Tag: coffee shops
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. 

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.

Echo Coffee Shop Review
Echo Coffee Shop Review

My first impression of Echo Coffee Shop was a library, except instead of librarians you had skilled baristas and a vast array of coffee selections. I walked into the shop and the first thing I noticed were the rows of laptops partially covering pensive expressions. The room was so heavily pregnant with everyone’s thoughts that I felt compelled to whisper my order to the barista: Café Americano with a peanut butter cookie. The cookie was delicious and the coffee was strong, but I tasted a slight bitterness, which is usually associated with burned coffee beans. Even though there were places to sit, I was cramped at my little table by the window. After 30 minutes of drinking my coffee and reading a copy of Java, I left to go home.

I can’t say there’s anything particularly wrong with Echo. The coffee is better than most places and the selection of pastries is more than decent and they even offer some gluten free options. The baristas are pleasant and there are plenty of tables and a few sofas for people to sit and work. The way it’s decorated reminds me of a Starbucks. It’s clean, with light colored walls, and full of natural light from the large windows. However, my experiences at Echo have always left me feeling emotionally sterilized. The energy of the space colors how I feel about this particular coffee shop. I’ve been to Echo about a half dozen times and the energy is always the same. There’s never much conversation going on and in fact, when I met one of my friends for coffee, she and I both felt uncomfortable talking because it was so quiet that we felt like we would get into trouble if our voices were above a whisper.

My visit to Echo made me think more about how the definitions of community and connection have changed. Social media and smart phones have made the virtual seem more real than the physical world. It’s more natural to be connected to your lap top computer than it is the people sitting next to you. If the power grid were to ever go out, humanity would have to relearn what it means to be part of a community. And yet, I would argue that our lack of physical community is creating an epidemic of detachment, self-absorption, and bullying. Empathy is not created over the Internet.

It’s challenging pinpointing why the energy feels the way it does at a place. However, sometimes places are just not good matches for people, and for me, I prefer places with more hustle and bustle. I want to feel a part of something, even if it’s just drinking coffee and reading a book. If I want quiet, I’ll go to a proper library. Due to Echo Coffee Shop’s menu, coffee, and hospitality, I give them 8 out of 10 beans.