The Best Thing I Ate This Week: The Lifeguard at Java Surf
As if I needed another excuse to dine out, Virginia Beach Restaurant Week returned in full force, serving delicious, discounted courses at over 90 local restaurants. Craving a hearty sandwich and warm dose of caffeine, I decided to limit my Restaurant Week search to cozy cafes. A trip to the Oceanfront seemed like a natural fit, especially on such a rare, 70-degree afternoon in February.
Java Surf Café & Espresso Bar, situated on the corner of Mediterranean Avenue, calls the ViBe Creative District home. It’s painted with beachy hues of sunset orange, Pacific blue and pops of neon green. Large, whimsical sea creatures swim above the industrial-size espresso machine and bottles of coffee flavorings while surfboards hover above the dining area.
Three sides of the café are also lined with floor-to-ceiling windows, flooding the bistro with light from the surprisingly warm winter sun. Cozy tables paired with simple, brown chairs give Java Surf its laid-back, surfer vibe.
Having just missed the breakfast specials, I perused the list of lunch options. Five sandwiches stacked with everything from deli meats and bacon to fresh fruit and tangy sriracha mayo were offered as the first course, followed by your choice of any classic espresso beverage. But the choices didn’t stop there; each entrée was also served with a house salad, side of kettle-cooked chips or cup of Java Surf’s famous tomato basil bisque.
Influenced by the warm weather and café’s surf shack vibe, I took a chance on The Lifeguard. The sandwich’s perfectly grilled tortilla encased a symphony of tropical flavors and textures. Each hint of the sandwich’s sweetness, crunch and tang was not only evident, but delectably combined.
The hearty sandwich I longed for was packed with chicken, crunchy, smoked bacon and slightly melted cheddar cheese. The strong base of familiar flavors was then tossed with housemade pico de gallo, pineapple bits and fresh avocado. The medley of chopped cilantro, red onion, saccharine pineapple juice and creaminess from both the avocado and tangy sriracha mayo was bursting with refreshing, beachside flavors. For a bit of saltiness, I opted for the side of kettle-cooked chips.
For my post-lunch pick-me-up, I tried Java Surf’s take on a Flat White. The double-shot espresso with steamed milk was topped with a frothy layer of micro-foam and served in a bright orange mug, mimicking the café’s interior. Steaming hot and slightly sweet, the Flat White reminded me that while summer has yet to arrive, its coastal flavors can be found in tasty, handcrafted meals across town.
Java Surf Café & Espresso Bar will be serving a $5 and $10 breakfast and $15 two-course lunch during Virginia Beach Restaurant Week through Feb. 25. See more here from Virginia Beach Restaurant Week with our visit to Tupelo Honey.