Many say it’s a great idea to stop at Hava Java in Town Square, Monsey, if you’re going to Evergreen on Route 59. But I think the opposite; it’s a great idea to stop at Evergreen if you’re going to Hava Java. Hava Java, the dairy cafe that seemingly celebrates Shavuot perennially, is well worth the trip from Brooklyn, let alone the half-hour drive from New Jersey. It’s that good. And, at variance with my teenage propensity, I’m really not exaggerating.
Although being a kosher foodie has never been more exhilarating, choosing has never been harder. After extensively sorting through the nine-category menu, Rivky, my Hava Java connoisseur and neighbor, handed me another labeled “32° Below,” exclusively for summer and exclusively ice-cream/cookie concoctions. I was “melting” over “The Big Dipper,” a chocolate enveloped—and drizzled—ice cream pop, and “The Sweeza,” the “sweet pizza” that’s definitely mezonos.
Continuing to “course” backwards with dessert as an entree, I wasn’t baffled by “The Baffle” (okay, so maybe I was). Although Hava Java offers pre-designed masterpieces including the “Kahlua Crumble,” “Peanut Butter Puddle,” “Caramel Crackle” and “Razzle Dazzle,” I dauntlessly went with the “Create Your Own” option. Calories not an object, my authoritative chocolate bubble waffle cone pedestalled a gelato scoop so potently authentic, I could see the flashing flecks of vanilla bean. Reckless enough for one day, I chose the safety of “crunchy milk chocolate splash” to border the circumference and serve as the hardened adhesive for classic cookie dough bites.
My sweet tooth getting the better of me, I indulged in the “carrot cheese slice,” a moist folded blend of cinnamon zing, folded, yet again, into a densely whipped haven of cheese filling. Tasting the kokosh muffin was my own fault, once again getting sucked into the buttery base and its center vortex of pooling chocolate, somehow labeled pareve.
When you inevitably get thirsty, don’t be ashamed to order everything from “Clusters” and “Frosters” to “Cremeo’s” and “Steamers.” Hava Java may blend and brew classic lattes and fraps from hand-harvested coffee beans, but the real thrill prevails in the specialty drinks that you feel guilty sipping because they’re too picturesque.
Contrary to my preconceived bias for dessert, Hava Java surpassed my prejudices with their “real food” too. Resplendent balls of fried herbed glory, Hava Java’s “garlic bombs” detonate dripping cheese, partnering with marinara and parmesan coulis dipping sauces. Explosions aside, the just-as-sapid pizza quesadilla pulls into cheesy gold when you take that first bite.
Combatting the caloric allure, you don’t have to order salad to be healthy. Hava Java gives your willpower a rest with their most popular dish, the “Low Carb Melt,” or cauliflower crusted pizza. In addition to the myriad of other fish, quinoa, vegetable and skinny drink options, the winter affixes soup to your diet as well.
Make sure to come after 3 p.m. for the shortest lines, ensuring a table in the warm, yet modern sitting room, embellished with individual wall lighting that spotlights your meal. Notwithstanding the time of day, however, there is always an accessible attendant.
To place an order online please visit: https://www.havajavaonline.com/order.php#/.
By Rachel Liebling
Rachel Liebling is a summer intern at the Jewish Link and a rising freshman at Stern College for Women.