The Cafe At Books & Books: Books & Books's Coral Gables Location Offers Food for Thought
Aragon Avenue is easy to miss and therefore so is Books & Books and the cafe that lies at the back of it. On an easy Sunday afternoon, you can drive slowly enough down Ponce de Leon Avenue and turn onto Aragon and there it is, right across from the public parking garage. In the mid-June swelter, you will find the courtyard that the bookstore wraps around empty, but the indoor portion of the cafe is busy. Nearly every two-top along the back wall is packed with diners catching up, loudly debating the morals of Fox News, eating, and of course, reading.
The narrow cafe was bright with natural light, as well as some small hanging lights over the tables. Photos of visiting writers filled the white walls to the high ceilings while bookshelves lined the inner walls. I ordered a housemade lemonade with mango ($4), which was tart and refreshing.
As I have written before, the south Florida heat calls for light eating, especially in the afternoon. I originally planned to order a Seared Tuna "Hero" sandwich, but due to a recall on tuna, the sandwich wasn't available unless it was prepared with salmon instead. I turned to my second choice, the Bacon Egg Salad Wrap ($8), filled with fried chorizo, egg salad, lettuce, tomato, and onion. The wrap was dusted with paprika and served with a small fruit salad on the side.
The wrap was a great mixture of tastes and textures. The salty crunch of the chorizo brought spicy zip to the creaminess of the fairly standard egg salad. The wrap's dusting of chorizo added some earthy flavor but mostly served to get all over my fingers and napkin. The fruit salad was fresh and a nice pairing to the richer wrap.
While the Bacon Egg Salad Wrap was a pleasant meal, it didn't blow me away. The cafe furthers Books & Books' bright indie charms, but isn't especially memorable.