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.
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.
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!
The Loveland Coffee Company could almost be one of my ‘secret garden spots’ in Loveland, Colorado. Located in a small strip mall on 29th Street, I’ve passed it many times without considering stopping. Yesterday I decided to give it a shot and was pleasantly surprised.
Inside I found the decor very pleasing. The colors are are my favorites (actually, all colors are) – warm, dark caramels, olive greens, chocolate browns – colors with food names! Cozy sofas, big chairs, a gas fireplace, and plenty of tables and chairs.
The staff is very welcoming. I’m an in-house coffee drinker and both days was offered to have my cup warmed up. What a nice gesture! This is something I’ve noticed only once before, and that was at Catalyst Coffee in Fort Collins. At Catalyst, they don’t ask, they just automatically warm it up with hot water.
I could live here. In fact, I think I was here yesterday for four hours and today I’ve already been here over two. My comfort level hanging out here might be too high – I don’t want to move. Thank goodness I have dog responsibilities today, otherwise I’d probably be here through the lunch hour.
Although most of the morning they’ve had a full house of in-house and to-go traffic, it never felt too busy. The mix of people flowing through here is both diverse and interesting – farmers, professionals, grandparents with a grandchild, friends, singles, and parents with young children. I love the people watching opportunities here. There are so many beautiful connections that happen here…in the Land of Love…at the Loveland Coffee Company!
This little hideaway is now on the top of my coffee shop cruising destinations!
My first visit to this eclectic cafe in Colorado Springs was two years ago. What I remembered about it I liked enough to stop by when I was wandering through Old Colorado City. An art gallery and coffee shop – perfect!
A few changes since I was there last, but nothing that disappointed me. The patio in the back has more seating, they’ve added more music, more tapas to the menu, and it’s still an art gallery. Tango lessons are still available, but unfortunately, I did not have the time to check it out.
While housesitting in Woodland Park, I made two visits to Cucuru Art Gallery and Cafe and both were enjoyable. I met a friend on the second visit and we were able to spend a couple hours catching up without noisy interruptions. Before leaving the cafe, we were able to get a taste of the Bossa Nova band playing.
The owner supports international artists, with a particular love for Cuban art. While I was there, I had just a few moments to check out the paintings, but I was sidetracked by the beautiful display of colorful, beaded necklaces and the molas in a display case. I was in my own little multicultural art cafe heaven – colors, textiles, paintings, tapas, and coffee!
Cucuru Art Gallery and Cafe
Old Colorado City
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Yesterday I headed down the “hill” to Manitou Springs from Woodland Park, Colorado. It’s true, Woodland Park is the city above the clouds because I drove through them on my way to Manitou. It was a beautiful drive….like driving through heaven on earth.
Manitou Springs is a beautiful little mountain town next to Colorado Springs, located between Garden of the Gods and Pike’s Peak. It’s an artists’ haven…and full of tourists, even in October on a chilly day. There are eleven mineral springs located throughout the town, which was considered to be a sacred area by the Ute and Cheyenne.
What I’m most intrigued about is the Coffin Races coming up later this month. Apparently Emma Crawford came to Manitou Springs in the 1880’s for the mountain air and mineral springs to cure her from TB. Although her health initially improved, she died young and was buried on her favorite mountain.
This is where the morbid fun begins. Over the years the heavy rains caused her coffin to be exposed to the point where it slid down the mountain. She was re-buried in Manitou Springs and now there is a weekend of events built around Emma’s sliding coffin. It includes a wake, dinner, parade, and of course, a coffin race. How fun is this?
After getting the scoop on this event, I headed to Spice of Life Market & Deli for lunch. I was recommended by a 79 year old local as a place to satisfy my craving for Mediterranean food. The market is small, quaint, and had a good flow of traffic. There were plenty of spices available for purchase.
Although they serve breakfast until noon, I made my selection from the lunch menu. I had a delicious Greek sandwich that I enjoyed while goofing around on the internet. Synchronicity – while eating, I got an email from a Facebook friend from Greece, so I took a photo of my sandwich to share with him. He emailed back, asking me what a Greek sandwich was because they don’t have them in Greece. He also wrote that if I needed real Greek recipes, just give him a call.
This sandwich was served on asiago foccacia with pesto, loaded with feta-stuffed olives, artichoke hearts, lettuce, tomato, red onions, with melted Havarti cheese. It was excellent and satisfied my craving for Greek food.
Although I’m still craving some Turkish food, I’m holding out for this weekend. Arabica Cafe is catering the Intersections Film Festival at UCCS. I dined there a couple years ago and remember that their food was great and it was a very busy restaurant.
Today I’m not sure what coffee shop cruising I’ll be able to do because work is calling me, but tomorrow I’m bumming on a fly fishing trip on the Dream Stream. I’m taking both cameras along for that because I’ve been told that the salmon are red, red, red!
Currently I’m house and pet sitting in Woodland Park, Colorado, just 30 minutes from Colorado Springs. My third day on the job and with the weather at 50 degrees in the Springs, it was time for me to drive down the hill for some Coffee Shop Cruising. Headed towards Old Colorado City, I spied Agia Sophia Coffee Shop, which brought back pleasant memories from a couple years ago.
Located on Colorado Avenue, this little coffee shop has some of the most wonderful edibles, coffee, and a religious-spiritual bookstore. What I love most about this place is the ambiance. Located in a beautiful old building, the classical music is always at the perfect volume level. Upstairs there are plenty of comfy chairs, tables, and books to choose from. There’s also a delightful Russian tea room available as meeting space.
The staff are passively attentive. You hardly know they are around as they clear dishes and tidy up the space. I could stay here for hours….and I have, both today and previous stops. Today I meant to be here for only an hour or so, but looking at the time, I’ve been here over two, going on three. I still don’t want to leave, but it’s such a beautiful day and Old Colorado City is calling my name.
Fresh Coffee and Ancient Wisdom. Sophia.