Sunday, August 15, 2010

PERKS! Espresso & Smoothies, St. George, UT

So last week I went on a week long vacation to St. George, resulting in my first post from the road! (Well sort of, I'm back at home now since I had better things to do than spend 40 minutes blogging about a cafe when I could be in the pool swimming and relaxing).

So while in St. George I was in the mood for coffee (of course- I'm always in the mood for coffee) and hence I drove down the street looking for the nearest coffee shop. We chose PERKS! which had I been alone, I might have driven somewhere else. The place looked nice from the outside, but the sign for its' namesake was brightly colored with a little cartoon drawing of a guy all hopped up on coffee, if not something stronger.

I was actually just wanting plain old coffee, but didn't see it on the menu so I ordered an iced Almond flavored latte. My friend, who felt that three in the afternoon was a little late to drink coffee, ordered a strawberry smoothie. The drinks were good, no complaints there. They had a comfy couch next to a coffee table strewn with various magazines and a couple sets of dominoes, so we opted for the couch.


Cleanliness: Clean, but a disorganized feeling as far as decor and furnishings went.

Service: Great. The girl who helped me was very patient as I looked over the menu and tried to make suggestions for me.

Atmosphere: Not the best. The flooring was a beautiful, dark stone tiles. The walls were painted a nice, toned down light brown. The furniture was an eclectic mix and there was pottery on display in one area. They also had their multi-colored crazy sign inside the cafe, which did help in the attempt of a welcoming atmosphere. As my friend put it- "they seem to be having an identity crisis."

Would I recommend: Maybe, if you use the drive-thru. I don't think that I would be back to spend much time in their dining area. Also, as I was leaving, I noticed a bunch of aprons hanging near the door (presumably for the staff) as well as a tiny, super cluttered employee office to the right, and a cluttered hallway to the left.

I do have to say that I loved their cold drink cups, however. They were clear with little orange and yellow flowers on them, a nice touch.

PERKS! Espresso & Smoothies
1515 W. Sunset Blvd.
St. George, UT

Espresso drinks. Smoothies. soda. Kearns juice. bagels. muffins. chocolate covered espresso beans.

Brews on 7th, Sandy, UT

Brews on 7th is actually a drive-thru coffee shop, but their menu sounded really diverse and creative so about 2 saturdays ago in the afternoon I decided to try it. It did take a little longer to get my latte because while there is a window on each side of the building, making two drive-up windows total, the order is taken and then made one order at a time. I got a Taste of Italy, blended, 16 oz., $4. I also noted that prices on the menu are rounded and include tax- so no pennies in your change back.


Cleanliness: Appeared fine to me. Hard to really get a good look though as I did not spend as much time here as I normally would at a coffee shop.

Service: Great. Staff was friendly. Judging by their Facebook page they hire cute girls in their 20's who appear to have fun working there and are probably great with their customers.

Atmosphere: Typical drive-thru. Located in the parking lot of The Aquarium, nice area of town. There were two or three tables set up nearby, one of which had an umbrella over it. The temperature was about 89 degrees and the covered table already had two women sitting at it, so I elected not to sit in the sun.

Would I recommend: Yes, great for a stop on your way to work or in the morning before visiting The Aquarium. I enjoyed my drink, it was prepared correctly.

Hours: M-F 5:30 am-4:30 pm, Sat 6:30 am-5:00 pm, and Sun 7:30 am-5:00 pm

Brews on 7th
715 East 10600 South
Sandy, UT

Espresso drinks. Italian Sodas. Smoothies. Juices. Energy Drinks.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Paradise Bakery & Cafe, Salt Lake City, UT

So I've actually been to Paradise Bakery & Cafe a handful of times, but knew it was definitely one to share. First thing to know if you are driving is there is a 2 hour parking limit per Salt Lake City, which Paradise Bakery has no control of. So I love this place because it has the feel and decor of your typical coffee shop, but it is HUGE! If I had to guess, I'd say there are about 30 tables and booths. In the back of the Cafe along the wall are two long open booths (one side is a booth with many small tables fitting one person on each side and a chair facing the booth) with places to plug in laptops if that is your sort of thing.

So the staff was very friendly and helpful. The woman taking my order asked if I wanted whipped cream I said "might as well" and she agreed- you can't really count calories when you get the Paradise Frappe [OK, so here is where I have to interject and let you know I dropped the ball on this one and forgot to write down the name of the drink I ordered- I know, horrible right?!] or whatever the drink is called- I'm sure I'm close, but they don't list their coffee drinks on their website.

So I wasn't really impressed with the book I brought with me. It's called A Delirious Summer by Ray Blackston. It's about this guy who teaches spanish in Quito, Ecuador to future missionaries (doesn't give a denomination but I would guess not LDS, just an FYI as I know that is my first thought when I hear the word missionary.) So this guy has 6 weeks vacation time until his next class and upon the advice and help of one of his students, decides to spend it trying to meet girls in Greenville, South Carolina. But I guess this is tougher than it sounds as all the girls "hop scotch" different churches (baptist, Episcopalian, etc.) trying to meet available men. I wont get into it much more than that. It's written by a guy, in a guy's perspective so to me the dialog is just really weird and the interaction he has as he comes in contact with different guys is foreign to me- like do guys really talk like this? I read to page 61 and just wasn't into it.


Small Paradise Frappe: Good, but mild. After the first sip I really couldn't taste the chocolate flavor. Almost tasted watered down. I guess it could be because I asked for skim milk, but it really was just a light flavor. So the frappe has Godiva chocolate flavoring and half a chocolate chip cookie blended into it, with about a 1/4 size chocolate chip cookie added to the top for garnish.

Chocolate Chip Cookie: Regular cookie size, $1.37, awesome! I LOVE their chocolate chip cookies!!!! When you order a sandwich it comes with one of these as well. These cookies are reason enough to come to Paradise Cafe. I can't put my finger on what that special ingredient is (ginger maybe? or molasses?) but they are so many times better than your average store bought chocolate chip cookie. And bonus for me- the cashier gave me the other half of the cookie she used for my drink, in addition to the one I bought. Last time I had the Paradise Frappe I got the medium size and did not get part of a cookie back so not sure if she was being nice, or if that is normal. Either way- great for customer satisfaction!

Cleanliness: Ok, there were a couple of slightly dirty tables and mine did have some large crumbs of food underneath. But as far as the order area is concerned- clean.

Service: Good, as I mentioned above.

Atmosphere: not too loud, cafeteria style ordering and they do bring your food to you if you order a sandwich or salad. Comfy and welcoming. I felt no rush and even put my feet up in the booth.

Would I recommend: Yes, most definitely. My husband loves their caesar salad. I love their turkey cranberry sandwich and of course- don't leave without getting a chocolate chip cookie! Hours: Mon-Sat 6 am-9pm, closed sunday.

Paradise Bakery & Cafe
618 East 400 South
Salt Lake City, UT

Coffee. Soda. Cookies. Cake. Breakfast Croissants. Sandwiches. Soup. Salad. Pasta Salads.


Thanks for reading! Let me know if you've been here before or have any suggestions!!