The Cafe Quandary

As a Motley barista, I spend more time between the glitter-clad brick walls of that coffeehouse than I’d like to admit. But once in a while my leisure needs go beyond the urge to consume hot chai and discuss queer theory on velvety chaise lounges, so I head to the Hub for a game of pool or to the Muddhole for a juicy “Joe Platt.”

As a sophomore, I have just about figured out exactly where to go on the 5Cs depending on my mood, the time of day and my sobriety level. Let’s face it: no matter what college you call home, the other campus eateries have a lot to offer. If you haven’t broadened your horizons yet, I’ll tell you why it’s worth it to try something new.

Why go to The Hub? The best (and arguably the only) reason to go to The Hub is to play pool and watch sports on TV. The second best (and possibly negligible) reason to go there is if you’re already on CMC’s campus and you can’t walk very far because you’re too drunk—which will probably happen to you at least once, if it hasn’t already.

The Hub is below par in too many ways to make it a regular hangout spot. The food is pretty bad, unless you enjoy soggy fried potatoes and limp burgers. If you do have to eat a meal at The Hub, though, the Thai Chicken Wrap is a refreshing alternative to most of the other options. It’s not a terrible place to study, but my textbooks and papers always get stuck to the tables—which can’t be a good sign.

What about The Coop? My favorite thing about The Coop is the availability of foosball tables. No other eatery on the 5Cs has both pool and foosball tables. The Coop also has a wide range of meals and snacks, some of my favorites being the quesadilla (with swiss cheese and grilled veggies) and the fluffy frosted cupcakes.

The Coop actually has many advantages over most other eateries, one of them being its central location. Since it’s in the northern-most part of Pomona, no matter where you are on the 5Cs, The Coop is never more than a 15-minute walk away. It is also the most spacious of all the eateries. The Motley and the Muddhole are notoriously crowded (especially at peak study and late-night snack hours), but The Coop always has plenty of space to go around.

So…what’s good about the Muddhole? Hands down, the Muddhole (aka “Jay’s Place”) has the most delicious and diverse menu of hot sandwiches. My favorite Muddhole sandwich is the “Joe Platt” or the “JP”—toasted, with everything on it.

A few of the other standouts on the menu are the buffalo wings, quesadillas, and the pizzas, all of which are perfect 1 a.m., not-so-sober snacks. The Muddhole also airs a unique selection of TV shows such as King of the Hill, The Simpsons, Oprah and the worst nighttime news program ever. It has two pool tables, which are definitely a major plus, but it is often too crowded to play without stabbing fellow patrons with the end of your cue.

Last but not least…The Grove House. I chose the Grove House out of the three eateries at Pitzer because it is one of my favorites on the 5Cs. I would have loved to include The Shakedown, but I’m convinced that it doesn’t actually exist, since it’s never open.

The Grove House has a small menu, but in this case, size truly doesn’t matter. Monday through Friday there is a lunch entree that’s served with fruit, a pickle, a cookie and a beverage. Sandwiches and bagels are available every day. Every sandwich I’ve had at the Grove House has been lovingly created using fresh ingredients—even the vegetarian options are amazingly good.

In my opinion, though, the best menu items are the fresh juices, especially the limeade: all are seasonal, freshly squeezed, and have that perfect balance of sweet and tangy. But this eatery’s charms don’t stop there. The Grove House itself was built in 1902 and is a beautiful example of the architecture of that time. While you wait for your sandwich, I would highly recommend taking a trip upstairs and investigating the art gallery and the several other rooms open to students.

I hope this article has inspired you to step outside your daily routine, spice up your lunch and hang somewhere new. But remember, the only place on the 5Cs where you can get quality direct trade coffee, vegan cookies and homemade truffles is The Motley.

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