I visited a Roanoke café to find out if the drive was worthwhile.

By Melissa Farthing, Staff Writer/Artist

Warm, friendly smiles. Charming rustic decor. The sweet smell of freshly baked goods. 

These things will be encountered by the wise HU students who make the fifteen-minute trek over to Roanoke to visit Moose and Mollie’s Café and Gelato. 

I went to this lovely establishment on a cold Tuesday afternoon. When I entered the cafe, I couldn’t help but smile at the sound of Christmas music playing on the radio. To me, November still feels too early for holly jolly jingles, but perhaps they won’t feel so out of place if Mollie’s decides to put up decorations later this month. Speaking of decorations, the café was smack in the middle of a renovation during my visit. Two sliding barn doors were being installed to separate the café’s two rooms, which only added to the homey atmosphere.

Anyway, when I went to order my meal, I was greeted by a kind young lady who waited patiently while I chose what I wanted. As a first-time visitor, I was overwhelmed by the seemingly endless amount of choices. Moose and Mollie’s has everything a café customer’s heart could desire, from sandwiches to salads to coffee drinks and, of course, gelato. 

I started with a three-cheese toastie and a seasonal pumpkin caramel latte. The latte was brought right to my table once it was finished. It wasn’t too hot, meaning I could start drinking it immediately. I could taste equal notes of both the pumpkin and caramel, two of my favorite fall flavors. The drink contained quite a bit of liquid for being labeled a “small” size. This certainly wasn’t a bad thing as it was delicious! It served as a great “pick-me-up” on a sleepy afternoon.

My toastie came out about five minutes after my latte. It also wasn’t too hot and was plated on a disposable cardboard serving boat. The sandwich consisted of two slices of generously buttered toasted bread, three slices of various melted cheeses and two juicy tomato disks. Each component of the toastie complimented the next, making for a satisfying dining experience. My only gripe is that I wish the cheese was slightly more melted.

For dessert, I ordered a scoop of the blueberry cheesecake gelato. The icy treat had chunks of creamy cheesecake and frozen blueberries scattered throughout it. I savored every bite. The portion was the perfect size: big enough to please my sweet tooth but not so big that it made me feel stuffed.

When I finished everything, I realized that I had forgotten to ask for a receipt, so I asked the same young lady at the counter if she could print one out for me. She didn’t hesitate to fulfill my request. In fact, it seemed like all of the Moose and Mollie’s employees didn’t hesitate to make the café the best it could be for the customers. I saw an employee clean tables twice in the forty minutes I was there, and not once were the workers standing around doing nothing or chatting obnoxiously.

Unfortunately, I did not try any of the scrumptious looking cookies, chocolates, pies, or any other pastries laid out in the display cases. Oh well – something to look forward to during my next visit!

I would highly recommend Moose and Mollie’s Café and Gelato to anyone who enjoys good food and coffee. 

Moose and Mollie’s winter hours are Monday-Friday: 8-5, Saturday: 9-5, Sunday: closed.