I’ve stopped in here before to grab iced coffee in the mornings, but I’ve never actually spent much time inside. But when I order coffee here, I see what seems to be a legitimate kitchen in the back. This makes the food look more promising than at other cafés I’ve been to.
I decide to go for a grilled veggie sandwich, declaring it officially lunchtime, even though it is only 11 a.m. I’ll have an Americano to drink. I tend to be picky about my coffee, so I’m curious about how the espresso here measures up.
I manage to grab a spot in the upstairs of the half-lofted café, so I have a prime view of the long line that stretches nearly to the door. Jazzy music plays in the background, switching between songs I know and new songs I don’t mind — not bad.
The tables below me are filled with laptop people, but not the kind that are actually plugging in to the walls — the sort that can park in a space indefinitely. A couple is taking up two tables out of the five lined up downstairs. Her coffee sits next to his on his table, while her table is filled with her laptop. He reads a book, she wipes off the screen of her computer and keeps typing. A quiet morning at the office, working hard before the batteries die.
My sandwich finally comes, complemented by a salad on the side — a nice touch. The sandwich is delicious. Roasted vegetables, always hit or miss, are a hit this time. They’re layered with pesto and goat cheese on a soft baguette. The food is much better than the coffee, which has a peculiar taste. Not quite overly bitter, just weird. It’s still drinkable.
The two-table couple pack up their computer-bag-backpacks and bring back their mugs and plates to the counter before leaving. Within a minute they are replaced by two guys and their iced tea, no computers. The dreadlocked barista brings the iced-tea guys matching sandwiches before weaving back through the line, under the loft and behind the counter.
It’s 12:30 by now and the computer crowd has been replaced by the lunch crowd. The line stretches out the door, and there is a noticeable lack of laptops. Instead, a plethora of sandwiches and salads dot the tables.
I notice, however, that the plate of apples for sale remains untouched. Interesting.
12:35: The line has already changed. People have shuffled in and out with their coffees, sitting down at tables to await their food. The barista steps out from the kitchen to take orders from those still waiting to reach the cashier.
12:49: I spot the return of the first computer.
Still no one has touched the apples. This is good, because it means I can sketch them without disruption. They’re useful for something, I guess.
1 p.m. and the café has returned to its morning vibe. The sandwiches have been replaced by laptops again, and the tables are filled with people drinking coffee and silently doing work. Lunchtime didn’t last long.