Posted on Aug 7, 2011 | 11 comments
I woke up this morning with no specific agenda. I had a list of things to do, but no specific order or priorities or timeframe to complete them in. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time this has happened to me. How did I get to this point of continuous overscheduling, overplanning, and overbooking? I am SO over it. Prior to moving to Charlotte, I envisioned every day being like today: a day full of unplanned meandering about the city. Days filled with simple things like walking around and trying restaurants. Meeting people. Talking food.
I realize wanting EVERY day to be this way is unrealistic. But how about EVERY weekend day? Is that too much to hope for?
I laid in bed for a while thinking about all the possibilities of the day, before heading out on my Sunday run. The Charlotte area had some crazy flash flooding on Friday, and the park behind my condo was literally under five feet of water! Thankfully the water has resided, but the whole area is basically a giant cow chip now. So, I decided to hit the city streets and explore some neighborhoods I don’t usually get to by foot.
After my run, shower, breakfast, and lazy time, I headed out to take some exterior photos of restaurants I’m planning to write reviews of this week. I played restaurant stalker for a while, got a few disapproving looks from various restaurant patrons (ahhh the life of a food writer *sigh*), then headed to Central Coffee Co. to try out their goods and take advantage of their free wifi.
Can I just say, I love coffee shops.
There are always interesting people around at coffee shops. People chatting and people who don’t want to chat at all <me>. People seeking inspiration <me> and people who just exude creativity.
I also love coffee shops for the fresh brewed coffee (obv.) and endless supply of tasty treats to sample (double obv.).
When I arrived at Central Coffee Co, I found a random seeming building that sure didn’t look like much from the outside. It sits at the corner of Central Avenue and Louise and has a tiny awkward parking lot. I wasn’t getting a good vibe as I walked up to the door, and I was almost hesitant to go inside.
Right when I opened the doors, that comforting smell a freshly ground coffee beans washed over me and I realized that the inside of this unassuming coffee shop told a completely different story. The shop was very long and narrow inside, with one wall of exposed brick running the entire length.
The walls were lined with a handful of small tables, mismatched chairs, and a swanky sitting area complete with white leather chairs near the fireplace.
I eyeballed their large selection of bakery treats, not sure which to go with. When I asked the barista how the zucchini bread was, he got a big smile on his face and said it was “awesome.” When the employees get excited about the food, that’s when you KNOW it’s good.
I went with my standard small black French Roast coffee (I’m hardcore like that) and a slice of that vegan zucchini bread, then grabbed one of the tables along the brick wall. Not only did they have free wi-fi, but they also had ample plugs for laptop charging = very happy blogger.
I sat back in my chair took a long sip of my coffee, and soaked in every ounce of this place that I could. Every sight, smell, and sound. The music was playing at the perfect decibel, and the barista stood at the counter, head bobbing to the rhythm, waiting for patrons in need of service. Strangers were sitting by the fireplace trading their top restaurant picks and their desires to try newly opened spots. The lights were dim and unabrasive, one of which was perfectly placed over my table. Occasionally, I would hear the coffee grinder buzz in the distance and that familiar smell would waft back over towards my table. I sat typing away on my computer and snapping random photos for a while before sitting back and savoring the zucchini bread. Every bite of the bread exuded intense cinnamon flavor. It was moist and slightly sticky, which made the crumbs hug my fork begging to be eaten. And I obliged.
As I relished my coffee, I realized this whole place was speaking to me. From the chalkboard menus on the walls, to the exposed beam ceilings and warehouse style air ducts. And of course, there was the giant biscotti perched in a glass jar on the counter. There was just something about this place.
I think I found my new spot.