The Diesel is a fabulous café in Davis Square, Somerville, with a nice dykey feel to it. The decor runs to car and truck parts and ’50’s kitch, really well done. (Yes, this is possible.) The front is open when the weather is nice and has a bunch of small round tables (somewhat crowded together). There’s a counter, and a big area in the back with booths, couches, and two pool tables. I really like the decor (except for two particular plastic chairs :-). There’s often interesting fun or weird art up, sometimes quite good.
Their address is 257 Elm St in Somerville — right across from a Starbucks (EEEEE-vil!). The Starbucks opened up not long after the Diesel did, and made no noticeable dent (that a customer can see, anyway) in the Diesel’s business. I gather that the Starbucks is often pretty empty. Yay! Actually, I have nothing against Starbucks’ coffee — what I hate them for is exactly this: their deliberate, targetted extermination of small local businesses, which replaces funky local variety like the Diesel with a nationally homogenous chain. It makes me happy when it doesn’t work. :-)
The food is pretty good — sandwiches of various kinds, baked goods, ice cream, and sometimes soups — but the drinks are outstanding. There are a lot of coffee drinks of various kinds (such as Vietnamese coffee — yum), a lot of hot-chocolatey kinds of drinks, including my favourite, the Tuck’s Turtle, which has caramel and other wonderful things in it, very good lemonade (fresh-squeezed; add your own sugar) which comes hot or iced, and juices.
(Poly Boston, a Boston-area discussion and social group for poly — responsibly non-monogamous — people, has a few regular gatherings there each month. So do lots of other groups, many of them equally interesting.)