Catch a caffeine buzz or an acoustic set at this independent, strip-mall cafe.. The Scene Hickory Ridge Plaza's small coffeehouse is filled with surprises. Behind smoked glass that softens the view of the parking lot (as well as the glare of the sun), this misplaced snack shop also serves as a local music venue for Delmarva singer-songwriters who play on weekends. The linoleum floors are convincing, imitation wood; the green formica tabletops are less sucessful faux slate--and even the eggs taste fake. But for up to 62 music-lovers, this tiny joint is the real deal on certain nights.
The Food Bagels are imported from New York City; other pastries come from the Baltimore-based A Scone Co. Frankly, neither is particularly impressive. The former aren't necessarily fresh; the latter consists of doughy muffins and teeth-itchingly sweet streudels. Mad City's main draw is its selection of coffee beans: Two-dozen dessert-like flavors (such as English Toffee and Chocolate Raspberry) line one wall, with some beans literally spilling from burlap bags onto the floor.