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Found 11 results

  1. The next time you are traveling on York Road either heading south to Timonium, or north to York, I highly recommend making a pit stop at this station. A quaint little coffee shop that serves Mexican food & fair trade, organic coffee. Yeah, you read that right. Best Brisket Tacos I have had to date, and great coffee too! Tacos! off beat, kat
  2. John Brown General & Butcher Shop which once was a gas station and general store has been become one of my favorite spots to pop into on my way to Baltimore. Walking into this quaint shop is like taking a tour through the pages of Bon Appetite Magazine. From the meat case that showcases cuts , to the other case that houses an abundant selections to build a buzz worthy charcuterie board, and there is no shortage of options. As you head back of the building, you will find an array of spirits ranging from wine to liquor as well as local beer. In the few visits that I have made, I have feasted on cold cut subs, hamburgers, house cut french fries, and more recently hot chicken. All prepared in house, and lip smacking delicious. Heading into the warmer months, you can cross the street and pick up flowers and produce at a market stand. Anything you could ever need to prepare a delicious meal can be found at this charming little outpost.
  3. I pulled into Westover Shopping Center today, and saw that Village Sweet is now open. Peeking inside, there isn't much in the way of seating, so it looks like there's slim hope for WiFi, but it looks like there might finally be good coffee in North Arlington! It's literally right next door to Lost Dog Cafe.
  4. I could well have missed a previous thread for this place. If so, my apologies. We stopped by the Royal this past Friday for drinks and some food before a show at the 930 Club. A few quick thoughts on the place. It's a smaller, neighborhood spot. I was only in the downstairs, which was all self seating, but there's an upstairs as well. Not sure how large it is. In the downstairs I think they had around 16 seats (eight or so at a larger communal high table and around eight at regular height tables) as well as somewhere around ten seats at a curved bar. The cocktails are really good. Horus Alvarez is a fantastic bartender, and he's running the show here as well as at Vinoteca. The cocktails my wife and I had were all fantastic. They're also making their own vermouth, which I was able to sample, but at this point they're not using it in any of the cocktails on their menu. Service at the bar, where we were seated, was also fantastic and attentive the whole time. Small, but solid wine and beer list. The food was good as well, although there were a couple of misses. Almost the entire menu is small plates (of course). The two exceptions, which we didn't try, were a burger, and a steak with roasted potatoes. The stuffed arepa was fantastic, with a great braised pork filling. I could eat many of these. The grilled avocado (with quinoa and lentils) was also fantastic, and the grilled quid was very good. The plantains themselves didn't have a ton of flavor, but the sweet crema accompanying them was wonderful. The corn and tomato salad with chickpeas was the one miss, with very sub-par tomatoes. Probably a miss-order on our part. Anyhow, we were very pleased with our visit. It's a good neighborhood spot, and a good low-key option for drinks and food before shows at the Howard Theater or the 930 Club. They are also open early for coffee service and breakfast, which is something I'd appreciate if I lived in the neighborhood.
  5. I started Saturday and Sunday mornings here this weekend at the 20th Street location in Chelsea. Their cappuccino was creamy coffee goodness. The shop was narrow, sleek, very well kept, and adorned with interesting artwork that appeared to be for sale. It is on a nice tree lined street right down the block from the NYPD 10th Precinct Station (which was about the only thing to remind you you were in the middle of Manhattan). The only negative for me was that they do not open until 7:30am on weekends which means I had 45 minutes to wander the streets passing probably a dozen open Starbucks in the process (NYC must have the highest concentration of Starbucks per square mile of any place I have been). Nevertheless, I kept my resolve and was glad I did. This is a coffee worth the wait.
  6. The Wydown is a 'temporary pop-up' (see below) high-quality independent coffee shop right in the middle of The Hot Area Of The City for all things food, beverage and retail: the 14th & U St NW corridor. Walking to the car this past week following a meeting, came across this place and hadn't before heard of it. Thinking I know most all the better coffee shops in town, had to go in and explore. In two words: Thumbs Up! As coffee shops continue to sprout here, it becomes tougher and tougher for any to really stand apart. Yet, some still do it the old fashioned way; by doing things others don't or by doing them better. The Wydown has the basics nailed required of any high-quality coffee purveyor. Great equipment, trained and enthusiastic staff and quality joe. Didn't try the espresso drinks on this visit since I usually will go for a pourover on a first visit. Had a delicious Kenyan priced a bit higher than nearly all the espresso and fresh-brewed coffees in the $2.50-$3 range.. So, what's different/better about The Wydown? Three things mainly: 1. The Coffee. Like many others, they use quality beans from Intelligentsia and PTs. Unlike nearly all others, they also use Kaldi's. If you don't know Kaldi's Coffee, it's probably because you don't know St. Louis. Kaldi's is a nearly 20-year-old roaster/retailer that only recently is beginning to venture further afield from Missouri. Top notch beans handled expertly. 2. The Other Stuff. Namely, the baked goods. The two brothers who own this place have experience in restaurants and coffee and it shows. Their coffee program is excellent and, while they're starting to do some baking also, most of the pastries/muffins are from Patisserie Poupon. So, better than 95% of all coffee shops in town straightaway on the baked goods front. 3. The People. Barista and brewer quality is a big differentiator between the great and the merely very good. These guys seem off to a very strong start since opening in mid May. And, I like the St. Louis inspiration that drives the name (it's a major boulevard and neighborhood there), explains the owners' passion and philosophy and is the source of the beans for what I think may be the only Kaldi's outlet in the city. Good people very good at what they do. I had opportunity to chat with one of the two brothers, Chad, and he's great. Very knowledgeable, experienced and, as important, genuinely nice. They've been open just two months. Tim Carman just talked with the other brother, Alex, and seems to agree. Their current space, on the south side of U a bit closer to 13th than 14th, is a "temporary pop-up" because they'll be moving into street level space with the TJ's under construction (aka "The Louis") on the SW corner of 14th and U by end of year. Or so they're told. [wink] Though there are now a bunch of great coffee shops within a few blocks' walk of this location (Peregrine, The Coffee Bar, Bakehouse), I expect that The Wydown will do very well with all the foot traffic and given their focus on providing a great experience for customers of all kinds. The current space is clean, light with plenty of seating, and free WiFi so definitely worth checking out if you're a coffee hound...or just looking for a good cup...or an almond croissant all served by some genuinely nice people. I'm not a Cardinals fan but you can count me as a fan of these brothers McCracken and of the Wydown Coffee Bar, a great new entrant in DC's now positively booming coffee scene.
  7. I went to LAMILL Coffee inside the Four Seasons, just adjacent to Wit & Wisdom this weekend for breakfast. Pastry chef Chris Ford is responsible for a lot of the pastry and food at this location as well. I had a nice cafe con leche to start. We tried the delicious bacon cheddar scone, the beignets with lemon curd to dip them in, and a cinnamon brioche macaroon. The macaroon was large- about 2 inches in diameter. At 11am, With & Wisdom's kitchen also supplies some savory options like an egg mcmuffin using Benton's ham.
  8. Dublin Roasters is overdue for its own topic here on donrockwell.com. Of course, that assumes I didn't miss one despite searching for it. Up in Frederick today, I'd been meaning to visit Dublin since i first learned about it a year or so ago. Great shop. The owner, Serina Roy, is a former Frederick police officer with a love for coffee. Though she's been roasting coffee for more than 15 years, I'm not exactly sure how long Dublin has been operating. At least several years as its current location is its second. They seem to source beans very carefully from a mix of direct relationships with farmers and through wholesalers. The roasting operation centers on a 65 lb roaster visible from the counter. The woman staffing the counter today, Taylor, couldn't have been any nicer or more accomodating. We tried an espresso which, served in a coffee cup rather than a demitasse, tasted more like coffee than espresso but was excellent. I ordered a french press (they don't do pourovers) of a Yemeni coffee since coffee from Yemen isn't too common in shops in this country. it was pretty good and probably would have been even better had I had a bit more patience before depressing the plunger (one of a few reasons why I prefer hand pours). They have a large variety of coffees and I love, love, love how accommodating they are. They'll brew anything they have to order if you ask. It really bums me out when I'm in shops around the country who'll be selling 6 or 7 different beans at retail but will only brew one for you. That's not so uncommon and highly annoying. The space is great. Huge. Free and good WiFi. Lots of old sofas and comfy chairs. And, it's all situated about 2 miles from downtown Frederick so plenty of parking and space inside the former motorcycle wearhouse. Definitely worth a stop when in Frederick. Very cool. I'm a fan.
  9. On other coffee threads, we've been talking about preferences and criteria one might use to assess or "vett" a coffee shop. Personally, I overweight coffee quality relative to pastries or food on offer, comfortable seating, free wifi or whatever. But that doesn't mean I don't care about those other things. I do. I imagine we all do to some extent. Coffy Cafe, which I checked out for the first time this weekend, helped me to refine how I think about this. Cutting to the chase, there's a minimum quality bar that, if not surpassed, I won't return a second time to a shop. That bar, for the most part, is just about having some decent beans from which coffee is brewed with extra points for all the other stuff (well trained baristas using good equipment, onsite roasting, yada, yada). HEADLINE A coffee shop with heart, soul, a real sense of community and some good joe BACKGROUND Felicia Harris (who I didn't have the privilege of meeting when I was in) is behind Coffy Cafe. This Columbia Heights blog post is one of the better sources of background that I could find but the key things are that she founded this place with a primary focus on community, reflective of her upbringing and tastes, while also providing some good quality food and drink. VENUE Coffy Cafe is pretty large with lower and upper levels. It has lots of comfortable seating (Ms. Harris told the blogger is was about 'bringing her living room to the community') that is, in part, retro 60s and 70s, colorful and reminded me some of Snooze, the Colorado breakfast spot I like. Wingback, Wassily and other funky chairs, mis-matched leather sofas and plenty of tables for cups, laptops and ipads. It's very bright thanks to the windows and lots of different lamps and lightling. As much as any other description, Coffy Cafe is just very comfortable. The place screams community as soon as you enter; a great thing IMHO as it's sometimes hard to find spots that offer very good coffee and a great comfortable place to find a seat, read or work. This is that. There's a big Marzocco espresso machine behind the counter along with a 3 or 4 station pourover rack and some large crepe flats. THE COFFEE Right now, Coffy Cafe is exclusively using Ceremony and that's a good thing. While currently no onsite roasting or choice of roasters, Ceremony is local (Annapolis) and a quality producer. According to Coffy's website, they may bring in other roasters over time. Ceremony recently won the national brewers championship and their beans are carried by Filter, Dolcezza and the Armstrongs' EatGoodFood Group (Restaurant Eve, Society Fair, etc), among many others. I think they're also the only local roaster to go regional and now national. I saw them in some better shops in Portland (OR) recently. Full slate of espresso drinks, drip coffee from pitchers or pour overs. I ordered an "Antithesis" pour over and really enjoyed it. Perfectly brewed, medium roast with all the notes easily discernable. THE PEOPLE Evidently, the owner was formerly a teacher in a DC charter school and was raised in a military family. The barista who served me, Michael, couldn't have been nicer. Ex Army and really passionate and knowledgeable about coffee. I was pretty hooked before even getting my cup. FOOD The other central thing on offer are crepes. I didn't try these but they looked good and there are several different kinds, sweet and savory, from which to choose. Also some other pastries and more typical coffee shop fare. BOTTOM LINE Pricing is all reasonable. People are wonderful. Close to metro right in the middle of Columbia Heights. Good coffee made by people who know what they're doing and are friendly and welcoming. Lots of seating, plenty of light. What's not to like? This is the kind of place that should make anyone happy just by virtue of its existence. Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks as we know it, wrote in his book "Pour Your Heart Into It" about creating a "3rd place" when he first set out to introduce premium coffee shops to America. Starbucks long ago lost any claim to that distinctive role in communities, giving way to the independents like Coffy Cafe. May it enjoy a long and very successful run as a cherished member of the Columbia Heights and DC communities.
  10. Potenza Italian Restaurant and Bakery Corner of 15th and H Streets, NW a - they have a full menu, full bar, and Neapolitan Style pizza They just opened Monday- you could try this new place and let us know!
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