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Signature drink... with a little flair!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cafe Snapshot: Caffe Gourmet




Enjoying my "Americano" coffee.


On Springfield's Harlow Road, just a stones throw from both the Gateway Mall and Sacred Heart's River Bend medical center sits Caffe Gourmet. Dan, a local businessman told me about Caffe Gourmet and encouraged me to check it out for myself. I don't make it over into Springfield that often and when I finally had the opportunity to stop by Caffe Gourmet Dan happened to be there too! I also had the pleasure of meeting the caffe's proprietor, Dave Curtis and one of his friendly staff members, Jamie.
Ever seeking that delicious, custom brewed cup of coffee I ordered an Americano (a cup of "American" style black coffee brewed from espresso diluted with hot water to the perfect ratio) and my barista did it right! My Americano was awesome, very yummy and satisfying.
I was surprised by Caffe Goumet's extensive food menu including a pastry/breakfast menu, two sandwich menus gourmet "wraps", salads, soups and even a pizza menu. And maybe the best part of all for those of you who work or live in the area, you can call in your food order ahead of time to have it delivered to you!
And if you drink espresso and have a sweet-tooth, they have a menu of mouth watering signature specialty Mochas and flavored lattes as well. (__)o

Caffe Gourmet features art by local artists.



Dan & I at Caffe Gourmet.




A Visit To Off The Waffle



The "Off The Waffle- Authentic Leige Waffles" facebook fan page reads, "Li├Ęge waffles are made from a yeast-based dough containing imported Belgian pearled sugar, which caramelizes throughout the waffle due to its high melting point. This caramelization effect is the secret that gives our waffles the unique flavor and essence that may flatter, impress, delight, empower, and maybe even confuse you." 

My waffle lasted barely long enough to get a couple photos!


I love trying new foods, textures and flavor combinations. And after hearing all the buzz about these waffles and reading the description above, how could I resist? I visited Off The Waffle's old location, a house on Van Buren just down the sidewalk from New Frontier market. Just reading the waffle menu made my mouth water and all the unique flavor combinations available didn't make it very easy for me to decide just which waffle I was going to try first. First off I could smell the herbs garnishing my waffle and then my first bite was a delightful mix of flavors from the cheese & bacon topping. Then it hit me... that unique super-sweetness in the waffle that contrasted deliciously with the toppings and brought the whole flavor experience together!




I was glad to see that they served good, locally roasted coffee by Caffe Pacori. These sweet and flavorful waffles pair perfectly with a good, hearty cup of coffee and the people at Off The Waffle serve their coffee in paper cups made from renewable resources and that are commercially compostable.



I can tell you how much I enjoyed my waffle and coffee but you really have to try it for yourself! Off The Waffle's new location is 2540 Willamette Street in Eugene and you can check out their website at http://offthewaffle.com/     [_]o

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Snapshot: Seattle's Best... In Eugene!



Borders Books inside Oakway Center Mall.

My Mother received a Borders Books gift card from a co-worker and when she invited me to go along with her to the book store I jumped at the chance to visit the Seattle's Best Coffee cafe inside the store. I ordered a flavorful holiday latte complete with whipped cream toped with chocolate sauce and crushed candy cane.
What was even better than the drink itself was the attentive, helpful and friendly service I got from all the baristas behind the counter. A breath of fresh air in a day and age when it's more and more difficult to find good and friendly service. By the time I had my drink in hand all four of the baristas on duty had acknowledged me (and smiled!) and were quick to make suggestions and answer questions about their drinks and coffees.
The cafe has a very comfortable seating area with a mix of wood tables & chairs and cushioned armchairs. I also noticed a sign in the cafe touting free wifi, a change from the T-Mobile pay-as-you-go service they offered last time I visited.



Henry's blend by Seattle's Best Coffee


I needed some whole bean coffee for my roommates and I to brew in the mornings at home and one of my friendly baristas at the cafe gave me a sample of their holiday blend coffee that they had brewed up that day. It didn't impress me right away so I decided to take home some other blend of beans to brew. Then I saw "Henry's" blend listed on the menu and I remembered back to my early years in coffee and the story behind the name. Henry was the cat that  lived at their coffee roasting warehouse and the blend was named after him.
And the blend brewed up a delicious, rich and satisfying cup of coffee. You don't have to dig deep to taste the chocolaty and nutty characteristics of this full-bodied coffee. Very enjoyable. (__)o
Seattle's Best Coffee is located inside Borders Books at the Oakway Center Mall on Coburg Rd. in Eugene.


Downtown Loses a Unique Coffee Spot 


I finally made it in to say "hi" to my facebook friend Jon, a barista at the recently closed Coffee For Canines inside the "District" nightclub and lounge downtown. Jon wasn't working that particular day but my friendly barista, Sol took good care of me. Coffee For Canines served coffee and espresso from local roasting company Cafe Pacori Coffee Roasters and my cup of coffee was as enjoyable as the eclectic interior with its retro style furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows providing a front row seat to all the downtown action at the intersection of 13th & Oak.


My friendly barista, "Sol".


My barista, Sol was knowledgeable about coffee and engaging. Sol offered to pull a shot of espresso for me to taste and I must say it was the most unique tasting espresso I've had thus far in my coffee and espresso adventures. The espresso's saltiness was just one of the unique characteristics I tasted in my double shot. Very good.


People watching @ Coffee For Canines.


The idea behind Coffee For Canines was as unique as the shot of espresso I enjoyed there. All of the profits generated from Coffee For Canines went directly to helping local dog owners in need of financial help with costs of emergency and life-saving medical procedures for their beloved dogs. The baristas even donated their tips to the fund, showing their commitment to the cause of helping others.
Unfortunately for coffee lovers and dog lovers alike Coffee For Canines has closed up shop, though the District nightclub and lounge that housed Coffee For Canines lives on. I'm glad I made it in. I enjoyed the coffee, the conversation, the view and making new coffee memories.




Enjoying a cup of Caffe Pacori coffee.




Friday, January 22, 2010

With Coffee... Homemade Cream Scones!

This holiday season I ventured into unfamiliar territory. Baking. I  missed the delicious cream scones I used to get from one of my favorite local coffee shops. A quick google search led me to a recipe for "the worlds best cream scones". The recipe was surprisingly simple and my first batch was a success! They were a big hit with my roommates and were great to have around the house to go along with our morning coffee.             
Click the play button below to see some photos and the recipe that I followed for great cream scones. Enjoy!                      


                                    Click to play this Smilebox recipe: Simple Cream Scones!
                                
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