Welcome to the Westside [West Egg Café]

Throughout the entirety of my life, I feel like I always end up on “The West Side.” Maybe it’s because I’m a West Coaster, or maybe it’s just because where I’ve lived the Sun sets in the West and I’m secretly a night owl. Who knows, but I’m always in the west, so I’m pretty sure it’s no coincidence that I’ve officially become a genuine fan of West Egg Cafe. 

I was feeling productive for a Saturday morning and decided to treat myself for breakfast at West Egg. I had heard great things about it, and it has been on my list of things to do in Atlanta (checkout my post on it here). I walked in and felt like I was back home in San Francisco, the simple-stylish interior with a twist of rustic was pleasing to the eye. 

Now, I’m a visual person. If your decoration skills and menu organization are up to par, I can dig it! West Egg Cafe does exactly that. I mean, look how exciting the menu looks, it practically screams, “Hey! I’m delicious!” Being a potato fanatic, I went for the skillet. They weren’t busy since it was still early, but I did wait around 35-40 minutes for my food. Luckily, I was in a forgiving mood. Once I received my plate piled with potatoes, the wait was definitely forgotten. I’m not sure what coffee they use, and did not care to elongate anyone else’s wait on service, however it was a mild breakfast blend. It was decent, but I would not recommend coming here solely for coffee. POTATOES. Go and eat all their potatoes! 

The next weekend, I was lucky enough to hangout out with my ridiculously pretty friend from New York, Tiff. We’ll just call her Pretty T. When Pretty T and I came, it was an hour wait. We walked over to Ormsby’s for a drink and came back to West Egg Cafe just to order a full pitcher of Mimosas (no regrets!). This time I tried their Salmon benedicts. They were flavorful and delicious. What threw me off was that they did not come on bread, simply the salmon patty. Yay for no carbs (I totally ordered potatoes on the side, shhh). Pretty T thought the ambiance had a West coast feel to it, I told you I’m always drawn to the West! Regardless of if you prefer the East side or Southside, a visit to West Egg Cafe is a must, you won’t regret it.

Pretty T has a foodie blog, check it out HERE

An afternoon in Fairyland [Le Petit Café]

Day One of my solo adventure in New York did not disappoint. After having lunch with my friend Angelina, and having my first experience with gassy coffee (read more HERE), I chose to do some more walking (lots and lots of walking), and sight seeing. I took the Metro to the Brooklyn Bridge and chose to walk it. I must admit, I was captivated by its structure. It felt like a never ending bridge filled with people from all over the world. I snapped a shot of the bridge, accidentally catching a couple reading a map together. I liked the photo and decided to share it with them. Within five minutes, e-mails were exchanged and I had gained two new friends to visit, whenever I make it to London. Perks of solo traveling!

Walking through Brooklyn

As enchanted as I was by the bridge, I was still on a mission. I had read brief reviews on a cute cafe in Brooklyn, “Le Petit.” As I ended my bridge-walk, I caught the Metro a few more stops and started, yet another walk. Brooklyn has a much more relaxed energy. It is definitely still New York, that much is still clear. I walked past a barbershop where a man was getting his hair cut, apparently it was done incorrectly as the client was yelling, “What the F*** Frank?! You’re doing it again! Aw c’mon!” Which in return, the barber simply yelled, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” Gotta love New Yorkers.

After a solid 15 minute walk, I arrived at Le Petit Cafe. I don’t even know where to really begin with this place. When I was in kindergarten, my friends and I used to build fairy houses. They consisted of the best sticks and leaves, the greenest moss and prettiest flowers. The interior often were detailed with sitting areas made out of pebbles, floors of pine straws and whatever else was needed for proper fairy living.  When I walked into Le Petit Cafe, I felt like I was in a life sized fairy house.

I sat in front of a Koi fish pond, with a small rippling waterfall. For the first 30 minutes, I just observed the place in detail. There small accents in every nook of the cafe; candles, bushes, statues, the prettiest flowers and even the greenest moss. It was beautiful. Although inside, the windows flooded the room with natural light that made it feel like outdoor seating.

I ordered a spinach salad. Simple, fresh and delicious. Truthfully, I was too full for coffee. However, this place was to sweet not to mention on my page. I have been told they are known for an outstanding brunch menu. It is safe to say, I will be back to this fairy house.

La Colombo and the future of coffee [La Colombo]

I had plans to meet my good friend Angelina (we met in a high school bathroom gym, after playing a basketball game AGAINST each other, we clicked instantly) on her lunch hour from work. As I texted her, “I’m here,” I noticed a sweet looking coffee shop on the corner. It didn’t take long to add, “Take your time, I’m in the coffee shop.”


I walked into La Colombo Coffee and immediately fell in love with the interior. The room had a natural flow circling a center island style coffee bar and register. The ceiling was filled with spherical lamps that added a perfect touch to the ambiance.

I picked up a menu and noticed a, “draft latte” at the bottom. I spoke with a friendly barista who explained that the draft latte, was a “hot” latte that was served chilled. In addition to milk and espresso, the latte contained a nitrous gas giving it a light and fluffy consistency. Naturally, I was intrigued, and after sampling went on to order it. It also came as a black coffee, but I did end up with the latte. I had never had anything like it, but it is safe to say I am a fan.

Check them out: La Colombo Coffee

The one thing a true Wanderluster can’t do, is stop finding ways to get SOMEWHERE [Bakers and Baristas]

Okay, so you probably can’t take me seriously now. I made a whole commitment to talking about what you can do to surpress the urge to travel by being a tourist in your own city… and then I go on an epic and completely spontaneous solo road trip! Such is the life of a true Wanderluster.

Sunday (late) afternoon, I woke up and thought, I’ve got to go somewhere, anywhere. I messaged my two consultants (aka my two girlfriends), and gave three suggested locations of short trips, and ask them to vote. They voted and I picked none of them (of course not). I decided to take a long drive up the east coast, a part of the country I haven’t spent a lot of time in. Nothing signifying a short trip.

I drove from Atlanta, Ga to Charlotte, NC, to Chester, Va. I spent the night with my cousins and continued to Washington D.C. the next morning. In D.C., I struggled to find coins to park but eventually made it work. While looking for parking, I found my first D.C. coffee stop, “Bakers &Baristas.”


Walking in, I was greeted with a delicious aroma of baked goods. The atmosphere was very hip, trendy and friendly. I was greeted by the cashier who happily took my order. I came in to get change and run back to my car, so unfortunately I didn’t get to chat with the workers there, to get to know the story of the cafe better. However, I will make a point to return next time I stop in D.C. What I did gather and appreciate about this little gem is that it is community oriented. Wednesday nights they open their doors to live music. Also, their coffee is fair trade and roasted within 48 hours of brewing. The coffee had a noticeably smooth taste with no bitterness.

Be sure to checkout their website and visit them in D.C.’s Penn Quarter Bakers & Baristas

When you’re craving that next cup of Wanderlust…

 

It’s gotta be discussed at some point. I’m here because I love coffee and I love to travel. Ideally? I like to drink cups of coffee amidst my travels. So, what do you do when you’re NOT traveling? In my opinion, it’s impossible to completely fulfill that lust for new things, unless you’re actually in the airport or on a train, knowing you’re en route to your next foreign destination. However, I did come up with a couple simple tricks on how to soothe the pain, beginning with becoming a tourist in your own city. For example, I was born and raised in San Francisco and admittedly never took my first trip to Alcatraz until the summer of 2015. I was blown away with the history and wonderment of this little island that tourists flock to see. That’s a more obvious “miss.” Now that I have been living in Atlanta for three years, I have started to feel that need to move on again.

In attempts to soothe my wanderlust I came up with a list of major attractions, and a list of minor attractions. I am giving myself 30 days to fulfill this list. I’ll even add a hashtag #MaaeahInAtlanta. The major attractions will include museums, attractions and historical sites. The minor attractions will include coffee shops.

What are you favorite places to visit in Atlanta? I openly welcome suggestions!

Major Attractions:

  1.  National Center for Civil and Human Rights
  2. Fernbank Museum of Natural History
  3. Anne Frank Exhibit (This one is in Sandy Springs not Atlanta proper)
  4. Center for Puppetry Arts
  5. Taking suggestions for my fifth major attraction 🙂

Minor Attractions:

  1. West Egg Cafe
  2. Octane Coffee
  3. Dancing Goats Coffee Bar
  4. Joe’s East Atlanta Coffee Shop
  5.  Once again, suggestions please!

Side Note: I will strictly be trying black brewed coffee, maybe with some almond milk if it is available. I am also currently fulfilling my goals of a lifestyle change, and completing the Whole 30 challenge. I feel great, but am desperately missing sugar and cream! Oh…and cheese. Definitely cheese.

Lastly, thank you to my niece Jaidah, whose face completely captures the feeling I discussed.

Oh My Mami [Mami’s La Cubana Cuban Restaurant]

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Mami’s La Cubana Cuban Restaurant  Atlanta, Ga

I had the ultimate craving for a nice cup of coffee today. Midday at the office, in the midst of paperwork, I decided I NEEDED a cup. I just started my internship in Hapeville, a few miles south of downtown Atlanta. I didn’t know anything about local coffee shops or where they were. I did a quick Google search and found a “Drip” coffee shop. That was good enough for me, and within three minutes I was on my way.

I parked on North Central Ave, eager for my fresh cup. I looked up and noticed a blue painted brick building, with a sign reading, “Mami’s La Cubana Cuban Restaurant.” I thought, hey why not grab some Cuban coffee and a sandwich. I would love to immerse myself in the Cuban coffee culture, but I haven’t yet taken advantage of the lifted embargo to take a trip to Cuba. As someone who loves Cuban food and drinks, coffee’s role in Cuban culture is quite apparent.  A quick history lesson; After the Haitian Revolution (1791),  Cuba became a prominent exporter of coffee to Spain. However, after the Cuban Revolution (1959), the coffee industry began to decline. Yet, at any Cuban restaurant, coffee makes its presence. A common coffee drink is Café con Leche, translated to coffee with milk. It is comparable to an American Misto or Café Au Lait, though they are not as good. It consists of mostly steamed milk, coffee, a tiny pinch of salt and sugar, a combination of deliciousness. I enjoyed my cup today.

“Mami,” recognized me upon arrival, though I’ve never even seen the place. She used to be THE best bartender at Papi’s (the location on Ponce), a common Cuban chain restaurant. She excitedly shared that she had left Papi’s about six months ago, and opened up her own spot, “Mami’s La Cubana Cuban Restaurant.” I was so thrilled for her success and new beginnings, she is a wonderful lady and the restaurant is well worth the visit.

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Cuban Fish Sandwich with Rice and Beans 

 

The food was outstanding, the atmosphere was welcoming and the coffee was delicious.

Visit the Yelp site to see the menu by clicking HERE.

 

A ‘Muggy’ Beginning

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“Just start somewhere, find something you like and write about it,” they said. Well, here I am. I’m sitting in Atlanta at a desk, reflecting on who I am, who I’ve become and the roads I “chose” to get me  here. To be fair, I’m still discovering what I like and I wholeheartedly plan on incorporating all of it into what I produce here. However, at 23 years old, I’ve found a few things that I think are worth sharing.

I’ll go into more detail about my past in my future “About Me” section, but let’s fast forward to what it really is I plan on sharing here. I love to travel, just like many. What draws me to travel is the accomplishment of conquering fear of unpredictability and being able to welcome the identification of new culture and comparison to those known. I’ve been to a few places, I’ll get into that later. One thing I’ve noticed I love to do is sit at coffee shops and drink coffee! It’s simple. However, everywhere I’ve been the culture around coffee is similar, but just different enough to make it unique and something worth inquiring about. Something I collect along the way, are mugs.

I started working at Starbucks just over three years ago. Now, while I have learned a tremendous amount about coffee ranging from appropriate pairings to regions of production and so forth, I feel that my knowledge is limited within the country. To be fair, that is completely understandable as Starbucks is a successful corporation that operates close to 24,000 stores worldwide. They are successful for a reason. While I want to expand my knowledge outside of the company, and I enjoy drinking other coffees, I am grateful to Starbucks’ flexibility and support. As a company they have made phenomenal strides for the well-being of their employees and for that I am grateful. However, my accounts on this page will reflect my opinion only, and do not associate with Starbucks in any way.

I do owe Starbucks some credit and influence in the creation of this page. As I’m sure many know, Starbucks sells these wonderful “You Are Here” mugs. I absolutely love them, and they are what started my excitement in collecting mugs from around the world. They produce a collection of mugs with designs that are unique to cities all over the world. I do go into Starbucks’ to collect them whenever I travel to a new city. My most recent addition to the collection was my New York City mug. I’m hoping to add more soon!

So today, I’ve decided to share my travels as I search for the best cup of coffee and the cutest mug. Feel free to Follow along by site, or by signing up via e-mail (scroll down to the bottom of this page).