While in New Brunswick to see a comedy show*, I made sure to stop at a coffeehouse on The List. Aptly named, Hidden Grounds is hidden underground on Easton Avenue with a second ‘espresso bar’ location, a short walk away on the same street.
*Which was the most hysterical event of March for me, and I’m not even referring to the comedian. Even with going to the early show, we had the pleasure of experiencing an angry spectator shouting at the comedian, “This is New Brunswick!!”, among other things, until he attempted to punch the manager, then had to be put into a choke hold and dragged out of the club.
Entering Hidden Grounds, I knew it would be a coffeehouse easy for me to love. From the hanging menus to the beautifully stained, wooden tables to the glass encased light fixtures, I was sold without even taking a sip.
I peeked at their winter drink menu before we arrived and though part of me wanted to try their ‘signature smart blend’, as soon as I saw the words Nutella Latte, I couldn’t resist its charm…the same way I couldn’t resist the draw of the chocolate chip loaf sitting innocently on display. I swear it said, Eat me. The barista asked if I’d like it warmed, so I asked her back if I did. I figured, she knew that loaf, she’d know if it’s better warm or room temp. Her response was, “Oh yeah. You want it warmed!”
The only problem with Hidden Grounds? It’s pretty popular. While the underground location offers plenty of table space and seating, the Saturday afternoon we visited, not a space was available.
A good problem for a small business like this to have.
Having nowhere else to go, we grabbed the corner of a counter a college student absorbed in her studies wasn’t using. Unlike my comrades, I ordered my drink ‘to stay’ rather than ‘to go’. Smart. I know. I was also the only one to order a treat. But I can’t resist treats, and thankfully most people who interact with me already know this and love me in spite of it.
Standing sipping my Nutella goodness and munching on a warm chocolatey loaf of delight, I regretted nothing.
106 Easton Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901