Okay, it isn't anywhere I can live. But it is somewhere that I can go and feel good about life. I can think here. Here is Crow About It Espresso. Since Beaners is gone, I need somewhere to be. And this is it. I heard about it through an article in the Northern Express. I wasn't sure if it was a preopening release so I gave it a while before looking for it. I've also been unsure about driving to the other side of town. But if you think about it, I work about 1.5 miles from here. So it isn't a big drive from work. Just a big drive from home... for however long it will be my home.
So let me tell you about the Crow.
It is in a strip mall that doesn't really inspire a person to think "home" since the mall is at the intersection of our main east/west artery and a busy n/s bound commuter route. Dollar wise it is a great location. But personality? Well, here's hoping. When you first walk into Crow you are greeted with warm earthy tones and a semi industrial light and magic lighting scheme at the ceiling. In other words it would be like walking into Cafe Nervosa on the Frasier set instead of being there from your cozy armchair at home.
The walls are a nice pumpkiny color and there are crows everywhere. For all the Somerset folks who are bust deep into crows this is the place to hang. Each table has vintage literature and a candle at the center. A set of identically bound classics lines the window ledge. Even though the setting is very autumnal, it feels like a place for all seasons. It turns out that my table held a tome of Poe's collected works. How cool is that? A little stove in the corner takes the chill out of the air while the owners friendly greeting takes the chill out of the soul. And the staff will actually bring your food and beverages to the table unlike those other coffee shops.
And the menu is awesome. The items have literary motifs and, yes, there is a Poe drink. I started my patronage with the O Captain My Captain, coincidentally on ITLWS (International Talk Like William Shatner Day, see earlier post) Day. Of course I was thinking back to how much I had enjoyed Dead Poets Society and that this would have been the kind of place those geeks might have enjoyed (even if a bit on the nose) not about Captain Kirk. Though I had always thought pulling a Captain My Captain on Picard while writing fan fiction was hilarious, I wasn't really going there either. This drink comes with coconut and that will get me every time. The coffee was fabulous and understated, no gut burning presses here. And it was served in an enormous Central Perk styled mug. yum! [Keep in mind, if you are getting all of these references you've watched as much tv as I have. So shut up, Data.] Crow is more than a conglomeration of TV cafes. It definately has its own personality in the details that couldn't be done at Nervosa or the Perk.
My sandwhich came with a side of salsa and chips which I wasn't expecting. And it came with a dessert sampler served in a silver footed bowl. I was definately not expecting that! Everything is made from scratch at the shop. And my key lime sample was so Haaaaaawe-some! It was creamy, light and absolutely satisfying. I also had an Italian black raspberry soda made for them by the Northwoods guys. Which reminds me, everything that can be done locally is. Northwoods bottles all of their drink flavors. Keep it Local. Keep it real. It's good for everybody. And Crow is no exception.
In short... I am home. My pen and ink geek is happy to have resonance with the drink names and the books scattered through out. My foodie is happy to have coffee, ice cream and homemade baked goods in one place. And with her taste in artistic expression, its kinda like having Michelle back home. I can just hear her squee How Cool Is That! Now.... to find some gaming adults to meet me here. Hmmm....
edited to add:
During the course of my visit several locals came in. While chatting with the counter staff I heard the following things that made me certain I found kindred peeps: Neill Gaiman fans, Pandora users, gamers and another Captain drinker. Who hoo!