing, from the furniture to the tablewhere, seems to match. That's quite all right. Their tagline-coffee, café, community-encapsulates the place nicely. The vibe is relaxed, friendly and unpretentious. We saw a nice mix of people from teenagers to seniors coming in and out for coffee, pastries and sandwiches.

The prices for various specialty coffees were very reasonable. Richard ordered a large non-fat latte ($3.90) made with Colectivo (formerly Ancora) Coffee. It was a generous and flavorful cup, perfect for a leisurely brunch. Since it was close to noon, I was more in the lunch frame of mind so I ordered a pomegranate-blackcurrant fruit tea smoothie ($4.50). It was refreshing and not cloyingly sweet, which is my problem with most smoothies. It felt vaguely healthy, although it probably wasn't.

While we waited for our entrees, we split a red velvet scone ($1.50) with our coffee. It was moist and delicious rather than the hard biscuit texture of many scones. Not entirely sure it was a scone since the texture was rather cake-like. But no complaints. The Sweet Spot offers a revolving variety of scones daily from salted caramel cashew to blueberry and about a dozen other variations.

Richard ordered the irresistibly named Morning Breath Panini ($4), which consisted of an egg, garlic-herb spread, sausage and cheddar cheese on garlic bread. It looked disappointingly small when the server brought it to the table. But upon digging in, Richard found it to be so dense with meat and egg that it was very filling. The bold flavors complemented each other nicely. It was an unusual and very tasty breakfast sandwich.

In contrast, my Tuna Melt Panini ($6) was huge. Half the sandwich was very adequate, even though it was so tasty it was tempting to eat more. The tuna salad, which had the savory tang of dill pickle, onion and spices, was topped with sharp cheddar cheese on two generous pieces of sourdough bread. The sandwich was nicely toasted through so the cheese was melted but the tuna salad itself remained just above room temperature without getting soggy. The basket came with a bag of kettle chips, although you can substitute an apple or carrots.

We left with a box full of treats for later, including a maple bacon cupcake ($2.50) that was on the small side for the price, but very tasty. There were also freshly made-on-premises doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, muffins and croissants. We grabbed a sampling to try over the weekend. All of them were very good.

All of the counter staff were college-aged, friendly, and clearly enjoyed their work. When it comes to providing a relaxed but lively space for everyone from young families to the senior coffee klatch, this place definitely earns the name Sweet Spot.

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