Coffee can be, in the words of Dexter Morgan, a “dark passenger.” Its siren song has a call that is loud and clear, the delectable draw. Yet in pursuit of its affections, I’ve developed a yearning to “drink more in different places.” So outside of my normal pot of brew in the morning, I decided to go on a hunt for a place that could start a new IV ritual, something outside of the tried-and-true mermaid’s lure.
A quick Google search of coffee near me, put Buon Giorno at the top my list. Not too far, and right off 121 and Hall-Johnson Rd. I guess this counts as Grapevine, but it’s on the Euless line. The web site is top-notch, and it boasts a few good thingS::
Bonus Fun Stuff: When is the last time that you had some catfish?
It’s in a strip mall, and that’s ok – it has a bike rack taking up the two spaces right in front, and I’m both amused and suspicious. (I drive a rather large SUV, so you’re cutting into my needed real estate, but I can appreciate the attempt at encouraging cycling even though there wasn’t a single bike parked there and the place was packed. This area is just soccer-mom centric – no bike lanes, lots of SUVs, no bus lines – that I couldn’t help but think that a small bike rack on the porch area would have sufficed instead of marginalizing the real comers. Just sayin’.)
So at first glance this place is CUTE. Old-world Italy feelin’, with hand-written thoughts on chalk boards, the stucco walls, etc. It also has a small bar with tall stools, a set of small couches, tables with the heinous wooden chairs. The back of the house was packed with the wifi campers, and two dudes were taking up the comfy seats meant for four. I’m not bitter – I just hate wooden chairs when I want to relax.
They offer sandwiches and pastries! Now, I don’t always eat when I get a caffeine fix, but I LOVE when it is offered. They had a selection of teas in a basket of jars, but they didn’t look particularly fresh or refilled as of late. We ordered a large French Press carafe (what they call a cafetière) and when the barista asked for the type of blend, he gave my companion a withering look when she said, “Surprise me!” I get it, not everyone has time for service, silliness and smiley-smiley. But he went along with it.
A neat-looking old-timey coffee press (?) was off to the side, and I wanted to ask its purpose but our young barista had already moved off to wipe something. Then I noticed stock boxes next to it. I realize that when you go indie, you don’t necessarily get the ship-shape experience. But then there were newspapers all spread out on the counter; a quick tap-and-shuffle would have perked that up.
We sat, and the chair backs were sticky. It was warm in there. Things started to close in. Then: “Um, there’s coffee on the walls.” We studied the well-lit front room, and we realized why everyone else was sitting at the back. They were regulars (and quite a few of them for a Tuesday at 3p) who understood that tables at the front were getting all the light …and heat. Good thing we had hot coffee coming.
The place had a squat table for kids to play with a wooden train, but it took up too much room, and it looked unkempt: The couches next to it were using it as a makeshift end table. I admit, it was a noble attempt, though, to make this a family-friendly space with some board games and books, too. Did I mention this area was well-lit? So if you wanted to perform surgery, you had all the light you needed, but we could also see every smudge, every spill, every week that had probably gone by before their entry rug had been shaken out.
So: the coffee. I admit that I have no technical knowledge of burned, roasted, origin, mountainous, propelled, expressed, etc. and I’m really what you’d just call a Coffee Inhaler. And I ~LOVE~ coffee, so this means I’m an easy sell. But I was pretty disappointed in what was a muddy-looking, orangey pour, which tasted orangey too, oddly. I’m wondering what kind of surprise we ended up getting after all. My table mate went off to get the half-and-half but this just made a hot, coffee-flavored orange-sicle. Such sadness. It wasn’t bitter exactly, just off. Maybe you can tell me if this Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is supposed to be so citrusy? Was it so high-end that it wasn’t meant for café pedants like me? Can you coffee experts tell me what happened to make the coffee muddy? … Wait, maybe I don’t want to know.
It wasn’t a bad price for a large French Press carafe – with tax, about $7.25, which, they said, was about two of their large mugs per person. I can’t verify since we didn’t get through one cup each. But I did pass our carafe with the remainder to a young patron near us who seemed nice and accepted it gratefully.
So, after all that, I can tell you I’d probably go back and try a pot of tea, and sit in the back (or more likely deal with the heat if I could claim a couch seat). Also to see if this was an under-staffed day. I just won’t look too hard at the walls or the floors.
[Ed. Note & Correction: Eagle-eye Twitter follower Marty assures us this coffee shop is actually in Grapevine, not Colleyville as originally stated. This post has been corrected.]