I always have trouble writing about a coffee shop I visit a lot. I fear that my frequency has biased my opinions on a shop, that the good times with friends had there affect my opinions of the character of the shop itself. I’ve finally come to realize, that’s OK. As noted in the post Roman Coffee Shops, community is just as important as the other three axis of coffee (those being coffee quality, service, and atmosphere). So with no further ado, …
I love Mildreds. Their coffee is above average (due to their properly seasoned baristas), their breakfast sandwiches are amazingly eggy/wonderful, their breakfast yogurt parfaits are splendid, and their lunch sandwiches are great too. It’s great if you want some of the qualities of restaurants, but you’re only looking for something to dine on during the day, or just something to sit alongside your coffee. The service is quite nice, very eager to please, but politely stays out of your way.* The atmosphere is just what I’d hope for in a crossroads coffee shop- relaxed and ever-so-slightly modern.
I’m going to touch back on community at Mildred’s. If there’s two coffee shops in the city that you can count on to have nearly every flier for every event in the city, Mildred’s is one of them (Westport Coffee House is the other). Their seating areas are diverse enough to handle any type/size of group you would want to take there, from small tables, to sofas, to splintered, huge, green conference tables, and people DO take groups there. I’m there nearly once a week for an industry networking (read: just screwing around, having fun) time, and I’ve seen many other people meeting groups there too. My only criticism in this department is that they do have a receptive environment, but they don’t seem to be doing anything proactive to build more community. Oh well, only a few shops do that anyways (so far).
*I only go on this tangent because of one shop I once went to (its now closed anyways) where the proprietor was quite nice, very eager to please, but interjected himself into the date I was on. Sure, that relationship was doomed from the start anyways, but still. That night was supposed to be about me and her, not the proprietor’s grandson and her.