They way we see it: They got the beets

by Beacon Staff • April 15, 2009

There are only so many places in Boston where one can order tea infused scone, a beet cupcake and a dairy free granola square in one stop, and even fewer where one can enjoy said pastry with a homemade strawberry honey coconut "Soy Mama" smoothie. With this in mind, grabbing a cup of joe at Java Jo's is for the adventurous in spirit-for those willing to delve into the realm of a black bean and goat cheese burrito-not so much for the plain bagel type.

Located at 3710 Washington St. off the Forest Hills T stop, this coffee joint is a sanctuary for the Forest Hill dwellers. The trendy exposed brick walls and modern art coupled with the homemade organic pastry array give off a fun naturopath urban vibe. That said, Jo's walks the fine line of contrived wannabe-west-coast and authentic off-the-grid hippie.

For hippies, the old ruggedly handsome leather couch to the right of the front door is appealing. It is clearly a piece of furniture that has seen many a study session and political discussion. The contrived wannabe feel may stem from the piece of odious modern art hanging above the awesome couch. Some things only Jackson Pollock can get away with. See? Fine line.

Barista Jen Dafonte, 29, has been working at Jo's for the last two years. Dafonte describes Jo's constituents as a diverse crowd made up of commuters on their way to and from the Forest Hills T stop. That said, Jo's is a prime afternoon study spot for students. "We get lots and lots of students. They all come in and do their work here-free wireless and all," said Dafonte.

If you're not feeling particularly studious, Jo's has open mike night every Friday at 7 p.m. Performances tend to be musically oriented, however they occasionally include poetry.

Behind the counter, six handwritten menu boards lay out the food and drink options. The offerings at Jo's aim to please any pallet. According to the chalkboards, options span from corky vegan foodstuffs to toasty meaty-cheese sandwiches sure to lure in even the most decidedly Dunkin' of customers.