10 -The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, May 11, 1994
Avanti merges the bistro with the cafe
By-Melissa Rose Bernardo
Once upon a time, coffeehouses were coffee-
houses, restaurants were restaurants and never the
twain did meet- until now. In downtown Pontiac,
S -sj -
14 E. Lawrence
New Pontiac, MI 48312
Price Range: $3.95-$7.95
Hours: Mon. & Wed.: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.;
Tues., Thurs. & Fri.: 11 a.m.-3 a.m.; Sat. &
Sun.: 6 p.m.-3 a.m. All non-smoking; no
alcohol; vegetarian available; no reservations.
an enterprising young trio has created Avanti Bis-
tro and Coffeehouse, an exquisite little find where
you can get a gourmet meal and a mean cup o' java.
Owners Jimmy Mazzola, Brett Cooley and Rich
Taleri point out that most coffeehouses are ill
equipped to accommodate food beyond bagels and
Avantiseemed a naturalstep for the trio. "The goalof
this place is to merge what we consider a very fine
coffeehouse with a bistro," Mazzola says. Judging
from the results, their goal has been realized.
Upon entering this 40-seat establishment, one
sees that minimalism is the key here - with black
and white tile checkering the floor, crisp white
linen draped over the tables and eye-catching origi-
nal artwork lining the walls.
The menu consists of appetizers, salads, sand-
wiches, pizzas and, of course, coffee, with at least
four items in each category. In addition to regular
selections, a special board boasts of the soup(s) of
the day, any special desserts and three to four of
Talerico's own specials, which range from fried
chicken with potato salad and slaw to Lake Supe-
rior whitefish. (Favorite specials will eventually be
added to the regular menu.) The style amounts to
Avanti's twist on traditional items, with a little
Italiano flair here and there.
My companion and I were enticed by the pizzas
before we even noticed the colorful chalkboard of
specials. I selected their signature Avanti pizza,
and she put their more traditional Americano to the
Maybe it's the Italian ownership, but the pizza
alone makes it worth the drive to Pontiac. And
despite our waiter's claims, we discovered that one
person could not eat a whole pizza. Don't dream of
leaving without trying the Avanti, a blanket of
grilled chicken, tomatoes and roasted red pepper
nestled in a nutty, hearty basil pesto. The Americano
was not as exotic but just as flavorful; here the plain
old pepperoni-and-mushroom is given a face lift
with black olives and onions. Nor are the pizzas too
gooey- the toppings dominate the dish and attack
the taste buds. You'll never go back to Little
Caesar's after this one.
The history at Java should tell you that these
guys know how to make a good cappuccino. And
all the traditional coffeehouse requirements -
latte, au lait, mocha, hot honey milk, almond milk,
Italian sodas - are still there.
Avanti opened just over a month ago, and al-
ready they've made a name for themselves in
southeastern Michigan. And be careful of their
killer lunch rush. Fans of the club scene will be glad
to know that Avanti is just a stone's throw from
Industry, so this is the perfect place to satisty that
appetite that a night of moshing works up.
It's probably only a matter of time before all
coffeehouses go gourmet, especially in Ann Arbor,
but Avanti is the original.
Continued from page 9
The Brothers Grimm are currentl
shooting for the stars, but even if theo
don't make it into the big leagues with
a major labeltcon act, they would
still be perfectly content.
"I don't really want to be so big,"
said Oesterle. "Nobody gets into a band
because they want to change the uni-
verse.I'djustlike to be agood band and
write good songs. As a musician, I'd
like to be respected. Even if the ban
wasn't huge, and we had medium suc
cess, it would still be cool to be profes-
By leaming how to do everything
from creating to marketing their own
uniquerock songs, the BrothersGrimm
are now learning the skills that will
enable them to become professional
musicians. This DIY spirit can only
help themin the cutthroat world ofrock
THE BROTHERS GRIMM play
Tuesday, May 17 at the Blind Pig
with Tension Splash. Call 996-8555
for more info.
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