Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Which is one of my favorite quotes from Real Genius. That, and “Ice is NICE! How does it feel to be frozen?”

Tip Of The Day: The Chick is on the mend and on your TV screen today at 5:10 PM. I’m talking about coffee shops with the biggest bang for your buck. Because if you’re going to spend $3.50 on a Grande Nonfat Soy Hot White Cocoa with a shot of Mint, shouldn’t you get your money’s worth?

Tip For Tomorrow: I’m longing for Steven and Barry’s – I haven’t been there in MONTHS – so I do believe tomorrow’s post will be S and B related. Plus, an ITunes update for all you IPodders out there.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: It may surprise you to know that I am a highly caffeinated individual. Shocking, isn’t it? Normally, I get my fix for free at work (Edina Realty North Suburban makes EXCELLENT coffee), or for cheap at home. But when I’m out and about and in need, I will hit a coffee shop. Or two. Or TEN, depending on the situation.

Usually, I’m a chain drone and go blindly to my nearest Caribou. But I need to stop this thoughtless practice and so should you.

Why? Because there are approximately one billion-jillion-zillion Locally Owned Coffee Shops in the TC alone, dedicated to giving you the best that they’ve got. Which can include things like garden settings, live free music, food beyond a stale ‘scone’ (those things are NOT scones, but don’t get me started on that), and stuff to keep the kids entertained while you relax for five minutes. Or however long the attention span of a four-year-old is.

Here is a just the tip of the coffee shop iceberg available in our fair city(s):
1. Riverview Café,
live free music, play area for the wee ones, quiet library, outdoor seating, next-door wine bar for those in need of stronger sustenance.
2. Clicquot Club Café,
gorgeous garden area, yummy treats, free refills, historic building.
3. The Bad Waitress,
killer food, free refills, retro-AWESOME décor, very good music on the overhead speakers, some outdoor seating.
4. Sovereign Grounds,
referral by my BFF HaC (yes, I have mentioned her a lot this week. What can I say? She’s an untapped reservoir of frugal goodness.). Play area for the kids, ice cream goodies, piano in the corner for budding Mozarts.
5. Vera’s Café,
live music (possibly free), outdoor garden/seating, tasty vittles (in their own words), Bear Game Night. No, I don’t know what that is, but I think you should go and find out.
6. The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar,
live music (possibly free), free Wi-Fi, good and organic eats, local art for sale, plus it’s in St. Paul – and the rest aren’t.

So there you have it. A mere soupcon of the coffee house glory that exists in the TC. I showed you mine, now show me yours. What is your favorite, non-chain coffee shop? Yes, those of you who live in other states can play along, too.


Mrs. G. said...

I wished I lived closer so I could sample the coffee of your fair city.

Mia said...

In DC/MD: Vaccaro's...they have awesome coffee PLUS you get to pick a FREE cookie or biscotti to go with every coffee you order. They also have all kinds of specialty coffee drinks and amazing desserts (cannolis, cakes, napoleons, etc.)

Nikki said...

J & S Bean Factory
(651) 699-7788 1518 Randolph Ave
St Paul,MN

This is an awesome coffee house found in St. Paul, near the intersection of Snelling Ave and Randolph. I like to stop here on my way to Hamline for class.

I am all about supporting our local, small coffee houses. As long as the lattes taste as good as the chains, which hasn't always been the case.... but at J&S Bean Factory, it was super good!!

LaRue said...

You mock my favorite drink? And for the record, I have never requested Nonfat soy. Although I love the withering look El Jefe usually gives them when he requests a Large Cup of Coffee - the Regular kind.

And honestly? I don't drink coffee, so I don't frequent non-chain shops. Wish I could be of help. But in the meantime, I'll be over here drinking my LARGE White Hot Cocoa with soy and a shot of mint. Which is NOT a mocha, Starbucks people. Sheesh.

Michelle said...

I heart coffee! It is my one vice in life. I do like Starbucks. I know, I know BIG corporate chain. Locally speaking, I love Dunn Bros. I know that they are a local chain, but they still have that small coffee shop feel and the best coffee in town. As for true local coffee shops, I like the Purple Onion in Dinkytown by the U. I went there all the time in college. The Matchbox in NE Mpls makes the best latte ever.

Can you tell I like coffee? :)