"Fisherman can place their orders, no matter what time during the morning. It's not abnormal for me to go up at 6 a.m. and deliver sandwiches," says Kathy Cunningham, general manager of Captain's Galley. With Kathy's own boat right there on the marina, it seems that she has never known anything different, crafting homemade mac, coleslaw, and potato salad only steps from Chesapeake Bay. But this routine started only a few years ago?Vinings Landing Marina caught wind of the popularity of Kathy's deli in town and decided to pay her a visit. "They had a space available and asked me if I'd set up shop," Kathy says. "And, well, I love boating."?
Her relocation dovetailed nicely with a full renovation that bestowed the place with new tile floors, new walls, and hardwood tables. But a big selling point for Kathy was the outdoor patio to the Marina. "Here people can pop in by car, by boat, or by foot. It's very accessible." During winter months, regular fisherman and new guests alike stop in for her lunch offerings of made-to-order deli and breakfast sandwiches; as the calendar turns to April, warmer weather welcomes acoustic Fridays and the return of the cool sun who wears sunglasses. "The menu becomes more expansive," she says. "Burgers for dinner?also tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad. I know the winter menu says just chips. But in summer, we'll roll out the fries.?
When Charlie's American Cafe moved to its current location at 4024 Granby, it was the passing of a torch in many ways. For more than 60 years, that space had belonged to the family-run eatery Veneziano. Charlie's built off of Veneziano's status as a neighborhood staple with its own unique charm and loyal following, which had made the original Charlie's location on the corner of 18th and Granby a huge success for decades.
Since then, regulars, newcomers, and service personnel have all flowed through Charlie's doors to soak up the homey atmosphere and eat the American comfort food?especially the omelets packed with meats, mushrooms, and cheeses.
At dinner, carnivores can savor a turkey reuben on grilled rye topped with swiss, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing, and the Red, White, and Blue burger, which achieves its color scheme with tomato, onion, and blue cheese; diners are legally obligated to salute it before digging in. Meanwhile, those with seafaring appetites dig into the fried oyster po boy on a bed of lettuce and tomato hugged by a club roll and the honey-marinated grilled salmon with dill and cucumber.
The aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans lures passersby into Bean There Coffeehouse's two locations, where baristas reenergize sluggish bodies with a menu cascading with traditional brews and seasonal espresso beverages. The coffee shops' thoroughly vetted beans are plucked from the top 20% rated throughout the world, with special attention paid to the country of origin, the altitude, and the astrological sign of each bean. Serving up flavorful coffee is their top priority, and the staff also cultivates a homey, neighborhood feel at each establishment, welcoming guests to events such as coffee tastings, dessert pairings, and poetry slams.
For Kombuchick Inc. owner Leslie Crews, the communal spirit that comes with brewing and sharing kombucha—a probiotic fermented tea—is integral to why she makes it a part of her lifestyle and business. And it's why she sells starter cultures for brewing it online at no profit. When Leslie started transitioning to a raw-food lifestyle, she became determined to brew her own kombucha. Soon enough, she found a starter culture from a woman on the Internet who brought Leslie into her home for a brewing demo—which was the first time Leslie realized the tea’s ability to create a communal spirit among its drinkers. Today, she hopes the healthful blends and brews that come from the recipes sold at her store continue to inspire the same sense of gratitude and generosity they spring from. At Leslie's Kombuchick Bar, fizzy tea brews flow from taps or sit tight in bottles in regular and seasonal flavors. Each is blended from organic and fair-trade herbs wherever possible by Leslie, who likens her skill with blending herbs to “someone who knows how to play the piano by ear.” A dry green tea-based Bangkok Blazin’ melds lemongrass, ginger, and galangal, and a popular winter brew mixes allspice, cloves, and snowman hearts for sips of warm comfort. Depending on the season, the bar also stocks fresh fruit juices to mix with the kombucha on draft. Even the loose-leaf teas sold in her shop are the same she uses at the bar, which she hopes further encourage kombucha brewing in the community alongside her regular three-session brewing classes.
“I’m sorry, but our espresso machine is broken.” It was these words—a lie uttered by a server too intimidated to operate the machine—that inspired Larry Epplein to ease espresso service for restaurants and cafés everywhere. Today, he helms Virginia Espresso along with a staff that boasts more than a century of combined foodservice experience. They are a factory-authorized service center for commercial machines and coffee-brewing robots and also tout a map-full of 100% Arabica beans available at wholesale prices to both vendors and the public.
In addition to coffee, a selection of more than 40 loose-leaf teas ensnares shoppers with aromas of white peony and passion fruit. Monin gourmet syrups bloom in more than 50 flavors—all sweetened naturally with agave nectar, pure cane syrup, and kisses from honeybees—and can be used to infuse the showroom’s inventory of soda water and gelato mix.