Cupidone more than coffee house

Fruit, ice cream smoothies, more dot flavorful menu

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Why: Cupidone Coffee House opened Feb. 1 in the strip mall located on the southeast corner of Fourth Plain Boulevard and Andresen Road. The family-owned-and-operated establishment offers fresh fruit and ice cream smoothies, loose-leaf, organic tea by The Tao of Tea company, a smattering of ice cream flavors, waffles, pastries and a beverage menu comparable to other coffee houses. Coffee beans are procured from local Ristretto Roasters in Portland.

What I tried: I had a double-shot latte and a strawberry cupcake. I also ordered a mini caramel apple loaf to take home.Espresso drinks are made with Beaumont Blend, which I found delicious in the latte. The flavor was robust, full-bodied and complex. The cupcake was topped with a good amount of pink whipped frosting, and the cake was moist with a strawberry jelly center.

When I got home and opened the paper bag that contained my to-go order, I was surprised to find a slice of raisin carrot cake instead of the apple loaf. I chalked it up to a simple misunderstanding and popped the thick slice of dense cake in the toaster oven to heat it up. It had a flavor similar to spice cake, and the texture was like some gluten-free cakes I have tried.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Waffles are made to order with varied toppings, including fresh fruit and ice cream. Cupidone serves organic oatmeal.

As I perused the menu, I noted a spicy chai latte and a green tea latte, both of which sounded delicious to pair with a croissant.

Atmosphere: Unlike most coffee houses, which are decorated in the many shades of espresso beverages, Cupidone's has a bright orange wall and a chalkboard mural bathed in natural light from large windows. Seating consists of tables and chairs and two cushy club chairs. Wood laminate flooring matches the tabletops and compliments the bright color scheme.

Other observations: In addition to the items Cupidone makes, it gets many of its sweet and savory pastries from Pearl Bakery in Portland.Service was friendly and polite, and the atmosphere was welcoming and cheerful.

Cupidone has free Wi-Fi.

Cost: Espresso beverages come in 12-ounce and 16-ounce sizes and range from $2.50 to $4.25. Tea is $2.75 to $3.50. Smoothies are $4. Oatmeal is $2.75. Cupcakes are $2. Most pastries are less than $3.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Where: 3021 N.E. 72nd Drive, Suite 11, Vancouver.Telephone: 503-803-4678.Web: www.cupidonecoffee.com.Cupidone also has a Facebook page.

Health score: Cupidone received a score of 0 on Feb. 11. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.