THE SEQUEL : Coffee Jag

Seriously, is mountain-grown Folger's Crystals really good enough to be served in America's finest restaurants and coffeehouses?

We've been wondering about those commercials for seven years now. You know, where specially invited folks in posh eateries are served instant Folger's on the sly and can't tell the difference from the usual fresh brew. Well, if the quick brew is soooooooo great, how many of the restaurants have switched?

So we checked nine restaurants and. . . .

NYC's Tavern on the Green uses "different kinds of beans, our own specification of coffee," said asst. manager Patrick Faup. "We like fresh brewed. Folgers was just for the commercial, and it was an old commercial." L.A.'s Perino's serves Yuban. The Peacock Cafe, the oldest coffee house in Greenwich Village, brews only fresh ground European blends.

Tina Mondincq, co-owner of San Francisco's Blue Fox, said that customers seemed to enjoy Folger's coffee for the taste test but that didn't influence her decision to continue serving Farmers Bros. regular and Graffeo decaf. The Coffee Cantata in S.F. serves only Superior fresh ground, as does Maxim's in Chicago.

At Anthony's in Atlanta, "it's our policy to serve only freshly brewed (Royal Cup) coffee," said catering manager John Cwik. Victor coffee is offered at Boston's Maison Robert.

Customers at Arnaud's, a French-Creole restaurant in New Orleans, like Community coffee, a local blend with chicory, said co-owner Jane Casbarian.

Said a Folger's rep from the Cincinnati hq: "Any decision a restaurant makes is up to them. Our advertising is not to convince the restaurateurs but to convince the consumers that our coffee is so good we can (make the) switch and people would think it tasted liked fresh brewed."

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