I’ve been fortunate enough in recent months to do some travel within the US and have experienced some great coffee, here’s a few deets.
The Steel City
Not too long ago my daughter and I took a quick drive up to Pittsburgh, one of my favorite cities and a great place for coffee. On the way we stopped like every other traveler at one of the rest areas in Breezewood, PA, and the young woman working the counter at Dunkin’ asked if I wanted a macchiato, “like on your shirt!” Anyhooo……..
Fired up the googles to find someplace I hadn’t visited before, and ended up at de Fer’s Highline location. Everything about it was spectacular: the shop, the Highline park – I’m a sucker for conversions of old industrial spaces, especially when they have a view like this – one of the best coffee shop logos I’ve ever seen (somebody PLEASE put that on a ball cap for me), and the coffee itself.
de Fer Coffee & Tea
317 East Carson St
3 other locations in the area
Oregon redux redux
I visited my son in Oregon before the end of the school year, which gave me the chance to enjoy more great coffee.
In Portland I stopped into Proud Mary, which I’ve visited before, to find they’ve now opened up the restaurant for table service. The food was fantastic. It’s unique already that you have your choice of four espressos for your drink, but on top of that you can order a tasting flight of all four. My visit was in the afternoon before heading to the airport for a redeye flight home so I didn’t take that option. I will say that Proud Mary classifies some of its roasts as Mild, Curious, and Wild, and I think the one I chose was from the far reaches of the Wild section, not exactly to my liking.
I am pleased to report after earlier less than stellar experiences that I found a couple more great coffee shops in Eugene. It turns out the three best places for coffee in town are all in the Whiteaker neighborhood, northwest of downtown, home to brewpubs, restaurants, and a flourishing art scene.
Equiano – from busy Blair Boulevard it looks like nothing too special, in fact it’s quite easy to miss it altogether. That said, the coffee is terrific, and it has a tranquil garden to enjoy your drink outside. Unfortunately the café is only open Friday through Sunday, as their main focus is on roasting.
Wandering Goat – I visited it on my last trip, and lamented that like Equiano they were only open on the weekend. I’m happy to report that they are now serving daily. The coffee is still spectacular, the barista was glad to have a chat about the coffee they were serving and their roasting operations.
Glass House – a lot easier to spot on Blair Boulevard, Glass House is attached to hipster taqueria Tacovore, both spaces painted a distinct blue. I really liked the interior, small but with a row of counter seats facing out the large windows. The barista was super welcoming and friendly, and the coffee was superb. Unlike its two neighbors, they are open every day.
300 Blair Boulevard
268 Madison Street
Glass House Coffee
520 Blair Boulevard
New York, NY: The City so Nice They Named it Twice
My brother moved to Manhattan’s Upper West Side earlier this year, and I’ve made a couple visits. He lives near some very good coffee shops, including Peaky Barista and gertrude, both of which take great care in producing terrific drinks while offering an interesting selection of baked goods.
New York, NY
204 W 96th Street
New York, NY
81 E 7th Street
New York, NY
Sin City, Baby
Finally, I’m writing this from my room on the 59th floor of Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where I’m attending a conference.
I’m so grateful that Hazel is in the lobby, right by the elevator banks. Of course, the prices fit the fact that you’re in a casino resort – and on top the sky-high prices, when you ask for an extra double shot they charge as if you’ve ordered two drinks (!) – but being saved from conference hall coffee urns is worth every penny. It’s something like 179 degrees outside (but it’s a dry heat!), so being an elevator ride away is also great.
Hazel Coffee & Cocktails
3940 S. Las Vegas Boulevard (inside the Mandalay Bay Resort)
Las Vegas, Nevada