Market St. Cafe features reheated coffee and overpriced sandwiches

4 years ago Triangle 0

By Katherine Carpenter
Staff Writer

One of Dayton’s newest restaurant features, Market St. Cafe, occupies a space once known as Market St. Hair, once known as Paint the Town, once known as… who knows. What I do know is that Market St. Cafe, as optimistic as I was upon entrance, failed to wow in every area possible.

The windows are strung with white fairy lights, and what looks appealingly atmospheric from an outside view is revealed to be something a little less charming on the inside. In the corner stands a white Christmas tree, stuck with shamrock stickers and half-burnt out pink lights. I don’t know why they have a Christmas tree. It’s March.

Photo courtesy Market St. Cafe
Photo courtesy Market St. Cafe

In a continuation of the confusingly out-of-season Christmas theme, shrivelled, neglected poinsettia plants are scattered across the room in no discernible pattern, seeming to me to be a half-hearted attempt at trimming the room.

The red cellophane wrapped around the planter has a sticker on it that reads $6.98 $4.98 $2.98.

The small, open-plan room is furnished with cast-iron patio furniture and two couches. Against the wall stands a narrow bar barely wide enough to hold a laptop, and when I sit down, I’m glad that I don’t have work with me. The waiter is polite and very country and he doesn’t really know what he’s doing.

The menu is extremely limited. There are three sandwiches, two salads and a meager selection of breakfast foods. Your only options for coffee are plain brewed or a latte. But don’t order a latte, they’re probably out of milk.

I think my order is simple: hot turkey and swiss sandwich on wheat bread, all the way. Apparently this isn’t the case, because the waiter checks and re-checks the order three times.

Photo by Katherine Carpenter


My sandwich is fine, and the sweet tea is good, but their “fine-ness” pales in comparison to how bad the coffee is. I’m no coffee connoisseur, but I know that I’ve had a better caffeine fix at McDonald’s at 3 p.m.

The prices are even less impressive; even though the sandwich is fine, it’s still a $6.50 sandwich, and if I wanted to pay almost seven dollars for a sandwich, I would go to Jacob-Meyer’s, where I know I’m going to get exactly what I want, and have a variety to choose from, to boot.

Trying desperately to end the visit on a good note, I grabbed a cupcake to go on my way out. I was pleasantly surprised by a mountain of fluffy buttercream frosting that tasted ten times fresher than my coffee, but was met at the end by boxed cake. However, as a violently optimistic cupcake consumer, I refused to let it get me down, no matter how dry the cake.

I wouldn’t have paid as much as I did had I known how mediocre my experience was going to be. I desperately wanted to have a positive, refreshing experience at Market St. Cafe, but unfortunately, it felt a little too much like a cheap stencil of Luke’s Diner from Gilmore Girls to impress me.