Monday, May 25, 2015

Shoes, Cup, and Cork

A Sicilian immigrant named Vincenzo Raneri opened a shoe repair shop in the 1920's. He owned and operated that shop for roughly 50 years before he sold it to someone else who kept it in operation for another 34 years. Finally in 2006, the doors closed for good. At least to the shoe repair business. Then another man had a dream of a coffee shop. With shoes. And wine. And good food. And Shoes Cup and Cork was born!

Even though its now a coffee shop, there are still many remnants of the old shoe repair business in the design and decor of the restaurant. Old shoes hang from the light fixture on the ceiling, brass footrests from the shoeshine station stand in the front windows, and the original Shoe Repair sign adorns the dining area.

But this isn't just a quick stop-in-for-coffee place. There are comfy benches with pretty pillows and board games and crossword puzzles all inviting you to stay, relax, and hang out for a while. And they serve more than just coffee. The menu isn't extensive but they offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and even brunch on the weekends. Not only is the food tasty, they strive to provide fair-trade coffee and use local meats and produce.

I'd been wanting to try it out and had heard good things about it so when I was looking for a quaint unique place to take my mom for breakfast on Mother's Day weekend, I knew this would fit the bill perfectly. I'm sure I've shared before about my love for biscuits and gravy so when I saw this on the menu, it was impossible to pass up. And it did not disappoint.

Perfectly flaky homemade biscuits swimming in white sausage pepper gravy…heavenly! As much as I love biscuits and gravy, I have had some that were not very good. But this was dreamy! It was also accompanied by a small dish of red bliss hash…basically diced, slightly smashed red bliss potatoes with some herby seasoning. I also have a love of potatoes…my favorite vegetable even though some people claim its not a vegetable. There's no better compliment to a delicious biscuits and gravy than a good helping of herby potatoes! Divine!

Sometimes the beverages become an afterthought, a non-event at a meal. But here even the drinks were good. My mom got an iced chai latte, which is usually one of my favorite breakfast drinks. I love the combo of spice and cream. But this time I opted for something slightly different…the London Fog. Its Earl grey tea steeped in steamed milk with a shot of vanilla. And I had to be extra complicated and order an iced version. As much as I love chai tea, Earl grey is a close second. It smells like Froot Loops cereal! Yumma!!

Next time, I'd like to go there for lunch and try some marinated olives or a smashed meatball sandwich or a brie L.T. panini!! And enjoy it outside while playing a game of bocce ball!

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