Tag: coffee house
Palio Coffee Shop

I love Las Vegas, but sometimes it’s nice to take a break from all the action. In the city that never sleeps, sometimes it’s hard to find a place to chill unless you go back to your hotel room. Since Las Vegas is a tourist attraction, of course my expectations for coffee shops is different than say in my hometown of Phoenix. However, seeing how Las Vegas is a hub for extravagant shows and one-of-a-kind shops and galleries, I could see someone establishing a coffee shop that had a cool twist or a novel idea. I think this would definitely appeal to visitors because at some point you want to sit down and relax and escape the incessant crowds.

 

But while we wait for that coffee shop to appear, there’s a cozy and delicious coffee shop called Palio, which is tucked away in the Bellagio Hotel. I actually stumbled on this establishment by accident because I made a wrong turn and found myself wandering through the shops and small eateries. Styled in the fashion of a Tudor-like cafe, Palio offers amazing coffee drinks and tasty treats, such as muffins, pastries, and sandwiches. My friend and I enjoyed huge mugs of some of the most incredible lattes and chilled for a couple of hours. The coffee shop offers beautiful views of the pool area, so it’s a also nice spot to people watch. Considering the fact that most things are more expensive in Vegas, I thought the prices on the menu were reasonable. The portions are generous, so you don’t feel cheated, and the customer service is more than satisfactory.

 

I was very impressed with Palio, and it was so nice to be able to sit down and not worry about watching the clock or navigating crowds. To be honest, I think most people are unaware of this gem, but if you ever find yourself near the Bellagio and you want a place to sit and relax check out Palio. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. 

Coffee Bar at The Henry

First, I have to go off topic here and say that the hamburger at The Henry is one of the best I have ever had in my life. This is not a hyperbole. I love hamburgers and, at some point, I order one at every restaurant I try. The reason the hamburger at The Henry is so amazing to me is that their meat is flavorful and not too dry (even when ordered well done) and their special sauce serves as a the perfect complement. The French Fries are great as well.

Now, back to the coffee. One of the first things you notice about The Henry is the beautiful European aesthetic of the restaurant and coffee bar. Located in the heart of Arcadia, just east of 44th street on Camelback Road, The Henry stands out as a happening hangout for people of all ages. The inside of the building feels European with its dark wood floors, various shades of blue walls and tapestries, and heavy wood tables accompanied with the traditional green bankers lamps. Since this place is almost always busy the tables near the front are usually taken, but there is an additional room off to the side with long rectangular tables and chairs for people to work or reserve for meetings. On a nice day, patrons can relax with a cup of coffee on their front porch area where there’s plenty of seating.

The food and pastries at the coffee bar are very tasty. The selection of breakfast sandwiches and cakes is pretty extensive. They also offer a variety specialty coffee drinks, such as mochas, cappuccinos, and espressos. I typically get their plain coffee or a café au lait. The coffee is pretty decent. It’s nothing to write home about, but at least their brew is not too heavy or too bland. Their customer service is also satisfactory, but my one complaint about this place is their layout. The line for ordering is right by the door, so, as soon as you walk in, you hit a wall of people. There’s not whole lot of room for people to stand in line, which, during peak hours, feels awkward. If it weren’t for that additional room, it would be next to impossible to guarantee an indoor place to sit. The parking seems plentiful, but come lunchtime or the weekends, this lot gets full pretty quickly. Fortunately, they do have a complimentary valet service for their patrons.

Since starting this coffee blog, I have found that the popular coffee spots don’t do a lot to promote community because they don’t have to. People bring their friends and family or their laptops. While I do enjoy having a cup of coffee at The Henry, it’s not exactly my “go-to.” I tend to prefer the less trendy places that have a more neighborhood feel.

Lux Coffee Review

Lux has to be the hottest hot spot I’ve ever reviewed. It doesn’t seem to matter what day or time I go to this place. They are always busy. It’s not hard to see why. Their menu is extensive and besides offering good coffee, they have breakfast, lunch, and dinner selections, baked goods, and even beer, wine, and cocktails. They are one of the few places that are open late at night. During the weekends, Lux keeps their doors open until 2AM.

Located on Central Avenue, between Camelback and Indian School, Lux is a hub for coffee dates, schoolwork, and business meetings. The inside of the café is made up of multiple smaller rooms, which all have a rustic European feel. The layout doesn’t necessarily flow and the stacks of supplies in the adjoining hallways sometimes feel chaotic, but the overall feel of the café is generally cozy. Plus, there’s plenty of outdoor seating.

During their peak hours, Lux can feel overwhelming. I don’t have a problem standing in line, but trying to maneuver through people and trying to figure out if people are in line or just waiting is not fun. However, once I do find a cozy table in the corner, it’s a great experience. I love bringing my work to Lux because I like the background noise, and I enjoy people watching. Also, everything Lux serves is high quality and delicious. I haven’t been disappointed once. In fact, my mother loves their crumb cake so much that she occasionally guilt trips me into going to Lux just for the cake.

The only other weakness about Lux is their parking. They do have a small parking lot and street parking, but, when it gets busy, even street parking gets limited.

Because I really like the coffee and atmosphere at Lux, I’ve learned to go when I know it’s not their busiest time. I’ve noticed that Meetup groups have met at Lux, which shows that it is an environment that encourages some sense of community. Lux attracts customers of all different ages and backgrounds. Most of my readers have probably already heard of and have been to Lux. For those of you who haven’t been to this coffeehouse, I definitely recommend checking it out. It’s one of those few places where you can go by yourself and not feel weird about it because you’re not the only one. There’s something for everyone at Lux.

Coffee Cartel Review

First, let me say that I know that there are multiple locations, which I will eventually visit. However, for this review, I will be focusing on Coffee Cartel in Old Town Scottsdale.

Whenever I’ve had to meet someone in Scottsdale, I’ve often chosen this place because it’s in a great location, it’s easy to find, and most people like the coffee here. Coffee Cartel takes its coffee seriously. In fact, their website shows you how to brew the perfect cup of joe with their own label brand. In addition to serving coffee, however, the shop serves tea, pastries, and beer.

Every time I go to this particular shop, I see a lot of people working on their laptops, some of them even wearing ear buds. Granted, I realize that working in a coffee shop is pretty common, but there are some places where I notice this more. The energy at Coffee Cartel is laid back, and it reminds me a little of the coffee shops I used to visit when I was a graduate student living in San Francisco. There are multiple seating areas. The only criticism I have about their set up is that their outdoor seating area is a long bench that’s connected to a bunch tables. Therefore, if you have one patron that is apt to bouncing his/her leg when they are anxious, everyone sitting on that bench is going to know it. Otherwise, the other areas are fairly comfortable. The room where I took the photo for this blog was behind the coffee bar, where there are a couple of tables and two comfy leather couches.

When a coffee place has their own brand of coffee you can pretty much assume that their coffee is going to be at least decent. Cartel’s coffee is actually more than decent. Their coffee is bold, flavorful, and smooth. I know smooth isn’t a typical adjective you hear when you talk about coffee, but sometimes very strong coffee can taste acidic and leave an after taste. Their iced teas range from really good to fair. Sometimes I’ve found their tea blends to be a little too exotic for me. The pastry selection is not as vast as I’ve seen at other places, but what they do sell is good quality and tastes delicious. I had the lemon bread, and it was just the right amount of sweetness. Even though I’m not a huge lemon fan, I still enjoyed the flavor because it wasn’t over the top.

The people who work there are pleasant and professional. I wouldn’t go so far to say that I feel like I’m walking into my neighborhood coffee shop, but I’ve never had a bad experience or felt mistreated.

The crowd that I’ve noticed at Cartel is pretty diverse. I’ve seen people of all ages and different backgrounds. I’ve seen people doing schoolwork, meeting with friends, or having business meetings. Much like Echo, Coffee Cartel is an appropriate place to go if you’re looking for a quiet space to work. However, it’s not so quiet that you would feel uncomfortable meeting up with a friend.

This particular shop is in a great location, which is one of its biggest advantages in my opinion. Cartel is nestled among a ton of shops and restaurants, not to mention it’s near Fashion Square Mall and all the nightclubs. For example, I could easily imagine people going to Cartel after walking along the Waterfront during Thursday Art Walk. There’s so much to do in that area that it really makes a great place to meet up with friends.

Coffee Cartel has a lot of great qualities. The two biggest are their location and setting. Their coffee is great, but I expect coffee shops to have good coffee and, if they don’t, I’m never going back even if it’s in a spectacular location. Coffee is really important to me. I can’t function without it. It’s my manna, lifeblood, brain food, you get the point. So if you’re in the area and feel like enjoying a cup of coffee and people watching, check out this place. Bean Count: 7/10.