Viva Espresso II

Looking for a relaxing place to go to sip on some coffee and surf the web?   Or a nice casual place to meet a friend for lunch?  Something different from your average coffee house?  Stop by Viva Espresso in Salisbury, MD.  Viva has two locations in Salisbury.  One is conveniently located near one of the county’s high schools and close to Salisbury University.  It is a great college hangout as some days they even offer live music.  The other store is fairly new and is located in the Kmart Shopping Center off Rt 50 and Tilghman Rd.

At Viva, they are passionate about their coffee; they roast their own beans and believe coffee should taste good.  They even make sure their specialty coffee drinks look like a work of art as coffee should not only be a part of our daily routine, but an experience as well.

A coffee house experience should be warm and comforting.  Viva does that well as when you walk in, you feel comfortable, like you are in your living room. I should’ve got a picture of the couch, but I was too busy sitting on it 🙂

I was nervous about Viva II’s location as the Java Hut that was in that spot there before it, closed down.  From the road, you don’t know it is there.  However, the locals know where it is and that it is a great place to meet, hang out and enjoy some coffee, tea, baked goods, salads, soups or sandwiches.  It really is in a good spot being close to a Kmart, Olympia Fitness Center, Clear Channel Radio Station and a Church.  I’m sure this place is packed on Sunday so don’t expect to go in and do some work on your laptop!

The hours at Viva II are more limited than its predecessor Viva as you just don’t have the same amount of traffic, so it is justifiable.  Viva II is open 6:45am-5pm Monday through Friday and 8-2 on Saturday and Sunday.

I was in there for almost 4 hours Saturday working on my Travel and Tourism program.  I actually got all the way through it, but then I was hungry!  When I got in at 10, the young man working was busy getting things ready for lunch.  Today that had a fagioli soup, and some sort of sandwich with mushrooms.  I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was, but I heard them talking about mushrooms all morning.  They make all of their sandwiches and salads fresh, to order.  Sandwiches are served warm with a daily side, and best part…they make their bread from scratch!  It’s so good, I don’t know why they don’t sell the breads by the loaf. Paninis range from about $6-$7 which seems kind of high but when you think that you are getting a fresh sandwich, with quality ingredients, on homemade bread, with a side, it feels like a steal!  People pay that (and more) from Panera, so why not from a local business?

The Brie, Bacon and Mango Chutney Panini is what caught my eye and it was worth every single bite!

My only complaint was that I wish it was heated a little more so my cheese would have been a little warmer in the center.  Nevertheless, the flavor was spot on.  The sweetness of the chutney balanced the saltiness of the crispy bacon and lightened the richness of the cheese.  It was a perfect marriage of flavors and textures.  The homemade sourdough was the perfect vehicle for these delicious fillings.  This is definitely one of my favorite comfort foods and something I’d love to make at home.  A healthy portion of 3 bean salad was served with the sandwich.  I usually don’t go out of my way for legumes, but these were surprisingly delicious.  Chick peas (garbanzo beans), cannellini beans and kidney beans were mixed with celery and lightly dressed in oil and vineger, with a little bit of sugar.  What a satisfying accompaniment.

My mom got the special salad.  Mixed greens topped with dried cranberries, gala apple slices, nuts and feta cheese, served with a raspberry vinaigrette.  This hearty salad was served with a thick slice of homemade bread.  I’m pretty sure she enjoyed it as there was nothing left 🙂  She also enjoyed the freshly brewed iced tea.

For dessert, I ordered a mocha frap. All frappes are served 20oz and are only $3.25.  That is super reasonable!  All of Viva’s coffee and espresso drinks are actually $1-$2 less expensive than if you went to a corporate coffee house.  It was delicious…a lot of places that make fraps, they can be kind of waxy, or overly sweet, to thick, or too watery.  This one was perfect.  It was thick, but not too thick where I couldn’t get it through the straw and perfectly blended.  The coffee/espresso flavor was present and blended beautifully with the chocolate.

In a rush?  Call your order in ahead of time and it will be ready when you are!  Check out either Viva or Viva II.   The service is also as welcoming as the atmosphere, so don’t be afraid to stop on in!

Viva Espresso
105A East College Ave.
Salisbury, MD  21804
Viva Espresso II 
329 Tilghman Rd (K Mart Shopping Center)
Salisbury, MD  21804



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