With a name like Busboys and Poets, you’d expect this bookstore cum coffee house to be a little hole-in-the-wall place for beat poets. The poets are there, but they have the Langston room to jam in, equipped with a stage and full sound system. The bookstore is also there, full of progressive reading and t-shirts with aggressive left-leaning slogans. Is the restaurant upstaged by all these other functions? The answer is a resounding no. Inside is spacious, with light blue and green walls that match the sea-colored glasses, and a beautiful gathered curtain that separates the couch area from the tables.
Sometimes these left-of-center establishments have too much zeal and not enough flavor, but the food at Busboys and Poets borders on lyrical. A hot portobello panini is thick and crusty, with fresh mozzarella and pesto. The poached pear salad with goat cheese and caramelized pecans and onions is beyond description—the expert 11 year old present pronounced he could eat it as dessert. Desserts, however, are an interesting blend of vegan and non-vegan options, and your best luck in ending on a sweet note is to try the fresh squeezed OJ or lemonade with pomegranate juice.