Saturday, July 31, 2010

Diva's Cupcakes & Coffee, Salt Lake City, UT

Diva's Cupcakes & Coffee is a shop that I've been wanting to go to ever since I heard of it, but up until Thursday's book club meeting, I had not yet visited. So the book club wasn't supposed to meet until 7 pm, but because I work downtown and it would be too far for me to drive all the way home and back, I arrived at about 6:20 pm to Diva's. I was glad though because this would allow me time to take everything in before I had to worry about watching for people I recognize.

The first thing I noticed is the parking lot is REALLY small. They do have a drive-up, and there might be parking somewhere that I didn't notice though, because there were quite a few people inside and in the back patio. So I go in and notice that to the right of the entrance (inside) is a decent sized library room with two tables and tons of books on shelves. I thought that could be really neat if you just found yourself with extra time and happened upon Diva's- you could grab a book and settle in for a few minutes.

I was glad that there was already someone looking at the menu ahead of me and seemed to be placing an order for a couple of people, buying me some non-rushed time. So they had all of their cupcakes on display, as well as cinnamon rolls and maybe another pastry type or two. I was really disappointed to see that these were just normal sized cupcake. Yes there were about 8 different flavor choices, but the cupcakes themselves were the size of a homemade muffin or cupcake.

I decided on a lemon berry cupcake and a 16 oz. iced carmel macchiato. The cupcake was placed on a ceramic(?) plate and I took my items to go find a table on the back patio. This was the best part of Diva's for me- there are about 12 outdoor tables spread across this long patio and the tables are somewhat secluded from each other by lots of plants and greenery. This made it a beautiful setting as well as keeping the noise level down as most of the tables were used throughout my time there.

I chose a table that had four wicker chairs with padding on them that looked very comfy. I sat down with my items and book (Nicolae again, as it had only been two days since my last cafe visit) and just took in the scenery for a minute.


Lemon berry cupcake: $2.50, 6 oz, very good. So I had a dilemma as to how exactly I am supposed to eat this cupcake- with literally 2 inches of frosting on top, I knew that it, along with the cupcake itself was NOT going to fit in my mouth. For this I was grateful that I would be able to eat my cupcake alone. I took a couple of small bites and could feel frosting sticking to my lips (of course I did not think to grab a napkin) and once I got to the really tall part of the cupcake I turned it upside down and smeared the frosting off the cake. I then tried to dip/ smear frosting back onto each bite. The frosting itself was unique. I think it was whipped and tasted as if it had real strawberries minced into it- really good. The cupcake was good as well, the combination of strawberry and lemon worked well.

Iced Carmel Macchiato: $3.95, 16 oz., very good. I enjoyed this iced latte, it actually reminded me of Starbucks' latte of the same name (which from me, someone who up until recently visited Starbucks at least twice a week and has their gold card, this is a complement).

Service: Good, friendly staff. I noticed that those customers who ordered a sandwich were given a plastic number and when their sandwich was ready, the staff actually delivered it to their table.

Cleanliness: Seemed fine to me. To be honest I was just enjoying all the plants on the patio and never looked at the concrete.

Atmosphere: There were two other clubs that I noticed meeting that night- another book club and a knitting club which took two tables. It really felt like a great place for clubs as most of the tables sat at least four people.

Would I recommend? Yep, loved the atmosphere and style. I think next time I will try a sandwich though, or maybe one of their $0.75 biscotti. I just felt the cupcake was a little over priced for its size. Also, their hours are M-Sat 6:30 AM - 10 PM, Sun 7 AM - 5 PM which makes this a great place to go after work and not feel rushed.

Diva's Cupcakes and Coffee
1560 East 3300 South
Salt Lake City, UT

Coffee. Espresso. Cupcakes. Bottled Beers. Wine by the glass. Sandwiches. Cupcakes and Cakes can also be ordered for special occasions and weddings.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Bad Ass Coffee Company of Salt Lake City, UT

Ok, so although I've lived in Salt Lake City for over a year now, I have not ventured to The Bad Ass Coffee Company until now because to me it sounded like a biker's coffee shop. I always pictured going in there and seeing a bunch of biker dudes in their harley gear. Not that there is anything wrong with that, one of my favorite customers at the bank is a harley guy and a member of B.A.C.A. (do a google search if you don't know what B.A.C.A. is, a charitable group that I give to on request, even when I'm strapped for cash).

But I am getting way off subject....

So yesterday after work I needed to kill some time between work and my evening bible study (which I'll be attending on Tuesdays, so expect a fairly regular Wednesday posting) and I decided to go to The Bad Ass Coffee Co., the only other thing I knew about it is that while passing it once on state street, my sister-in-law said that she had always wanted to go there because of the name (despite the fact that she does not drink coffee or tea). So I park my car in the parking lot, noting their hours (M-F 6 AM-7 PM, Sat 6 AM-7PM, and Sun 7 AM-6PM) and happy that I will be able to stay long enough to kill just over an hour of time.

I walk in and immediately note the tropical feeling of the shop. The walls are lined with light, one-inch thick wooden boards, on either wall in the dining area there are grass covered awnings. The tables are immaculately clean with the shop's emblem in white tile on the tables. And my favorite part- at the center of the dining area is a fake palm tree that comes just a few inches short of reaching the ceiling! The trunk appeared to be made of stone (I have no idea what it was, a grey material- I should have went over and touched it). Around the tree was actual sand held in place by an approximately 8-inch high bamboo fence. And now I have to tell you that none of this was in any way cheesy- it was a very pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.

So when I walked in I noticed the barista talking to a gentleman holding a coffee, which was awesome to me because this gave me a minute to look over the menu. Although I do want to mention that as soon as I walked in the barista greeted me with an Aloha :-) So I'm still looking at the menu, which has a LARGE list of traditional and signature lattes, and barista walked over to me and asked what I'd like. I replied "this is such a large menu" so she asked me what I like and made a suggestion of a white mocha latte, which I said I would take iced (all of their drinks can be made hot, iced or frozen).

While waiting for my latte the gentleman who had been chatting with the barista began casually talking to me. He told me he worked near by and Bad Ass Coffee has become his new favorite coffee shop. He was very nice and VERY enthusiastic about the place and even suggested I tell my friends (which I am now doing). I also noticed sitting near the register samples of their carrot cake, so I had a bite and it was very good (but thankfully I've never had a bad piece of carrot cake). So she finishes making my latte and I also decide to get a bag of their Gourmet Sweet Cinnamon Almonds, which according to the bag is "Made by Sir Walter Candy" although it does have The Badd Ass Coffee logo on it. The barista rang up my order and said "you have a nice day!" in a way that made me believe she truly wanted me to have a good day, and wasn't just saying that as a fair well salutation.

So I took my items and headed over to a booth in the corner, although I later noticed that there is outside seating along state street (that could be interesting), more booths to the left of the kitchen area, as well as a corner featuring a television, a couch and two comfy chairs (wicker patio furniture that fit perfectly with the rest of the decor).


Iced White Chocolate Latte: $3.50, 16 oz, Great. I loved that you could taste the white chocolate flavor, the espresso, and the milk.

Sweet Cinnamon Almonds: $2.00, 3.2 oz, Yummy. Coffee/Espresso and cinnamon are a great combination. At home I love to sprinkle a little cinnamon in my brewed coffee. When you place one of these almonds in your mouth you immediately taste the perfect mixture of cinnamon and sugar coating. I really like these and it took a few minutes to realize what they remind me of- Golden Grahams Cereal, only better of course.

Service: Excellent, there was only one barista on duty, but she was awesome and super friendly.

Cleanliness: Looked clean to me! As I mentioned, every table was clean, the bar where orders was placed was clean, no complaints.

Atmosphere: Bright, cheerful, very open but inviting. I also noticed that instead of the usual folk/coffee shop music the barista was playing radio stations of her choice and I noticed songs by The Killers, Jack White, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, and Kati Perry (I lover her new California Girls song by the way).

Exterior: A little worn, but clean and more inviting than many of the other businesses along State Street. And you can't miss the Ass above the door along the State street entrance.

Would I recommend? Definitely, I know I will be back again if for nothing more than to try one of their signature lattes or see what creation the barista can come up with for me.

The Bad Ass Coffee Company
3530 S. State Street
Salt Lake City, UT

Coffee. Tea. Espresso. Pastries. Breakfast Sandwiches. Lunch Sandwiches. Bagels. Packaged Biscotti. Nuts. Trail Mix. Fruit Parfaits.


Book Review: First I have to tell you that I completed "The School of Essential Ingredients" by Erica Bauermeister. I read this for my book club (please email me if you are a female and interested in joining a SLC book club by the way) and I am VERY glad I did. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys cooking and/ore eating. And by "enjoys eating" I mean someone who savors their food, taking slow bites and noticing the different flavors- rather than just gobbling away).

So right now I am reading a book called "Nicolae" by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, the third book in a series called "Left Behind." I really liked the first two books of the series but so far I just cannot get into this book. There are like 9 more to go, so I hope the series gets better. Basically the series is the authors' fictionalized idea of what might happen when the end of days are upon us- the rapture, the antichrist, the seven scrolls, etc. It's been a great series that has really strengthened my faith. I wont go into any more than that as that is not what this blog is about- but this is the book I am currently reading, so I wanted to share.

Thank-you for reading and please feel free to post a reply!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Red Moose Coffee Company, Salt Lake City, UT

I actually found this coffee shop on my way to visit a new to me Starbucks location. But while sitting at a stoplight, I noticed to my right Red Moose Coffee Company. It looked inviting, so I decided to go there instead.

The first thing I noticed is that although the time was 5:15 pm, the parking lot was nearly full. I walked inside where I noticed at least three employees, all ready to help me. After pondering the menu of 11 hot coffee options for a moment, I settled on a 12 oz. Milky Way latte and then looked in the display case holding their 6 bakery options and decided on a Strawberry White Chocolate muffin. The man who rang my order asked if this was to stay and if I would like my drink in a mug, to which I replied yes. I do enjoy using actual mugs and plates when possible, but I rarely think to request on my own, so I appreciated his offer. I also took note that the girl who got my pastry out of the case did wear a disposable glove.

Once I received my coffee and muffin I chose a table near the middle of the dining area and pulled out my copy of "The School of Essential Ingredients" by Erica Bauermeister.

Cafe review:
Strawberry White Chocolate Muffin: $2.49, Approx 10 oz, excellent. The strawberries were obviously fresh and not dried, which is always a delight.

Milky Way Latte: $3.50, 12 oz, ok. I give this drink an ok because while it was actually good as far as lattes go, I did not taste what made it a milky way. It actually tasted more like a hot chocolate drink, which is good if you prefer not to taste too much espresso flavor.

Service: Excellent, no complaints.

Cleanliness: Dining area appeared clean. All empty tables had been wiped down. Women's bathroom was clean and freshly painted, although the tile could certainly use some fixing.

Atmosphere: Very inviting and homely. As soon as I walked in I knew I would feel comfortable spending at least an hour there, although my visit was cut short when I noticed they close at 6 pm Monday - Saturday. There is an area with a couch, two armed chairs, and a coffee table, which seemed very inviting for a small group. On the walls, a few paintings and pictures of moose were displayed and appeared to be for sale.

Exterior: I was quite impressed. The building was freshly painted, grounds were very well trimmed. Three outside tables, including two shaded by some trees in the late afternoon.

Would I recommend? Yes, definitely.

Red Moose Coffee Company
1693 South 9th East
Salt Lake City, UT

Coffee. Tea. Espresso. Soup. Sandwiches. Salads. Bakery. Ice Cream. Wi-Fi.


Book Review: So far I am really enjoying this book. I am currently on page 148 of 240. The basic synopsis is about restaurant owner Lillian, who also offers a cooking class on Monday evenings at her restaurant. Each chapter focuses on one of the 8 students and tells of their life story, or how they came to enrolling in Lillian's class. The story line of the classes themselves is fit neatly into each chapter, from the point of view of that chapters' featured student. I think the author does a great job of fleshing out the characters, despite the short amount of space each is given within the book.


First I would like to thank-you for taking the time to visit my new blog!

As you can see from the title, I will now be known on this blog as Daisy, the Coffee Princes. Daisy because it is my favorite flower and always makes me a little happier when I see one. Coffee because this will be the focus of the blog, more specifically coffee shops. And Princess because I can be dramatic, self centered, and like to think that I will never grow old (at least not by heart nor attitude). Oh, and my favorite color is pink.

So onto the purpose of this blog. One of my favorite things to do to relax and get away from the crazy and hectic world of life is to visit a coffee shop. I must forewarn that until now I have been an avid Starbucks visitor. But I hope to expand my horizon and yours by venturing to many different coffee shops in the Salt Lake Valley.

My goal is to visit at a minimum, one new coffee shop per week. I will always go inside to order my coffee and when possible, I will enjoy my coffee and snack at the cafe to allow more time to observe. I am also an avid reader and usually visit coffee shops alone, so I will also share what I am currently reading and a brief review of what I think of that book.