Barker Cafe on a sunny afternoon.
What a *scenic* cafe.
We've gathered our staff together and racked our brains for the best things to use your BoardPlus on. If you are one of the lucky, lucky few who still has BoardPlus left, you are very welcome for our sage advice coming ahead in this series. If you unfortunately have maxed out on your BoardPlus for the semester (we feel you), Crimson Cash? Flyby presents you with the third installment of our series:

Barker Cafe, A Non-Pretentious Review (I Promise)

Barker Cafe, the mecca for English professors, gawky TFs, and hipsters that think occupying an entire table and not purchasing something is okay.

After re-opening last year due to renovations, Barker is back. Considering the fact that I spend a minimum of eight hours at this cute little home for everything that is humanities, I feel especially qualified to comment on Barker.

First off, the coffee:
Drinks are only marginally more expensive than other coffee shops on campus, but far better. Barker uses beans from Counter Culture Coffee, a bean producer whose website has words like “sustainable,” “transparency,” and "Honduras"— good start, then. It even has social media icons on the bottom of the page so you can let your 1,500 close Facebook friends know just how much you care about coffee growers on the other side of the planet.

The coffee itself is pretty good. The drip coffee doesn’t have too clean or glowing of a taste, but it’s passable. Their espresso coffee suffers a similar problem: it tastes a little agricultural and lacks crema. Of course this coffee beats dining hall coffee (which I think tastes like cigarettes, yuck), but these brews can’t compare to other coffee shops in the area, such as Pamplona, Algiers, or Crema– but you also can’t use BoardPlus at those locations. One can only dream.

The decaf coffee just underperformed. I didn’t even think to try the tea— why spend your precious BoardPlus on tea when you can make that in your own dorm?

7/10

Next, food:
Barker really shines in this respect quality-wise. They get their food from Hi-Rise and they like to switch up their offerings pretty regularly, giving me an excuse to splurge more often than I should. However, there’s a caveat: it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. Why would you pay upwards of $8-9 on a merely okay sandwich?

4/10

Last, ambiance:
Barker is the only campus BoardPlus location that really has any of it. This place is beautiful during the afternoon. The cascading yellow sun the pours into the rotunda and the low-tempo music played quietly from behind the counter gives me the will to finish my readings.

The only way you could improve the ambiance is by having puppies roaming around.

9/10.

Well done, Barker. Overall: 8/10.