Bite of the Palouse: An Ode to the Lighty Espresso Bar

After a long shift, I can count on them to keep me going



I poured my heart out to the Lighty Espresso Bar

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

I am hungry 

The Lighty Espresso Bar fills me up 


If my haiku did not illustrate my admiration for the Lighty Espresso Bar then this article will be my labor of love towards this hallowed institution. This will not be an article without bias for this wonderful establishment has quite literally saved my bacon on forgetting my lunch. 

Located in the bowels of the Lighty Student Services, or the ground floor for those unfamiliar with the building, the cafe is open from 7:30 A.M to 3:30 P.M. and is incredibly popular with the employees who work in the building. For those yet uninformed, Lighty is a great place to study but now you have a place to eat in your back pocket as well. 

The service is amazing and the staff even laughs at a few of my jokes when I order my near-daily food order – though that could just be a sign that they are just as exhausted as I am. Either way, the staff does a great job of serving the drinks and food in a timely manner with an awesome attitude. 

But a cafe is only as good as the food and drinks it serves, does the Lighty Espresso Bar measure up? 

The short answer is yes. The long answer is yeeeeeeeeees. 

Before I get into the vast area of food, snacks and drinks that the cafe offers I need to lay out the best order available: my order. First, you get a breakfast sandwich with sausage and ask for red onions and chipotle mayo to be put on it. This combo is a gift from Kirk Schulz himself but is only topped off by a cup of their soup of the day and an energy drink mix called a Coug Blast.

I usually get two syrup combinations, a shot of sugar and caffeine that guarantees that I will be able to get through the work day or whatever homework that I have been procrastinating on. The go-to is blueberry and watermelon and although the drink color is strange it is delicious.

The breakfast sandwich is the perfect combination of warm, spicy and filling that the initially lower price tag is worth paying a small upcharge for the onions. I get it on an English muffin but some of my coworkers have recommended the croissant. But as the saying probably goes, if your breakfast sandwich isn’t broken don’t put it on a croissant. 

Of course, the cafe is home to a variety of other menu items. The staff serves a variety of coffee items to cater to your every caffeine-induced whim, and the Starbucks-level prices can be offset with RDA or Cougar Cash. As the cold sets in, that hot white mocha is sounding better and better. 

If coffee isn’t your thing then they also have a variety of prepacked snacks and drinks ready to go for easy pickup. Whether it is an apple juice or a muffin the cafe does offer a fair few options for those who are looking for something quick and easy.

Finally, the main event in my mind for the cafe is its sandwiches and soups. I feel like a kid on Christmas running down to see the presents under the tree when checking their soup of the day, especially when they have their delicious chili and flavorful chowder. On cold days there are few things better.  

The sandwiches are as if Subway was gourmet as you are able to craft whatever creation your heart desires, though if you do not put it on either focaccia bread or a croissant you might be doing something wrong. I am sure the other options are delicious but they don’t really compare. 

Price wise the Lighty Espresso Cafe is certainly affordable but not something that you could be getting multiple times a day. I do have to talk myself up to buy another coffee when my bank account is slowly draining. But for some good and quick food, you could do a lot worse. 

The Lighty Espresso Cafe has become a hallmark of my workday as well as an essential boost to my study habits. If you haven’t made your way to Lighty for one of the office’s functions you should at least try the cafe!

If you know of some food spots that I have not tried yet that you are just dying to brag about to your friends let me know by emailing [email protected].