I have been going to the Juan Valdez cafe on 57th street since it opened. I LOVE IT! The coffee is great, every day and at any hour. Granted, I usually only get a drip coffee, but that's just because the frozen coffee drinks with whip cream are way too huge and good (and caloric). I agree that perhaps the baristas were a little inexperienced when they first opened, but they've picked it up now (and many of the staff are the same). I like that the staff is friendly and knows your drink if you're a regular. Plus, the 10-drink p unch card can't be beat (can be used for any size coffee drink, so go crazy). The food is OK, good for a small treat but not a filling lunch. It is a beautiful, spacious cafe with free wi-fi, music, and they don't kick you out. Great for meeting a group of friends, sitting down to write some emails, or just popping in to get a coffee to go. Definately try it. It's a fun cafe experience and the coffee is delicious.
Pros: Great coffee, nice space
Cons: During morning rush hour, there can be a slow line