Monday, July 7, 2008

Coffee Time!


Since the closing of Cafe Artiste (little birds told me it was due to very bad management by the owners) whose single brewed cups of freshly ground Kenya AA beans quickly spoiled my taste for other cafes, I have been on the prowl for the next best thing.
Those of you who like Starbucks are probably the same who prefer Michelob over Stella, but for me the luxury of being served my morning fix through a drive-thru window doesn't even begin to compensate for the sensation of slurping down a hot melted tire. (Plus, they're evil) Just because they are EVERYWHERE doesn't mean you have to drink it.
Here is my list of places to get good coffee with a reference to why they're good vs. why they suck.


Diedrich's on Montrose
:
At $2 a pop for a large daily brew, it's worth it if you're on the go but try to by a bag of beans instead. It will pay for itself 2x over.


Cafe Brasil on Dunlavy
:
Man, while I really like Brasil, the drip coffee is just not up to par with the rest of the menu. Not always, though, it's just hit and miss. The staff can tell you what is good that day but go for a latte or an espresso drink and your brain will be revved up in no time.

Agora on Westhiemer:
Hmmm, I know these guys get a lot of guff for not serving Greek coffee in a Greek cafe named after a Greek market. It's not one of my favorite places to get coffee but they've got a decent cup of drip and a cute little sugar/milk bar and free candy sometimes so...

Empire Cafe on Westheimer:
Yeah, I have to say that these guys have a consistently good drip coffee selection and being right next to Brasil, I can't lie and say I haven't chosen Empire over Brasil for breakfast simply because I like my coffee to taste like coffee. And they give you cookies w/ your coffee cuz they love you.

Ziggy's on Fairview:
This could be good coffee if it was brewed a little stronger. They offer some pecan flavored crap but skip that and go with the house brew. You may need to drink six cups to get your fix but the servers are really nice (though I can't say the same about the owners-- see the oppressive sign behind the counter regarding the abominable sin of the employees changing the radio station)

River Oaks Cafe on Westheimer
(out towards Weslayan, next to TruValue):
I really like the ladies that work here. They remember me and don't bat an eye when I'm still slurring my words and wiping eye boogies. They have a decent Kenya AA and a good house brew, as well as a really good iced coffee-- you can also try a variety of other coffees like Vietnamese style and espresso drinks, etc. Complimentary fruit is another perk here.

El Rey on Shepherd @ Washington:

Drive-through. Cuban espresso. Cafe con leche. Cafe Mocha con Leche. Decent daily drip brews. Drive-through. And a mean rotisserie chicken to boot. Que mas could you want? Okay, a location a bit closer to the 'Trose would be nice.

Blue Nile Ethopian Restaurant on Richmond, Southwest side
:
So while I don't really expect you 'inner loopers' to trek this far just for a cup of coffee, you have to know about this place. When you order coffee, you don't just get a mug with some brown stuff in it. You get a ceremony! A lovely Ethiopian woman roasts the beans in a hot pan before your eyes, the scentuous aroma hypnotic as she expertly shakes the pan under your nose. Then the coffee beans are ground and brewed and for some reason they serve it with a big basket of popcorn. Hell yeah! Ask for this kind of service at any inner loop cafe and see the apathetic glazed stare of your barista look you up and down like you're from Dallas or something.


So there you have it. If you know of any good coffee places leave a comment so and we'll add it to the list.

1 Comments:

At July 7, 2008 2:41 PM , Blogger Marc said...

You need to come into Taft Street Coffee [2115 Taft] and get a cup. We know you know we exist, because you just dropped off copies of your lovely FPH today. ;)

P.S. If you come in the morning M-W or Friday, I'll be working.

 

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