On Wednesday, August 9, the Trail Taste Adventure crew (John, Pete, George and newcomer Fred Kindred) made their final Milford stop at the May Cafe, a tiny breakfast and lunch place. It’s a few minutes’ walk from the Milford trailhead, so you can leave your car parked, or lock up your bikes and walk to it.
In addition to providing breakfast until 11 am, May offers an Italian-influenced lunch menu of intriguing soups, salads, sandwiches, espresso-based coffee drinks and even gelato (Italian ice cream). Soft drinks are available, but no alcoholic beverages. Interior seating is limited, but there are two delightful and cozy outdoor eating areas with sun umbrellas and beautiful flowers. Since it was a warm, sunny day, the TTA crew selected the patio at the rear and was happy to find it quiet and serene, despite being adjacent to a parking lot. Customers place their orders at a counter halfway inside the building and are given a number on a stand; servers deliver the food to the tables. Prices are affordable—tabs ran from a low of $7 for George's sandwich (with no drink) up to $13 for Pete's (including his mocha latte).
I ordered the Hot Ham and Swiss on their multi-grain bread. There are no fries. When I asked about a side I was told the sandwich comes with a slice of watermelon and a pickle—that’s not a side or a salad. So I added a bag of chips for a dollar and a Snapple (yeah, no beer—so sad) bringing my total to $10.50. By far one of the least expensive lunches yet. It took a while for the food to arrive, which just made me miss that beer even more. When I finally got my order, the first thing I noticed was that the promised pickle was smaller than my baby finger—just garnish. The sandwich was fine. The bread was great. While eating it, though, I couldn’t stop thinking I could have made this at home with some ham, Swiss cheese, a toaster and microwave. Also, when I finished, I just didn’t feel fulfilled. That said, if I had just ridden my bike from Xenia and stopped for a bite to refuel, this would have been perfect before heading the 60 miles back to Xenia. So I upped my initial 2.5 to 3 bell rating to a 3.5, thinking of my visit as a refueling stop along the trail.
I ordered the same as John, despite an unwritten TTA rule that our orders all be different. My sandwich was palatable but unimpressive, as it was just what anyone could make at home for a much lower cost. And there’s no beer. Overall, though, I give May Cafe 3 bells, based on service, affordability and trail proximity. It’s a reasonable value, but not a memorable experience.
I ordered the Combo, choosing cauliflower soup and half a grilled turkey sandwich with avocado and provolone, along with a latte in a to-go-cup, for a total of $13. The sandwich was very good with none of the components overpowering the others. The bread was outstanding and grilled to a nice crunch. To my surprise the soup came in a bowl instead of a cup and was excellent. My to-go latte came in a regular cup, but when reminded the waitress changed it out with an apology and a smile. Ambience inside was lacking, but the rear patio was pleasant except for the sun. Umbrellas were provided but they overlapped each other and could not be adjusted. Overall I rate it 4 bells for cost, proximity to the trail, and the food.
I had the tomato basil soup & salami/provolone sandwich. My sandwich was good, but not outstanding. The soup was tasty but could have had more croutons. I thought the meal was a little pricey. I did like the patio; it was quiet enough to have a nice conversation. The service was pretty quick. Overall, I’d give May 3.5 bells.
The bottom line: If you want a place to re-energize with a light lunch after time on the trail, this is a pretty good stop.
5 Main Street, Milford
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 9 am – 3pm