Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Coffee Houses


Village Coffee
111 West McNeese
Lake Charles LA

Monday thru Saturday 6 AM to 9 PM $1 to $5

This small niche of a place is in the Kroger’s shopping center on McNeese on the west side of the Rite Aid. In this space you get all the comforts of a coffee house. Wooden tables and chairs, sofa and chair, Wifi and great coffee drinks make it so. They no space to really cook but they have made it beverage central with hot, iced, and blender drinks of both a coffee and non-coffee variety. There is small selection of bagels, scones, biscotti, cheesecake, and croissant sandwiches if you are feeling a bit puckish. I started with Café au Lait. It was good but I would rather scalded milk rather than steamed and a darker roast coffee. However this and other coffee house versions are quite acceptable in a pinch. Here they have some signature drinks which are uniquely theirs. First up is the Village Charger. A double shot espresso with Irish Cream and French Vanilla. I am not a big coffee person but I took to this one immediately. I had the Bushwhacker (Kahlua, coconut and half & half) frappe style. In other words put in a blender with ice and zing till smoothie consistency. This one had a big hit of coconut and it exceedingly rich but refreshing. A kind of drink would revive you after a long hard drive or day. They also do smoothies with fruit concentrates. I got a Peach, Pear, and Apricot that truly hit the spot. This is a one stop establishment for whatever non-alcoholic beverage you have in mind

Stellar Beans
319 Broad
Lake Charles LA

Monday thru Saturday 7 AM to 3 PM $1 to $8

This long large space has a great coffee house feel. They also have enough area in the back to do food. They do breakfast, soup, and sandwiches. I again sampled the Café au Lait and found it to be as good as any coffee house. I had it with their Breakfast Casserole. It seemed to me to be a cross between a Spanish Tortilla and an Italian Frittata. It consisted of eggs, sausage, cheese, potatoes and peppers. It had nice flavor but the salsa side made it pop, a nice filling breakfast. For lunch I did Soup and Sandwich. That day one of the options was Mushroom and Brie. It proved wonderful with a rich and creamy broth with loads of mushroom flavor. I opted for a Tuna Salad on ciabatta with red onions hold the mayonnaise because I thought the tuna would be mixed with it. I was wrong. The sandwich came out with chunks of water packed tuna, fine quality, and that’s it. It was good but dry. Learn from my experience order this with dressing. I think it would be wonderful. Because of the heat I got one of their Fruit Tea Smoothie. A concentrate of green tea and fruit (you can add whole fruit). I went with peach because peaches are nearly here. It was delightfully peachy and refreshing. This establishment is nice blend of coffee house and as they say edibles with room enough for entertainment on the weekends.

The Porch
4710 Common St
Lake Charles LA

Monday thru Saturday 6 AM to 8PM $1 to $8

In this small space they are trying to be a coffee house, bar, café and music venue. The seating is very close with little room to maneuver. There seem to be more seating outside. Again I got the Café au Lait and again as good as any coffee house can make it. I ate their Breakfast Pie with bacon, red onions and provolone. When it came out I finally twigged to what it was, a miniature quiche baked to order. I think this is really a good idea. However mine was overcooked almost the point of being inedible, still a great idea and worth another try. Next time in I was ravenous. I started with Roasted Red Pepper and Gouda soup. It was delicious but tasted to me like Tomato Basil. Also due to a miscommunication I got the bowl instead of the Soup in the Pie Crust. Next up was Meat Pie Bites, small turnovers with a spicy and moist beef filling. They bake them here which are fine with me as I prefer them that way. Unfortunately there was a couple not quite baked enough (doughy). I ordered The Porch Special sandwich. It contained sliced roast beef, ham, turkey, Swiss, and cheddar with lettuce, tomato, red onions and pickles. I opted for the Jalapeno Cheddar Sourdough bun. It was delicious. Sort like a Darrell’s but not as messy. The sweet and spicy bread brought it all together. Everything in it seemed fresh and tasty, wonderful.

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