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Tag Archives: Cafe

Bayou Bakery (Arlington, VA)

I couldn’t resist doing a post about a dog-friendly cafe, even though we haven’t had a chance to visit one with Reeses yet.  (She’s still very shy around strangers, and we don’t want to rush her.)  I already know which of our neighborhood cafes I’d like to visit first: Bayou Bakery!

Bayou Bakery

Bayou Bakery

Bayou Bakery is located in Arlington, very close to the Courthouse metro stop.  They have tables and chairs set up on their patio outside, which is why I plan on taking Reeses there some Saturday.  My mom actually was the first to discover Bayou Bakery, because it was right by her hotel last time she came to visit me.  After trying some of their baked goods for breakfast, we both loved it so much that we went there two more times for breakfast in the same week!

I have been to Bayou several times for breakfast and once for dinner.  They have great variety on their menu, from your standard coffee and pastries to Cajun-themed happy hour specials like pimento cheese or black eyed pea hummus, to sandwiches that are very popular with the community here in Arlington.  They have different lunch and dinner specials for every day of the week, and great seasonal specials.  (I can’t wait for next spring because I am already missing their carrot ginger muffin.  It’s delicious!)

a beautiful latte

a beautiful latte

There are a lot of details I love about Bayou Bakery.  One is that they have sorgum to use as a sweetener in your coffee-very Southern, and not something I had had the opportunity to try before.  Another is that you can borrow board games at the counter to play while you’re in the cafe.  I enjoy board games, and I think it is great when coffee shops encourage customers to play them.  It also shows that this is the kind of place where you are welcome to sit and stay awhile, an important consideration for anyone who is looking for a friendly place to read!  Finally, they have a variety of different seating options indoors (plus the patio, of course): barstools, tables, and an area with more comfy couches and chairs.  There are lots of options if you want to get comfortable with some nice coffee (they also have wine and beer for later in the day) and a book.

Whatever time of day you visit Bayou Bakery, I recommend you start by trying their beignets and a beverage of your choice.  What could be more New Orleans than beignets?  Plus, they’re delicious!  Just be careful not to get powdered sugar all over the book you’re reading!  I have to give this place five stars.  I love the location, and everything I’ve tried on the menu so far has been great!  It’s definitely a new favorite!  ★★★★★

beignets

beignets

-Elizabeth

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/cbaugh/7756820478/”>christybaugh</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/notbrucelee/5962508879/”>justgrimes</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/cbaugh/7756831392/”>christybaugh</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

The Sculpture Garden Cafe

The Sculpture Garden Cafe

The Sculpture Garden Cafe was originally recommended to me by one of my professors during my first semester of grad school.  She said she liked to go there to write, and I figured it would have all the right qualities for a place to read.  Now that I have gone there several times myself, I can definitely recommend it.

I had read in a guidebook that the Sculpture Garden Cafe has some of the best food on the mall, and I would have to agree.  I like their sandwiches and their pizza, but they also have smaller snacks available if you don’t want a meal.  Because it is in a touristy area, their prices are a little higher than what you might find elsewhere.  However, this place is definitely not a tourist trap.  It’s a good place to find tasty, reasonably healthy food.

Best seats in the house

If the weather is nice, I would definitely recommend sitting outside, so that you can enjoy more of the sculptures and the garden.  My favorite place to sit is to the left of the cafe, by this Parisian art deco metro sign.  But DC weather is unpredictable, so sometimes inside is better.  (You wouldn’t want your book to get wet.)

If you like a quiet environment to read in, you should definitely avoid the Sculpture Garden on Friday afternoons during the summer.  They host a very popular series of free jazz concerts.  I highly recommend the concerts if you enjoy music, but come prepared for a crowd!  In the winter, the fountain at the center of the garden is converted into an ice skating rink.  The best times to visit the gardens (and DC in general) are fall and winter.  You will find a very peaceful, green area in the heart of downtown, just perfect for relaxing with a good book!

From a reader’s perspective, I would give this cafe four stars (but it’s a five if you like music!)  The location and the atmosphere are excellent, and the food is good.  It’s also easy to find if you are unfamiliar with the city, so keep it in mind if you are visiting DC!  ★★★★

-Elizabeth

La Provence Patisserie & Cafe (Brentwood, CA)

Hello readers, Becca here, with your new favorite reading spot in the Los Angeles area!  Check out the above photo (by Rachel Welch) of a latte at La Provence Patisserie & Cafe in Brentwood, CA!

Whether you’re visiting for a glass of wine, a DELICIOUS dessert, or an afternoon coffee break, La Provence will absolutely be your favorite place to read your newest novel.  I was introduced to it when visiting a friend in LA last November, and now make a point to stop there any time I’m in the area!  The decor is perfect for reading.  Not too quiet and not too loud, with quirky chandeliers and great natural light.  The furnishings are shabby chic and French inspired, and the place has a vibe that makes it completely acceptable to munch on a macaron or piece of quiche and read the afternoon away.

But even if you’re not staying to read, you absolutely must stay for the desserts!  The creme brulee, the chocolate truffles, the macarons – I’ve had all of these at La Provence and they are the best I’ve ever had anywhere!

Single ladies (and men of a certain persuasion) if I haven’t convinced you yet, I have one last trick up my sleeve.  Dreamy waiters with accents!  Do I really need to say anything else?  It is my absolute favorite place to relax with a novel in LA, and I hope you will all love it too!  Atmosphere, food, and service – all get five stars from me!  ★★★★★

La Provence has two locations, but the one I frequent is at 11677 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049.  Their website can be found here.

My lunch the last time I went to La Provence.  Creme Brulee and a soy latte (above).

The dining area at La Provence.  It’s usually a bit more crowded than this – we lucked out and only had to share this gem with about 5 other people on a Saturday afternoon.