Category Archives: Coffee

Novo Coffee Growth Predicted

Eater.com’s Denver pick for coffee shops that will grow greatly. 

Eater-logoDenver’s Novo Coffee is on Eater.com’s short list of “10 Coffee Shops That Will Explode in 2015” — not literally of course. The site sees coffee shops in emerging communities as the harbinger of increased neighborhood vitality, and Novo, which is vintage as such enterprises go, seems to fit that model. The slogan is “Family owned. People focused. Quality driven.” No arguing with that.

Here’s what the site wrote about Novo:

NOVO COFFEE

Location: 3617 W. 32nd, Denver, Colorado
Key Players: Jake, Herb, and Joseph Brodsky
Projected Opening: March 2015
Since 2002, this family-owned venture in Denver has been providing local coffee shops and restaurants with beans, which they roast themselves in a classic Vittoria machine. Currently the roastery is open to the public on Fridays for cuppings and tours, but they have two — and soon to be three — retail locations for daily drop-ins. Novo is next taking over a space formerly occupied by Yogurt Guru in West Highland. Time to trade up your sugar addiction for a caffeine habit.

Novo’s two other Denver shops are at 1600 Glenarm St and 1700 East 6th Avenue. If Eater.com is a trend prognosticator, I wonder whether the bloom is off the frozen yogurt rose, to be replaced by coffee.

Hearty Breakfast in Breck Standby

Gold Pan is more than a vintage saloon. It serves espresso drinks!

T-shirtBreckenridge‘s Gold Pan Saloon & Restaurant has been around since 1879, surviving the booms and busts that characterize Colorado’s historic mining towns. The current boom, which shows no signs of ebbing, is skiing coupled with robust summer tourism.  According to local lore, Long’s Saloon opened in 1860 in a tent structure where the Gold Pan building was put up around 1879.  now stands. It was one of some 18 saloons in Breckenridge at that time. The current Gold Pan is considered, according to the website, to be “the oldest operating bar in Summit County and one of Colorado’s Oldest & Finest.” Historic photos and assorted “old stuff” on the walls underscore the saloon’s longevity.

Well-worn barstools and an ornate, mirrored mahogany back bar live up to the "saloon" moniker.
Well-worn barstools and an ornate, mirrored mahogany back bar live up to the “saloon” moniker. The flat-screen TV is a 21st-century intrusion into authenticity — but patrons would flee without it.

In the afternoon and evening, the Pan rocks with folks passing through the swinging doors and vying for well-worn barstools or at vintage tables around the old potbelly stove in the front room The back room (actually, the room to the right of the “front” room) has a pool table — and according to an overheard conversation, might eventually have two. The Pan may look like a dive bar, but in truth, the town has become too upscale for a rally ratty one — and as well as the availability espresso drinks plus clean, modern restrooms underscore the (welcome) gentrification. Still family-owned, it succeeds in balancing the picturesque old with the requisite new.

Ancient woodstove is still in use.
Ancient woodstove is still in use.

Continue reading Hearty Breakfast in Breck Standby

Crepes at Cameez

Fourth time’s the charm for Frisco breakfast.

011Staying in Breckenridge so Frisco is a natural breakfast stop before sliding on to I-70. Butterhorn Bakery is my Main Street favorite — and everyone else’s too. The line was out door. Bread + Salt across the street was almost as mobbed. The Breakfast Deli on the next block seemed to have just pre-made, foil-wrapped burritos, some granola and a few baked goods — and no espresso maker in evidence. What to do? We turned back to Highway 9, and in a strip shopping center we saw Cameez and the promise of crepes.

Cameez dheerful retro color scheme of hot pink and apple green.
Cameez’s cheerful retro color scheme of hot pink and apple green and a touch of purple.

Continue reading Crepes at Cameez

Breakfast at The Bean

Gunnison café committed to fair trade, organic and even local ingredients.

002The Bean Coffeehouse & Eatery, where my husband and I stopped en route back home after a Crested Butte ski weekend. This laid-back local spot uses fair trade and organic items, plus local when possible. College students love the congenially shabby furnishings, as do those who us well past our student years who appreciate the ethical commitments and the very nice food and beverage offerings. As one who’d rather starve than eat an Egg McMuffin, The Bean is my kind of place.

When a local friend recommended The Bean’s crepes, it was the “must” stop as we were leaving town. The portions are modest but so are the prices. Bonuses: eclectic reading matter, free WiFi and a laid-back ambiance. And they recycle and compost too.

Simple (and simply good) breakfast burrito with salsa.
Simple (and simply good) breakfast burrito with salsa.
Strawberry was the crepe flavor du jour. Fresh berries and crème fraiche top the filled, folded crepe, a squirt of whipped cream is on the side and a bit of powdered sugar adds a grace note to the presentation.
Strawberry was the crepe flavor du jour. Fresh berries and crème fraiche top the filled, folded crepe, a squirt of whipped cream is on the side and a bit of powdered sugar adds a grace note to the presentation.

Bean on Urbanspoon

Colorado’s Commonwealth Coffee Praised

Thrillist.com selected 15 top new roasters in the US.

Thrillist-logoThrillist.com, which specializes in list s of XX top this or that in the food or beverage realm published a list of what it considers the “15 Best New Coffee Roasters” in the land — new meaning launched in 2013 and 2014. Of Denver’s Commonwealth Coffee. Thrillist.com wrote:

“The bean: Guatemala Finca La Providencia. The volcanic soil around Lake Atitlán gives it incredibly sweet flavors like strawberry, orange, and honeysuckle.
Known locally for slinging espresso from a bike-mounted machine outside one of the 21 best ramen shops in the country, Commonwealth pays their farmers a premium price of up to 75% of wholesale price, and also spares no expense with their meticulously designed custom packaging. The rest of the country has taken notice, and after a year in business you can find them in California, Texas, New York, Missouri, and Utah.”

The accompanying map shows another location in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, giving additional credence to the name. Then again, Missouri is on the locations list but not on the map. Oh well.

In Colorado, you’ll find Commonwealth Coffee at Two Rivers Craft Coffee, 7745 Wadsworth Blvd.,
Arvada; Wild Goose Meeting House, 401 N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs; Mercantile Market and Provisions, Union Station,  1701 Wynkoop St. Denver; Little Owl Coffee, 1555 Blake St. #150. Denver; Berkeley Supply. 4309 Tennyson St. Denver; Black Black Coffee, 3459 Ringsby Ct, (inside Drive 1 Building), Denver; Downpours Coffee, 3937 Tennyson St., Denver; Little Bird Bake Shop, 11 Old Town Square #121, Fort Collins;.

Chowing Down at Reykjavik’s Laundromat Cafe

Cute, clever café part of a small Scandinavian chain.

Laundromat-logoWe’ve all heart of California’s fabled French Laundry and some of us Coloradans know there’s a Laundry Restaurant in Steamboat Springs, but a Laundromat Café in Reykjavik? A tad more exotic. Turns out that there are four — three in Denmark and the one in Reykjavik that my husband and I passed a few times and where we and three friends ate after a small-bites cocktail party that left all of us hungry.

Eye-catching sidewalk sign invites moms into the Laundromat Café.
Eye-catching sidewalk sign invites moms into the Laundromat Café.

Hip and irreverent, it features a big bar and tables on the street level for a meal or just a cup of robust coffee, plus a real laundromat, café and kids’ play area in the basement, some 5,000 books to buy or trade, board games and up-to-date newspapers and magazines. Its long hours are geared to locals and visitors alike, and its warm and welcoming ambiance is surely most welcome in the dark months that this year are about to start. The menu lists an eclectic mix of dishes, including lots of pub food  Here’s what we ate:

In Reykjavik (at least a the Laundromat), nachos come as a soup plate of tortilla chips and peppers, with salsa, sour cream, guac and cheese on the side. DIY is how it's done.
In Reykjavik (at least a the Laundromat), nachos come as a soup plate of tortilla chips and peppers, with salsa, sour cream, guac and cheese on the side. DIY is how it’s done.
Salad is loaded with lots of good, fresh stuff -- hothouse-grown or imported from the European continent.
Salad is loaded with lots of good, fresh stuff — hothouse-grown or imported from the European continent.
Salmon and salad. Generous portions of both.
Salmon and salad. Generous portions of both.
Salad with grilled chicken.
Salad with grilled chicken and robust croutons.

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The Laundromat Café is at Austurstræti 9, Reykjavik, 101, Iceland. The phone number is +354 587 7555.

 

Boulder’s Village Coffee Shop on Best Breakfast List

Classic strip mall coffee shop gets a little national recognition. 

Thrillist-logoBoulder often makes “best of” lists, not just of college towns, sporty towns, towns for athletes of specific suasions, general livability but also for restaurants and fine food. Now, the Village Coffee Shop, one of its few greasy spoons, is on Thrillist.com’s list of “The 21 Best Breakfast Spots in America.” Its slogan is “890 square feet of reality surrounded by Boulder.” My breakfast burrito-loving husband commented, “Finally, one for a really good non-yuppie place.” I like the loaded blueberry pancakes — so huge that even a short stack is too much and a single is big enough for me. The coffee comes in well-used mugs. Open for breakfast and lunch, it has counter and table seating. Service is casual, friendly and old-school diner style. Here’s the Thrillist.com write-up:

Village Coffee Shop

Village Coffee Shop on Urbanspoon