Like a queen bee, a good cup of coffee is carefully tended to by workers, generates a buzz, and makes you scream if it lands between your eyes. Save face with today's Groupon: for $9, you get $18 worth of cafe fare and espresso drinks at Cafe 976.
Baristas and chefs at Cafe 976 open doors at 7 a.m. each morning to clear brain hazes with potent fair trade and organic espresso drinks and healthful egg dishes, followed by tacos or sandwiches from the lunch menu, featuring a selection of all-natural meats. Eyes open to fresh steamer plates that fuse scrambled eggs—cooked with a specialized steam wand that, like Fred Flintstone's car, eliminates the need for oil—with the likes of sun-dried tomato, basil, and feta cheese in the Trieste ($8.25). Hands wrap around midday meals such as the chicken pesto sandwich topped with mozzarella and escorted by a side salad ($8.75) or two fish tacos with grilled mahi mahi sizzling in chipotle honey and cilantro mayo ($8.75). A collection of 21 espresso-infused specialty drinks warm sleepy stomachs with whole, nonfat, or soy milk, such as the 20-ounce Lethal Injection ($4.95), infused with chocolate and four shots of espresso, enough caffeine to power sippers through morning meetings or keep audiences awake through stage adaptations of the phonebook.
Cafe 976’s guests relax in a 1920s beach house with the original pine floors and deep-red and bright orange walls decorated with works from local artists or on the outdoor deck and garden dining area. The home was once used as a school, which explains why the free wireless Internet connection occasionally interrupts laptop sessions with multiplication-table drills.