Restaurant Review: “Nest” makes name for itself in downtown Orono

Grade: B+

Last October brought the opening of a new coffee shop in downtown Orono, much to the delight of UMaine students. Nest set up shop on the corner of Main and Mill Street and offers a variety of coffee and tea options, as well as baked goods and bagels.

Coffee is the staple of the café and is made very well. They get their beans from Farm House Coffee Roasters in Bangor and they are undoubtedly delicious; $2 for a small, $2.50 for a medium and $3 for a large is very reasonably priced and an additional 50 cents for any flavor shots. Your choices in flavor shots range from classics like vanilla, caramel, white chocolate and hazelnut, to more interesting flavors like gingerbread and peppermint. They also carry pumpkin spice for a seasonal effect. Their drip coffee is tasty, but if you want an upgrade, their choice of espresso drinks will float your boat too. Cappuccinos and lattes cash in around $3.75 and are composed of an espresso shot, steamed milk and foam (with the cappuccino boasting a lot more foam and a lot more fun).

Where they really excel, however, is their tea selection. You can get classics like black and green tea (hot or iced) at $2.50 for a small and $3 for a large and you will probably be content. But if you are feeling a little more adventurous, I would highly recommend the Thai Tea. The bright orange concoction is delicious and memorable, made up of 50 percent brewed sweet tea and 50 percent half and half. You can choose between hot or iced (I prefer the iced option) and whether you’re eating in or taking it to go it’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth; it’s essentially a drinkable dessert.

The highlight of the food offered at Nest are the bagels, sourced locally from Bagel Central. Chewy and delicious, your options are to pair them with cream cheese or on a breakfast sandwich. The classic breakfast sandwich (sausage, bacon, or ham with eggs and cheese) is $4 and the fancy Lox n’ Bagels option (smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato and onion) is $6.50. They also offer oatmeal ($2), yogurt ($4.50) and the very popular Acai bowls ($7.50). Nest is even offering Belgium Waffles as a special going on right now at $5 for 1 or $9 for 2.

I tried out the Lox n’ Bagels option which was tasty but mushy, probably from not using fresh ingredients. They also offer plenty of baked goods baked by the co-owner Anna, which are impressively enjoyable for a quick bite. My personal favorites happen to be the lemon poppy seed muffins and the jumbo chocolate chip cookies.

Their space is small but cozy, with cushy pillows and large windows that make the café the perfect study lounge for UMaine students. Many students opt to set up shop at tables for long periods of study time, occasionally refilling their coffee cups and satisfying their hunger with copious numbers of bagels. This can make finding spots to sit tricky, but Nest encourages table sharing as a courtesy.

If you’re looking for a quiet study spot where you have access to free Wi-Fi, good coffee, snacks and quiet Norah Jones tunes, Nest is for you. It makes an excellent addition to downtown Orono’s student friendly atmosphere, so stop in next time you can.

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