Do you ever find yourself in a situation when you have a friend coming to visit and you know you want to spend some time catching up, but all of a sudden you feel like you just moved to the city you’re in and can’t think of a SINGLE decent place to go for drinks? Or coffee or breakfast or dessert? You spend weeks or months making mental notes of all the new places you want to try but when the opportunity arises to go somewhere, it’s as if everywhere you’ve ever heard of vanishes, leaving you panicked as your quickly do a Google search of “good restaurants in…” or “best place to eat near me.” Maybe it’s just me, but I have started keeping a written list of those such places so that I don’t keep finding myself in that situation.
The most recent example is when a friend was coming into town for a few hours, and while we both knew we wanted to grab some drinks, dessert was mentioned, and I quickly found myself falling down the rabbit hole of local instagram foodies, trying to find something visually appealing that caught my eye and met the criteria established.
This time, it manifested in the form of Barcelona Wine Bar. I’d heard of it. I’d seen pics of it. I knew they had alcohol. So far so good. A little more scrolling and voila, dessert was spotted. This was the place.
Upon entering said place, my initial feelings were validated. With shelves of books, antique knick knacks, and a few scattered plants, I immediately felt as though I was entering into a cozy cellar that featured warm lighting and delicious smells.
After a round of sangria, we decided to throw some tapas into the mix before moving on to dessert. The abondigas, spiced meatballs in a tomato-based sauce paired great with the complimentary bread that we couldn’t get enough of. The pork belly with almond slivers was so extremely tender it almost melted in your mouth. And the garlic aioli topping the patatas bravas was worth licking the plate for. Of course we didn’t…
We allowed the savory goodness of meat and bread, sauces and spices, to almost dissuade us from ordering dessert. But alas, we came here for a reason and we could not leave without fulfilling our quest.
The crepas allowed us to complete our mission. Stuffed with the lightest, yet creamiest coffee filling, drizzled with chocolate sauce, and sprinkled with whole hazelnuts, the rich flavors were so smooth and airy with just the right amount of crunch.
The next time I need to find the perfect spot in a pinch, there will be no hesitation.
My husband and I have a weekly tradition of going to a local coffee shop after church on Sundays. One of our new favorites is Queen City Grounds. Located on the edge of Uptown, QCG has everything we want and more in a coffee shop. From the bright, open space to the never-ending reggae music, bar countertops and cozy couches, this modern coffee spot fits the needs of anyone who wants to work, relax, play games or read a book found in the open library. Featuring a full breakfast and lunch menu, classic coffee options, and a few unique creations of their own, QCG has managed to provide an eclectic offering in a simple atmosphere. I have no doubt that our weekly tradition will continue to bring us here for a long time.
Pro tip: If you're like me, then you tend to prefer breakfast, or even brunch, over lunch options. Try the Rancheros Burrito. Made to order with options including bacon or tofu, avocado, pico de gallo, topped with crunchy corn chips and wrapped in a spinach or whole wheat wrap, this option can be altered to suit everyone's preferences. Just be sure to order before they switch over to the lunch menu!
Pro tip: You can't go wrong with any of the drink options. My go-to at every coffee shop is a chai latte, and they did not disappoint. Topped with plenty of cinnamon, this chai was very flavorful and not too sweet. More of a cold brew type of person? Well they have that on tap (as well as a few select beers). Really love their coffee? You can purchase bags to take home with you and try your hand at barista life from the comfort of your kitchen.
I travel and then I write about it. I hope you enjoy my experiences, and can learn from my trial and errors!