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Saturday, December 30, 2017

My Portland Coffee Tour - Part 10

December's a lovely month to hit up coffee shops. Everyone's getting all cozied up with a hot beverage and working on their laptops or catching up with friends. I like to people watch while pretending to read emails, and also actually read emails and scroll through Facebook and Instagram


This might be the last coffee post of the year, but that doesn't mean it's the last coffee post for this blog. Absolutely not. I love coffee and I adore doing these posts, but I'll be bringing them to you from my travels as well. There's a coffee shop in Vegas called Illumilatte, and with it's punny name, I'll definitely be checking it out to tell you if I learn any secrets of the Illuminati or The Order of The Coffee or whatever else is going on in there. Here's where I've been visiting around Portland though:

Costello's Travel Caffe


I've been following them for a bit on Instagram. Their photos and reposts are lovely and, of course, I love their travel theme. When you place your order, they give you a little flag for your table instead of a number. I was Canada while I waited for my food and drink.


The inside and outside of Costello's actually has a lot of seating, unlike many of the coffee shops in the Portland area. They serve breakfast and lunch, pastries, and a variety of coffee drinks. I asked for a recommendation, letting them know I pretty much like anything with coffee and milk (or not milk), so the nice man at the counter suggested a double cortado ($3.50), which is basically a hot espresso cut with warm milk to cut the acidity, served in a larger shot glass. I also ordered a ham breakfast croissant ($7.50). While not cheap, was pretty fantastic and worth every penny. 


Costello's resembles a cute European cafe and even has travel videos playing to give you some inspiration. There are daily specials as well, like a soup of the day and a daily sandwich, so you really can't get sick of the menu, even if you tried. This is one of those shops that I'd take friends to, after enjoying a trip to the salt spa a few blocks away, or some unique shopping in the Hollywood District.

Saint Simon Coffee Company 

Sometimes you just find yourself a neighborhood gem. St. Simon is a tiny little shop that has warm woods and a cozy atmosphere. It feels like your typical hipster shop in Portland, but I didn't feel out of place there. I, again, asked for a recommendation and was prompted to get the Salted Caramel Latte ($5.00), as it was one of their seasonal specials. I also looked at their delicious pastries and had to take home a pumpkin apple hand pie ($4.25), because when else will I find such a thing?


While I waited, I looked around at this quaint little shop. Everyone looked so comfortable, even though seating is very limited. The minimalist look is working for them and everyone seemed to be a repeat customer. 


I enjoyed my coffee while walking back to my car and was so surprised by the flavor. It was kind of the perfect combo of salt and caramel, without being overpowered by either. Later in the day, I split the hand pie with Eric and was in love. So much so, that I may consider adding apples to my pumpkin pasties for our annual Harry Potter party. It gives it the sweetness that it needs and complements the taste of pumpkin perfectly in a way that butternut squash puree just can't do on its own. This shop knows how to pick a good pastry that isn't the run of the mill croissant or cookie that you can get at a dozen other shops 3 blocks away.

Edge Coffee

Eric found this shop and wanted to take me there on Small Business Saturday. And who am I to say no to coffee of any sort? I'm also always happy to help out a small business any time of year. Edge is actually in Beaverton (out in the Portland suburbs) and they use local roasters, Sauvie Island Coffee Company, for their beans. In fact, the beans we were getting were roasted only a few days before we showed up. That's fresh! You can't get that at many other shops in the area. 


We stopped by for breakfast, so picked up an English muffin breakfast sandwich and something unique to drink. I found it in The Cure ($5.30 for a large). This latte drink marries three types of chocolate - white chocolate, dark chocolate, Mexican chocolate - with cinnamon and orange zest. I couldn't make that up if I tried and I figured if nothing else, it would boost my immune system. 


The shop is large, but still feels intimate, with different types of seating around the dining area. You can also find local artwork on the walls for your enjoyment, and also for sale. The sandwich I ordered came heated up - The Lumberjack Breakfast sandwich ($4.75) has ham, cage-free eggs, and sharp cheddar on a multigrain muffin. It was really quite delicious, made by Molly's Grown to Eat of Seattle, that uses as much organic, sustainable and humanely-raised foods as possible from farmer co-ops local to them. So if you feel like nearly $5 for a breakfast sandwich is little high (I don't), feel good about spending a few extra pennies for good food from a good company. Since this place isn't too far from my house, I'll absolutely be back. 

Do you have a favorite coffee shop at home or from your travels that you think I should make a point to try? Please let me know in the comments!

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