Downtown Encinitas surely isn’t hurting for coffee shops, and before doing this blog, I never understood how so many could survive. But now I get it. Each has their own special culture, drawing in their own special people. Surfdog’s Java Hut is no different because they are different. “Java Hutsters” just hop off their surfboards or roll out of bed still in pj’s and don’t want the trendy coffee house scene. They don’t bring laptops or cell phones. They just bring a friend and a dog. They want coffee, something to eat, and don’t want to pay a ridiculous price. They don’t want a “barista”, they just want the people they know to serve them what they always order, without having to ask. When they walk in, everyone knows their name. That’s the Surfdog Java Hut vibe.
The thatched roof hut is an iconic landmark located right next to Swami’s beach. You can sit out front, inside, or on their sweet, little back patio.
If you choose to sit out front on a weekend morning, beware of rush hour traffic! There are insanely fit people doing their morning run along the coast and they will NOT stop for you to push in your chair or get your dog out of the way. You are taking your and your pets’ lives into your hands. We sat safely inside.
I asked the nice lady behind the counter if she could tell me a little about this place.
“We’ve been here for 20 years and mrfff ffrrrum…”
“Excuse me, can you please repeat that?” I asked, stepping a little closer.
“We are very LOCAL and have good mrrupha fffraaa”. Every time she spoke, she kept taking a step back and with the roar of the blenders going, I could never make out the end of her sentences. So I kept taking a step closer. Until I realized that I had backed her up past the No Customer Zone, and she had a frightened look on her face! Ok, no more questions, I will just wing this one.
If you’re thirsty, the water is located right by the gorilla head, just where you keep it at home.
The display case had some decent looking muffins, bagels and things, but was a little sparse. Fruit Loops are a bit random, but…sure.
They have a superb organic tea selection offering more than one variety of green tea which is impressive.
Hubby ordered a peanut butter banana smoothie. It’s a shake, let’s not pretend here, and it was GOOD! The best part of the drinks were the cute little day-glo monkeys we got. Now that just puts a morning smile right on our faces!
Hubby can’t resist a good “plonk” when he sees one. A plonk is a dense oatmeal muffin filled with raisins, dates, walnuts, cinnamon and other magical ingredients that make it taste sooo good! Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste healthy at all! Original plonks were created by Gordy’s Bakery in Encinitas, but more and more places around town have them like at Pannikin and here. It doesn’t actually look like much but if you haven’t had one, you must try it! They served it to us warm, and we didn’t even have to ask.
The menu on the wall spoke to me this morning. Organic steel cut oatmeal Hula Monkey style please!
This oatmeal is divine. Put a slab of peanut butter like this on almost anything and it’s going to taste great.
Debbie got a slab on her acai bowl too. The only improvement would be if they would use crunchy peanut butter, instead of smooth. Always use crunchy!
Although none of us actually ordered any java, the Hutsters I spoke with all said it’s great and you can’t beat the prices. They poo-poo the Philz Coffee sign you can see up the street.
I felt like I walked into someone’s private Hawaiian home, uninvited, yet welcomed at Surfdog’s Java Hut. Everyone there greeted everyone else by name, even the dogs. I felt out of place, jealous and touristy. I want a place where I get served oatmeal, Hula Monkey Style with an organic green tea covered in day-glo monkeys just from walking in the door, without having to order. I want to cruise over in my pjs and have my own seat at my own table waiting for me on Sunday mornings. These hipsters know what’s good. It’s a hut. They sell java, tea and munchies. But it’s also much more. Although it was tempting to take them with me, I decided to leave my day-glo monkeys in their natural environment where they belonged.
As I walked out, I looked at the surf-dude on the surfboard on the wall and realized he had it all figured out:
Enjoy our Encinitas home. We have beach, sun and surf. Fancy clothes don’t matter. Your hair and make-up doesn’t matter. Money doesn’t matter. Don’t overthink things. Just stay on a straight line with a smile on your face, and all in life is good.