The potation crafters at Beans & Brews Coffee House whip up hot and cold beverages from perk-proffering coffee beans, relaxing tea leaves, and sweet decaf alternatives. Hot coffee drinks, such as the cappuccino ($3.60 for 12 oz.) or eye-opener brew ($2.80 for 12 oz.) gently jolt the brain awake with mountain-roasted goodness, and the dulcet notes of iced chai ($4.10 for 16 oz.) and B&B frappes ($4.05 for 16 oz.) cool off summer-scorched palates with their sweet, icy taste. Roasters get the most out of each coffee bean with Beans & Brews’ trademark high-altitude roasting, which imparts each batch of grounds with a smooth flavor that, like an angst-riddled teddy bear, maintains a high level of complexity.
Just above the gelato-and-coffee counter in Paula’s Eatery hovers what looks to be an enormous wire bird’s nest. The hyper-modern chandelier kind of sums up the whole feel of the café: disarmingly stylish, but comfortable and family-friendly.
The tone is fitting for a shop that has made a name for itself based on its unorthodox take on comfort food. The bakery whips up plates of homespun classics with a gourmet twist. The banana bread is roasted, zucchini cake is made with Tuscan olive oil, and the improbably enormous Rice Crispy treats are shot through with marshmallow chunks. Their signature Belgian waffles get a similar upgrade, served with pure maple syrup or the shop’s homemade gelato. For midday meals, cooks press fresh paninis, such as the Hawaiian Hula Ham, smothered in provolone, honey cured ham, and zesty pepper spiced apricot relish. At the coffee bar, baristas tamp out a slew of espresso drinks, from classic drip coffees to exotic affogatos—a scoop of gelato drowned in espresso and served with an improvised sea shanty.
Though Native American deity Kokopelli holds a reputation as a mischievous trickster, Kokopellis Koffee deviates from its namesake with an atmosphere that’s laid-back and unassuming. Light filters in through skylights on the slanted ceiling of the two-story café as guests cozy up with steamy mugs in the upstairs lounge and an espresso machine whirrs and buzzes in the downstairs coffee bar. While the upper level hosts overstuffed couches and bookshelves, the casual downstairs café houses tables and a colorful chalkboard that lists drinks, sandwiches, and the latest victims of Kokopelli’s vanishing-creamer trick.
Bakery and Brews' retinue of baristas incorporate flavors imported from Uruguay and Argentina into the shop's selection of coffees, teas, and smoothies. Guests can grab their choice of 20-ounce chai frappes, flavored lattes, or fruit smoothies to go, or they can grab a seat at one of the café's tables, plush couches, or resident grandpa laps. The drinkery's menu brims with liquid bounty, satiating thirsts with a varied selection of espressos, teas, and hot chocolate that will keep palates guessing and esophagi logging overtime hours.
There are knives on the tables at Rib City Grill, but you won't need them if you order the baby-back ribs. These ribs are basted in signature barbecue sauce, smoked until they're fall-off-the-bone tender, and then slow-cooked over hardwoods. The eatery's cooks even back their baby-back ribs with a bold claim—if you have to use a knife, they're on the house.
Baby-back ribs aren't the only specialty at Rib City Grill. Diners can also chow down on St. Louis–style ribs, burgers, and pulled-pork sandwiches on jumbo buns. Sides such as three-cheese fries sprinkled with bacon bits and fried okra round out meals, along with glasses of beer.
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The cooks at Sammy’s reinvent American diner classics by piling 1/3-pound beef patties with unusual ingredients and blending numerous varieties of pie into gourmet milk shakes. Burger behemoths include Ben's Big Belly Burger, with a meaty base that hides beneath swiss cheese, grilled onions, grilled pineapple, guacamole, teriyaki sauce, and mayonnaise. Other treats include the Hey Nikki You're So Fine grilled-chicken sandwich and the Something About Mary, a black-bean patty caught in a farcical love hexagon of sautéed onions, pepper jack, pico de gallo, avocado, lettuce, and tomato.
In addition to concocting signature pie shakes in flavors such as mint Oreo and four different types of cheesecake, the team at Sammy's blends smoothies, regular shakes and malts, and cupcake shakes in flavors such as spiced carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting. Alongside the reformed diner fare, Sammy's regularly serves up live music events and a hip, relaxed atmosphere.