A Howl for The Red Coyote Cafe

Back porch view at Red Coyote Cafe in Virgin, Utah.

Jan, the owner of the Red Coyote Café in Virgin, Utah greeted me yesterday by asking how chilly it was on the other side of the park.  I met her just a few times and although she didn’t remember my name, she remembered where I cruised in from for a cuppa.  This impressed me because often I slide into coffee shops with my laptop, sit quietly, and simply observe the world around me unnoticed by anyone.

Something I like about the Red Coyote is that I can do either – slide in unnoticed or I can participate in conversations with the locals while having a cup of coffee, playing on the computer, and eating my breakfast.  The best of both of my coffee shop cruising worlds.

The breakfast menu includes a basic breakfast plate, burritos, and some items that are more creative, like her southwestern version of Eggs Benedict.  The sauce is homemade and I’ve been told by her guests that it’s delicious.  I have yet to try it because I like the basic plate of two eggs, potatoes, and toast.  As someone who ran a bed & breakfast/inn and dislikes making eggs, I can appreciate the perfect over easy eggs.  Neither too runny nor too hard, it’s always made perfect for dipping my buttered toast in it.  By the way, I love the bread – if not artisan, it tastes like it.

 

Red Coyote Cafe in Virgin, Utah.

 

The ambiance is perfect for me – couches, tables and chairs inside, and a beautiful set up on the outdoor patio with a view of Utah’s red rocks.  It has a Utah desert with a touch of country flavor to it.  One of my favorite places to hide this past summer on Sunday mornings.

 

Southwest mural by Patti Lewis

 

The outside of the Red Coyote displays the gorgeous artwork of Patti Lewis, a local mural artist.  The mural depicts a scene id Utah desert and wildlife.  Patti’s work can be seen on quite a few buildings inside and out around the Zion National Park area, as well as in Las Vegas.  A sample of her portfolio and her husband, Jeff’s photography can be seen at  www.lewisartservices.com.

 

What sold me on The Red Coyote was an experience I had this past summer.  After camping at Coral Pink Sand Dunes, I took the back roads towards Colorado City, then headed to Zion National Park by way of Hurricane, Utah.  Once I got to The Red Coyote, I planted myself on a cozy chair, turned on my computer, and got lost in the world of Facebook and email writing.  After an hour or so I realized that the café filled up with people – singles, couples, and families.  The chatter in the room reflected the clientele – international visitors heading to and from Zion National Park as well as a mix of locals who came for the Sunday afternoon music.  That was inside the cafe.  Outside there was a spectacular lightning display as a thunderstorm rolled through.  Although the storm brought many of the weary and not-so-weary travelers into the café, I’m sure the ambiance, service, and music kept them there.

I was loving the experience – lost within a sea of people – something I often desire, especially when coffee shop cruising.

During the winter there is music on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons to keep the locals and off-season travelers entertained.  The summer brings many tourists through the area, so the live music schedule extends into the week.  With the later sunsets in the summer, it’s one of the best places in southern Utah to end the day after hiking in Zion National Park.  I can’t wait to return next year!

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The Wild Boar Coffee Shop

Fort Collins, Colorado has no shortage of coffee shops, each unique in its own way.  The name itself makes this one a little unusual and what caught my eye.

What I discovered about The Wild Boar Coffee Shop was the feeling of home.  The building is a 1924 bungalow – and I have  a love for the Arts and Crafts style homes.  The lines, woodwork, and design flow to integrate with nature are all things I love.  The porch is enclosed and makes for a fun sitting area, along with all the little rooms.  Windows are in abundance, yet the lighting is just right – neither too bright nor too dark.  The furniture complements the bungalow with Stickley-style tables, leather couches, and even some of the lamps.  My two favorite places to sit are in the parlor on the leather chair with the ottoman and outside in one of the many patio tables. 

Their burritos are delicious, especially the potato and egg one smothered with green pork chili sauce.  The menu includes delicious soups with artisan breads, sandwiches, and some baked goods that look sinful.  The beverage selection includes coffee drinks, teas, sodas, wines, and microbrews.

During the summer it became a habit to stop by after my night biking, to enjoy a lemonade, check my email, and do some people watching.  They attract a wide variety of people, including a lot of students – both high school and college.  So many “kids” seemed to hang out there to meet and socialize over a mocha latte, Bhakti Chai, or other drinks that resemble dessert.  It was enjoyable to sit back and watch the gatherings between friends, families, and students.

I’ve been to the Wild Boar many times and have never been disappointed with the staff.  In fact, what initially kept me returning last fall was a young barista who worked what seemed to be every morning.  He was always friendly, quick, and seemed to remember what people liked to drink.  Often the night closing staff, much like bartenders at last call, would have to budge people out the door, but did it with much grace.  I’m not sure I would’ve had the patience that they did.

Across the side street from the Wild Boar is the CSU gardens.  During the spring, summer, and early fall, it was not unusual to see friends and families wander over there with their artisan drinks in hand, appreciating the glory of the gardens.  A beautiful thing to see on the weekends, and sometimes quite crowded. 

Wild Boar…it’s a beautiful place to sit and enjoy a cuppa!


Loodles Coffee, Books, & Art

My Saturday morning wanderabout has turned into an all day coffee shop cruising event.  After having lunch at Bruce’s Bar in Severance, Colorado, it was suggested to me that I find Loodles Coffee Shop in Windsor before heading back. 

Located on Main Street in Windsor, Loodles is in an attractive small strip mall near the medical center and Hospice.  The front entrance is off main street and showcases an attractive patio decorated with lights.  Even before walking in it has a tiki bar feel to it.  Upon entering the front door, you find that tiki bar coffee station in front of you. 

Once room has a study-library theme going for it, with a large flat screen TV on the wall.  I was please to find the room quiet without the TV on.  A couple women were reading some books from the shelves and a man was busy on his laptop.  It’s a pleasant, quiet room – a great place to sit on the couch and read a book.

In the main coffee shop is a double sided gas fireplace.  I planted myself on the secluded side – where there are only two chair available – one for me and one for my baggage.  Located above the fireplace is a very unique selection of children’s books.  Upon looking closer at the books, I found they were written by the coffee shop owner, Mark Ludy.

Ahh….a little investigation after another cuppa, and it all begins to make sense – coffee, book, and art.  Mark is an author and illustrator of children’s books.  Now that I have a clue, I’m checking out his artwork and find it very fun and whimsical.  You can find his work at www.markludy.com

What a wonderful way to end the day….at a coffee, book, and art shop created by a children’s book author and illustrator on Halloween.  I feel like a kid today.

 

 


Russian roasted coffee becomes the American Dream

Dazbog Coffee. I first discovered them in a little neighborhood when I lived in Denver, but didn’t begin to appreciate it until I was spending time in Fort Collins last fall. The one near the Poudre River Trail in north Fort Collins is still my favorite Dazbog.

Today my ‘snowstorm day off from work wanderabout’ took me to the Dazbog at 556 Lincoln in Loveland, Colorado. Unlike the one located on Eisenhower in Loveland, this one has plenty of windows on the west, south, and even east side of their space. I love the light and openness that windows provide. I’ve been here almost three hours, writing, listening to music, playing on Facebook, and watching the snow fall….it’s a beautiful thing.

This coffee roaster/franchise coffee shop is the manifestation of an American Dream by Leonid and Anatoly Yuffa, and is based in Denver, Colorado.  According to the website – www.dazbog.com, the Yuffa family fled Russia to pursue a better life of freedom, democracy, and opportunity.

I don’t know if they have the best coffee, but what I am fond of is the customer service at the few Dazbog locations that I’ve been to. I don’t know if it is the corporation or the franchisees that create the service standards here, but I’ve found the coffee shops to be warm, inviting, and full of color and cultural flavor. For me, a good coffee shop is one that I can sit in for three hours and it feels like only a few minutes.  This visit is fast approaching the four hour mark.