My wife and I were out in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania this weekend and because it was Christmas Eve few of the restaurants and shops in the historic district were open. The winter sun was setting in the late afternoon so we went in search of a cup of hot tea and some local desserts. Jim Thorpe has no town bakery but we heard good things about a new vegetarian restaurant called Cafe Origins where we were told that some deserts and hot drinks might be available.We peeked at the menu outside and saw that some fresh baked pies and crumbles were on offer so we thought we’d give it a try. We were the only ones in the restaurant and were enthusiastically greeted by Denise O’Connell, the chef/owner. When we mentioned that we were interested in some warm deserts, Denise immediately rattled off a list of pies, cookies and crumbles that she had baked that afternoon.
We decided to try three dishes - the sesame cookies, the pear-apple crumble and a Turkish dessert whose name escapes me. For the obligatory hot drink, I ordered a cup of Black Currant tea.The black currant tea came out first in a cup the size of a bowl. Perfectly brewed with the tea bag hanging from a chopstick on the cup’s lip, it warmed me from the inside out. As my wife and I were chatting about a book that she had purchased at a bookstore in town, the desserts arrived. We tried the Turkish desert first. It had a warm jellied center and was covered with a sweet cookie shell. I alternated between sips of tea and bites of the cookie. I also sampled a bite of the sesame cookies. Personally I found the cookies a bit hard on the outside and dry on the inside but they softened nicely when dipped in the tea.The real treat though was the pear-apple crumble. The crumble is basically a mash of pear, apple and cake slightly warmed with hot caramel sauce on top. The cake melts in your mouth and the sweety caramel aroma rafts throughout the restaurant. In the summertime, I’ll have to come back and have it a with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Beyond the food, Denise is a great hostess. She is very involved in promoting the town of Jim Thorpe and very Internet savy, referring us to the newly developed Jim Thorpe website. The restaurant itself is an oasis within the oasis of Jim Thorpe. She’s decorated it soothing mauve tones and hung South East Asian tapestries on the wall.
If your travels through Pennsylvania find you in the town of Jim Thorpe, I highly encourage you to visit Cafe Origins. The cuisine will remind you of where good food comes from.