February 21, 2013 § 2 Comments
Driving down 23rd street on Saturday night, we stop at Cuppies & Joe, drawn by the warm light pouring out of the little house’s windows. Inside we find overstuffed couches and antique chairs and corner tables with peeling paint. Low wood beam ceilings. White, green, turquoise. Litographs on the walls. Lamplit and bustling with conversation and tonight, live music. There’s a couple in one corner reading poetry together. Across the room, three men lean over a small table. It’s a business meeting; one takes rapid notes on his Lenovo tablet.
We maneuver our way to the register, scanning the drink menu. I linger at the glass case by the register, salivating. The Lemony Snickett, a lemon cupcake with lemon buttercream, grins up at me, tantalizing. Strawberry Mary Poppins rubs shoulders with mocha Bangarang while Donnie Darko throws an ominous shadow across The Traveler. With their quirky names and unexpected flavor combinations, it’s no surprise that Cuppies and Joe is so popular.
Unable to choose a cupcake, I just order a frozen chai. It comes to me in a quaintly chipped mason jar with a silver espresso spoon rising like an exclamation point from the middle. The girls and I wander to the back room with our drinks, crowding around a small side table with a beaded lamp that jingles pleasantly every time I clumsily knock my knees against the table.
My friend Em offers a taste of her Sass-a-frass cupcake. A bite of red velvet, an explosion of cloud-light buttercream, and a sip of cold milk from a mason jar and I’m reminded why I don’t like being poor. I drown my sorrows in Hannah’s macchiato, made with a nutty espresso from Oklahoma City’s Elemental Coffee Roasters.
The atmosphere isn’t the only thing that makes Cuppies special. They also make all of their bakery items from scratch (and I assume with a lot of love. Buttercream doesn’t get that fluffy without love.) As is the case with any gourmet food or drink, Cuppies is on the pricier side. If you want to spend fifty cents on a cupcake, be Wal-Mart’s guest. If you want to extend your life expectancy and enjoyment, shell out $2.50 for a cupcake that will probably change your life during its journey to your hips. The cupcake selection is ever-changing; this isn’t a place for the habitual customer. However, their Twitter feed is updated every day with the list of available noms, so if you’re headed that way, follow their Twitter.
Next time you need a quiet afternoon studying in a cozy atmosphere, remember that you can’t go wrong with Cuppies. They’re a Keep-It-Local partner, as well, which means you have a chance for 10% off your purchase. With that sort of deal, what’s stopping you from opening up a tab and over-caffeinating? That’s right, nothing. So go visit. Give them all the stars on urbanspoon. And buy a t-shirt, too; they’re almost as good as the cupcakes, though for different reasons (I don’t recommend eating them).
February 16, 2013 § Leave a comment
On a tired Saturday morning, few things are more motivating than coffee. When @CaffeineCrawl pops up on my Twitter feed, the mere thought of fresh roasts and caffeinated pretention gets me out of bed and into the city. Eventually, I’m lounging at Coffee Slingers, the last stop of the crawl, sipping a freshly-pressed Guatamalan Amarillo and tapping my feet to the quiet rhythms of De La Soul.
I feel caffeinated before I even take a sip my pour-over; the very atmosphere of the place is coffee and it seeps into your pores. At the next table over, a ginger-bearded father munches scones with his two blonde daughters while they chat with the turquoise-clad barista behind the counter. At the bar by the window, laptops come out and customers type away with the bustle of the street as their inspiration.
Coffee Slingers grew up on OKC’s Broadway Avenue five years ago, back when the up-and-coming culture of the city was just a dream for most. A pioneer of Oklahoma’s micro coffee culture, Slingers Roasters had a slow start, but is now thriving in the rise of “cultural relevance.” A block away, Wayne Coyne’s graffiti-encrusted studio colors the alleyways next to Iguana Tacos, Shop Good, and S&B’s Burger Joint. Broadway Avenue is growing up under the influence of the super-caffeinated, typography-obsessed generation that I’m proud to call my own.
When I first arrived in Oklahoma, I had to spend a good three months drinking whatever coffee I could get my hands on. I searched high and low for local roasts and when I finally found Coffee Slingers, I knew I’d found my paradise. They roast locally every Tuesday, ship Wednesday, and the beans are best brewed within fourteen days.
I usually polish off a bag in three.
|CURRENTLY ON THE SHELF|
Huckleberry Espresso // notes of spice, butternut, green grape, dark chocolate
Guatemala Guyaba // notes of nutmeg, walnut, apricot, & bakers chocolate, with a syrupy finish
El Salvador Malacara // notes of tea rose, green apple, and brown sugar
The best thing about micro coffee culture is the sense of community and camaraderie. Coffee brings people together. Employees aren’t there to punch a clock and collect a paycheck; they’re behind the counter because they have a passion for hospitality and coffee and want to share this love with whoever walks through the door. Your experience at Coffee Slingers or one of its sister shops will be different from a stop at Starbucks. At Slingers, it’s about quality. Every cup of coffee is made fresh with patience and passion. No more of yesterday’s Pike Place that’s been sitting on the burner for the past four hours; grab a cup of the Guyaba and experience a coffee that needs no sugar or creamer to be the best cup you’ve had all week.
So make the drive and pay Slingers a visit. They’re located at 1015 N. Broadway, downtown Oklahoma City, OK 73102 and open at all the most convenient times. Sit down at the bar with a cup of espresso and chat with the barista. You won’t regret it.
Mon-Fri 6:30am – 7pm
Sat 7am – 7pm
Sun 8am – 7pm
February 11, 2013 § 1 Comment
Second Friday in Oklahoma City means one thing: LIVE on the Plaza, Okies! In search of food, art, and repurposed, hipster-y things, I and several of my friends trekked down to the 16th Street Plaza District for the evening. Dinner, thrifting, and an art show, all in the up-and-coming Plaza District.
DINNER // Hot melts and cold beers at The Mule on Blackwelder
The Mule is a delicious addition to the quirky Mom and Pops of 16th Street. We’ve all had a love affair with a grilled cheese sandwich at some point in our lives and The Mule takes that love to a whole new level. Three words: gourmet grilled cheese. More specifically, THE FANCY PANTS. This “sandie” consists of roasted chicken, brie, gruyere, caramelized onion, and pear on toasted nine grain wheat, slathered with the freshest basil pesto my tastebuds have ever met.
BUT WAIT, THAT’S NOT ALL.
Also on their typographically-delicious menu you’ll find The Macaroni Pony, the H.A.M, the Big Ass Grilled Cheese, and a BCLT that’s rumored to convert even the staunchest vegetarian. Pair any one of these with the soup of the day, salad on the side, or sensationally seasoned fries and you have a blue-ribbon combination.
The Mule’s culinary success is only emphasized by the lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper rushes. Its popularity makes finding a table in a rush an impossibility. So, if you’re needing a life-changing culinary experience, be prepared to jot your name down on a long list and go putter through the District until a table opens up.
Fortunately, the District has a lot to offer.
SHOPPING // Dig It & Bad Granny's Bazaar
With $20 in my pocket, I went riffling through the racks at Dig It and flipping through books and baubles at Bad Granny’s. Whether you’re in the District for LIVE on the Plaza or just passing through on a Wednesday afternoon, pay them a visit and pop some tags, find some flannel, or get a friend to try on a really ugly sweater. Dimly lit to hide the pretentious smirks of other customers, both shops offer a wide variety of quirky and/or useful clothes and accessories, all for the low, low price of $5-$10. You never know what treasures you may find lurking between a Pink Floyd t-shirt and a handmade argyle sweater.
Retrokc is the place to be if you’re in need of true vintage accessories to establish your kitsch coolness. Nestled next to No Regrets Tattoo, Retrokc offers a variety of mid-century, retro, atomic and kitsch furniture, décor and accessories. Unfortunately for the run-of-the-mill college student, mid-century décor is a bit pricey, which is why the avocado chip bowl is still sitting sadly on the Charles and Ray side table, instead of gracing my kitchen. If you see it, be a doll and give it a home for me.
ART // Gallery 1612
Before calling it a night, my photographer friend and I popped into Gallery 1612 to see OPUBCO Director of Photography Doug Hoke’s photographs. Luckily, we also got to catch the photographer himself and discuss everything from the marketability of iphonography to the concept of photography as a lifestyle. We left feeling affirmed in our love for the art.
All this being said, LIVE on the Plaza was a rousing success. I ate too much food and got home smelling like an entire pack of American Spirits, but rubbing shoulders with OKC natives was just what I needed after a week in the college bubble. It’s good to know there’s life outside the collegiate worries of Oklahoma Christian University. I will be heading back downtown VERY soon, and you can be assured you’ll hear about it.
February 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
When the straight-backed, no-nonsense chairs of the library cubicles begin to wear into your spine and visions of lovely overstuffed affairs and gentle lighting dance in your overworked eyes, pack up your things and take a short drive down Memorial Road to Edmond’s Credo House.
Credo is one of Edmond’s local gems and, naturally, a Keep-It-Local partner. A hub of theological debates and events, the vision for this coffee shop is to present a safe and neutral environment for the community to discover or foster its faith without the pressure of a denominationally-biased church. Lining the brick walls, Credo’s library is probably one of the most theologically rich in the city. Should you fall in love with a particular book, each one can be bought for a reasonable price.
While few may advocate a black cup of Credo Coffee (their roasts aren’t the best in the state), their lattes leave little to be desired. Named after famous preachers and theologians, these hand-pressed espresso drinks come highly recommended as less distracting study partners. The Luther Latte, for example, pairs well with gospel conversations and a desire for reformation. It also complements a reading of Jonathan Edwards, if you’re feeling anti-social.
Whether you’re studying in a group or seeking studious solitude, Credo has a corner to offer you. I prefer to curl up in the Heretics Corner, where the couches are the most comfortable and Martin Luther isn’t staring snidely at my computer screen. Here, you may sink into the overstuffed leather and stare into high-vaulted ceilings, reminiscent of the Oxford library, buzzing with the quiet flow of caffeine-stimulated conversations.
| HOURS |
M-F 7am – 10pm
SAT 9am – 7pm
| LOCATION |
109 NW 142nd St. Suite B
Edmond, OK 73003