Cafe Delirium
308 Main Street
Gresham, OR

Delirious for some brew? If you are deep inside “Historic Gresham”, this is the place to go. The building is a new one trying to look old, or a rebuilt one that looks like a knockoff of an old one. Anyway, the coffee is fine, and the atmosphere offers enough variety to hold my attention. Besides lots of fancy coffee drinks, they supply milkshakes and smoothies, oatmeal, and some salad/soup/sandwich combos.  Despite these solid foods, the café seems just like a coffee house. Maybe that’s because the biggest coffee cup in the world—second to Disneyland’s twirling teacups, I suppose—held day-old products sold at a discount, and a coffee grinder was given a prime location.

Delirium was filled with people, from students to chess players to a businessman to, well, us. Filled too with seating possibilities, from couches to modern tables & chairs to bar stools along the window. We sat in easy chairs and used coasters on our antique table. The corner location gave the place ample space, so there was room for everything; they sold some things (such as Japanese lunch bags–yum!–and boxed contraptions), displayed colorful artwork under lights, and provided a bookshelf filled with books and games (yes, Scrabble was there, along with Sudoku books and games such as Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Cranium, etc. No nerd games, however, except that there was a chess table–in my day, if you mentioned the word chess you were perceived as a nerd). A smaller room in the back offered some semi-privacy, and music entertained but wasn’t obnoxious. Aretha Franklin at one point.

Fare and Service: I ordered a small coffee ($1.50), and was sold-up to a 12-oz. by a fast-talker. He said he usually does this; the 8-oz. is just really small, even on a hot day. Perhaps they should rename the small to “extra small” to save him the breath so he could sell more of those so-called boxed contraptions; they’d probably be more lucrative for the store that 25-cent upgrades. I had a good day-old muffin, too. Had to see what soaking in that much coffee for so long would do…

Amenities: Besides the ordinary WIFI, Delirium offered a toaster and a microwave for its customers’ use, and off to the side was an old 50’s TV cabinet. The big question is, do they offer black-and-white TV (Maybe they should have Mad Men showings!)? Of course, next to the TV sat a student with a very thick medical textbook, supposedly studying. Some things never change

Bathrooms: Always pleasant to have M/F bathrooms. Ours had a 50’s-style changing table in it—from long before they invented Koala Bear (excuse me, Koala) handy tray-changers. (I’d know that stiff, scratchy, rippable plastic padding any time. Not that theirs was ripped or stiff or scratchy, but that just seemed to be the ultimate fate of those kinds of pads, kind of like rubber pants turning stiff from the dryer heat).  So the bathroom had the convenience for new moms, and it was clean and quite sufficient.

Rating: 4 (of 5) coffee beans, because in this case, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

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