It’s no secret that downtown Greensburg is never short on things to do. (If you’re not following @GBurgHappenings on Twitter, you’re missing out.) Specifically, there are a ton of places to find good food, to hang with friends and to study.
I grabbed my fellow writers, Anne Long and Marisa Valotta, and we went on a search for some of the cafés near Seton Hill University (SHU). After a brief Google search, three of the top hits were The White Rabbit Café and Pâtisserie, Dv8 Espresso Bar and Gallery and The Connections Cafe. I decided we’d check out these three.
Our first stop was the The Connections Cafe, located on North Main Street. This relaxing restaurant is open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays and are closed on Sundays.
We were greeted at the counter by the one and only employee working. She happily explained to us how the small buffet-like style of ordering worked. They have different options every day because they make everything fresh. Specifically, their menu is aimed towards soups, salads and “gourmet grilled cheese.”
The quantities of food are large and they have choices to pick one, two or three different dishes for one meal. They also have a large selection of teas and french press coffee to sip on over a good book.
I ordered a slice of a Mexican quiche and noodles with a kind of soy sauce. Anne got green beans and an apple salad. Marisa chose a quinoa and pasta salad. The pro’s to this café were that it was very home-like and had a comfortable atmosphere.
“It was a lot flavor, and it was filling,” said Anne.
“The food was healthy but delicious,” said Marisa. “It was very fresh.”
They’re even vegetarian friendly and gluten free. The Connections Cafe’s food is healthy, fresh and organic. Now, this can seem like a positive to some and a negative to others. I’m a meat-and-potatoes kind of girl, and the strictly vegetable and grains mix didn’t hit the sweet spot for me.
On the other hand, it was also kind of expensive compared to other places, but the amount of food you get is worth it.
Anne described it as an “every once in awhile” place, but “not a consistent hangout.”
The Connections Café also hosts a number of events such as yoga and game nights in their lower level, underneath their seating area.
Afterwards, we headed directly across the street to The White Rabbit Café and Pâtisserie for dessert and coffee.
Look for the bright green sign with a cute white rabbit on the front. You can’t miss it.
They are open 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and are closed on Sundays.
A local favorite, The White Rabbit has a charming Alice in Wonderland theme, complete with paintings of rabbits and various doorknob decorations.
They have a variety of seating arrangements from arm chairs and couches to high tables and window seats.
I ordered a perfect portion size of cheesecake and a hot chocolate, Anne got coffee, and Marisa got a (large) chocolate chip cookie. Everything was freshly made and perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.
To my surprise, they even offer a student discount.
Their desserts are made from scratch, and most of their coffees are organic and Fair Trade.
The staff is very friendly. The owner is super funny and made jokes with us the whole time we were there.
The only downside to The White Rabbit is that, due to their popularity, sometimes they can be pretty busy, so keep that in mind when heading there with a larger group of friends.
What’s even cooler is the record shop downstairs. Carrying the same whimsical theme, they have a ton of different genres to peruse through after filling up on some sweet treats.
My final stop– unfortunately, Marisa, Anne and I had to part ways before we could finish– was the Dv8 (pronounced “deviate”) Espresso Bar and Gallery on South Pennsylvania Avenue. Much to my dismay, my GPS made it look a lot closer to the campus than what it actually is. It’s not too bad of a trek, but still pretty far compared to the previous two cafes.
Locally owned, Dv8 is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
The shop is separated into two sections: the counter and the seating area. It definitely gives off that traditional coffee shop vibe. The fun part is, the seating area also doubles as an art gallery featuring artwork from local artists. The current exhibit is prints of pinhole photography on a homemade pinhole camera.
I was greeted at the counter by the shop’s owner, Terrie. There’s a huge menu of all kinds of coffees, specialty drinks, teas and different sodas. Little sweet treats line the counter. I ordered a peanut butter cup dark roast coffee, and we started chatting. She is a super sweet woman, and she showed me around the place after we talked.
“We’ve been open for fourteen years,” she explained.
Dv8 hosts a lot of events as well, such as an open-mic night, an indie movie night and even a knitting club. They also have free wifi, which is great for those study sessions that require a hot coffee.
I will definitely be heading back to all of these cafés. Each place brought their own unique spin on traditional coffee shops, and they all had fantastic food and refreshments.
Published By: Laramie Cowan