Archive for the ‘Coffee’ Category

Are you a small town kid living in the big city? Did you buy a one-way ticket to follow your dreams and swear to never look back? Do you shudder at the thought of Main Street and its Mom and Pop stores and sigh with relief at the thought of fancy boutiques?

Well then I guess you are just a walking cliche. Me? Only slightly.

I am from a relatively small town: Corsicana, Texas, population 30,000+ and I live in a small city (Keep Austin Weird. Please don’t move here.) And although, as you may have noticed, I am obsessed with Austin (Keep Austin Weird. Please don’t move here), I love my hometown and have wonderful memories of growing up there.

Now here’s for the slightly cliche part: the complaints about what’s there, or rather, what isn’t. There’s no cool place to hang out! No where to get a decent coffee! Practically everything is chain! There’s no visible love for green or whole (that’s the BTGH in me)!

Until I discovered Two Doors Down.

Ok, so I didn’t discover it. Everyone in town knows about it, and I believe it’s been around for a few years. But I’ve only heard about it within the last year, and every time that I went home for a visit and went to check it out, it was closed (it does seem to close for virtually every holiday).

Finally, finally, I had the chance to go a few weeks ago with my sister Jocelyn and my mom.

OMG. This is a place you would find in Austin. In fact, if this place was in Austin, I bet it would be one of THE coffee houses.

-it’s cool. It’s housed in an old building in the warehouse district of Corsicana. The exterior is brick and the spaces inside are open and airy. Two Doors Down (herein referred to as “TDD”) is broken up into different rooms, and you have both nooks and crannies where you can sit and enjoy your coffee and clack away on your laptop as well as big rooms where you can chatter away or even host a get together. The decor is a mix of eclectic and country and vintage; it’s charming, laid-back, fun, and cool.

-staff is super nice. We met the owner Todd, who welcomed us and showed us around as though we were guests at his home. When I asked if I could take pictures, he said “Absolutely, as many as you want!”So friendly. The barista was polite and made a dang good hot mocha. The waitress came over and encouraged me to put my photos on Facebook, where she would look at them. So sweet!
coffee is good. I had a hot mocha, so perhaps I am not yet qualified to judge their coffee, but like I said, that mocha was dang good
food is good: I ordered a vegetarian sandwich: veggies on an onion bagel. Yum. Jocelyn raved about her chicken salad sandwich…

Sidenote: A sweet tea came with my meal. I don’t drink sweet tea. But I did that day. And boy was I glad. It was sooooooo good. I don’t know what it was or where it was from, but it had me at hello.

BTGH (Blue Tree Green Heart)-friendly: I forgot to ask for my mocha in a mug, because that would have been the ultimate Green Heart, but at least the cups they use are made by Ingeo, a company that uses 100% renewable resources to make their products….TDD promotes eating locally….TDD serve free trade organic coffee….TDD serves homemade foods…..TDD earns the BTGH stamp of approval.

Two Doors Down…..

…..A coffee house after my own heart. I can’t wait to go back!

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Excelente. I got such a good night’s sleep, and that makes a world of difference in how my day goes…I went to bed last night at 9:15, and got up at 6:15 this morning.

Breakfast: Fresh juice and later whole grain toast topped with peanut butter, and a cup o’ tea.
Mid-morning snack: Hot mocha
Lunch: Leftover Happy Rice, lentil salad, garbanzo salad.

Dying to know what I’ve been dining on the past day or so? Were you lying awake at night, wondering?

I know, I know.

So here’s a (partial) recap!

(Note: That goo in the jar isn’t a science experiment. It’s breakfast. I ran out of to-go cups since I’ve been running home from work and leaving everything behind. The jar sufficed, although it didn’t keep the oats as warm as my travel cups do).

Not pictured: SMS Cake!

Tuesday- Ran 4.5 miles home from work
Wednesday- 55 minutes at gym
Thursday- I plan to work out after work…we’ll see!

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I’ve been a really bad with the blog this week! But the weekend is here, time to refresh and regroup and get things done. Including the blog!

I saw a terrible “comedy” last night: “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.” Have you seen it? It was so bad that I was uncomfortable watching it! I even felt embarassed for the big name actors that were in in it. It starred Simon Pegg (love him! Shawn of the Dead! Hot Fuzz! Run Fatboy Run!) so naturally I thought it was going to be a fun film. I was soooo wrong. Don’t see it! It’s a waste of time!

Anyways—we went to see another duplex this morning. What happened with the other one? Who knows! The landlord is MIA. She hasn’t returned my call or my email. We’re not giving up on her yet, but we are starting to look around at other places…We liked the place we saw today (and the owners seemed like very nice, genuine people)—- it’s good to know there is other stuff out there that meets our criteria.

Tonight is the birthday bash at my friend Alex’s. I’m bringing the desserts, so I have lots of baking to do this afternoon. And a run. Can I do both in 4 hours? I hope so! I didn’t work out Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Yikes! Oh, and for the record, I ate another ENTIRE bar of chocolate last night. Wah.

New day. Got to move on.

Breakfast: Small hot mocha from Starbucks.
Lunch: Glass of fresh orange & grapefruit juice.

No, I’m not on a liquid diet! Just a weird day. My weekends are pretty weird in general when it comes to meals. That’s just the way it turns out–it’s hard to have a set dining schedule.

Yesterday’s recap:
Afternoon snack: Pear and a bowl of cereal w/ whole milk and raisins
Dinner: Whole wheat linguini with tomato cream sauce and parmesan cheese
Dessert: Ready for this? A whole dark chocolate bar, raisins, and another bowl of cereal. ­čśŽ

Lucas made this wonderful meal, and like always, he makes sure the food is arranged just perfectly. He’s so sweet—I had started out taking pictures of another plate, and he said “Wait! Use this one! It has more food and looks better!” What a supportive husband–not only does he put up with my crazy food blogging, he takes part in it!

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Thank goodness for coffee around the corner! I took a little birthday break and bought myself a hot mocha from Kickbutt Coffee.

Lookout! There’s a ninja in the kitchen!

Mid-morning treat: Hot mocha with whipped cream
Lunch: A piece of vegetable quiche
Dessert: A thick slice of banana bread

Lunch break:
Off to renew my vehicle registration*

Green heart:
*I’m going to walk there. It’s not far…but I do have to cross an underpass. Wish me luck!

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What a great day! I met up with Liz, Kate, and Kate’s adorable baby Daniel at the farmer’s market, then we walked over for a coffee at Progress. I treated myself to a hot mocha; it was good! Some mochas are either too heavy on the chocolate or else the coffee is too strong; this one had the perfect balance…..Then I went for a nice, long run at Town Lake. Running really clears my head, and I had a lot of thoughts that had to be cleared today. Thank goodness! It was a beautiful day too, sunny and blue skies, and a strong breeze…..I wrapped the outing up with a quick trip to Whole Foods for various items. I think I’m getting a little jaded, because going to WF isn’t as fun as it used to be. Austin has the BEST WF in the US, but we’ve been going there so much lately that its charms are starting to wear off. Oh no! I still love it, but maybe the honeymoon phase has run its course.

Today was kind of weird with the meals because of the timing. I never really had lunch, and I’m about to go play an indoor soccer game, so I don’t want to have dinner yet. I did have a snack to tide me over. I plan to eat a BIG salad when I get back!

8 mile run at Town Lake.
Next up: indoor soccer game (40 minutes–no subs tonight! 1 sub, thankfully!)

Lunch: Esentially, it was the hot mocha.
Post-run: 7 dried Cali figs
Early evening snack: Cup of Fage 2% with a teeny bit of Ezekiel Original and rolled oats, and a generous drizzle of agave nectar

I brought some plastic vegetable bags and containers from home and “reused” them for my purchases at WF.

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The office building where I once worked in mid-town Manhattan had a Starbucks on the first floor. In the afternoons, when those afternoon blahs would hit, I would hop in the express elevator (35th floor to 1st floor in like 4 seconds!), stand in the seemingly ever present line, and order a tall skim vanilla latte and dark chocolate covered graham crackers or, if it was autumn, a pumpkin spice donut. It was so convenient having it right there. Plus, in midtown Manhattan, you don’t have the cute coffeehouses that you think of when you think of NYC. Everything is chain & corporate. So, at that time in my life, SB was a satisfactory solution to those end-of-the-day cravings.

In Austin, there are tons of coffeehouses and bakeries, so there is no real need or desire to stop by a Starbucks. (We’re not big coffee drinkers anyway). But someone gave Lucas a gift card to SB, so today we went and met Liz there for late morning java and treats.

I ordered a tall coffee and a glazed cake donut. The donut was yum, but the coffee was pretty terrible. I could only manage a few sips, it tasted like burnt water, and the whole milk and sugar in the raw that I added didn’t seem to help it much. But, we had a good time hanging out, relaxing, and chatting with Liz.

It even looks watery. Don’t you think? Could be the reflection, but I don’t know….

This was my saving grace. I love donuts. But I never get them. This was a real treat! Good choice.

Green heart(s):
We reduced! Since we were staying at SB to hang out, Lucas and I asked for our drinks in mugs.

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I splurged for a hot mocha this morning. Kickbutt Coffee makes the best hot mocha. Damage: $4.00

Lunch: Just polished off a huge bowl of leftover quibebe. I ate it at room temperature. I’ll use the microwave at work to heat up water for tea or to heat up my lunch or breakfast, but I don’t like the idea of using microwaves. Something scary about them–don’t they alter┬áthe┬ánutrients in your food? Don’t they fry your insides when you stand by them?┬áSo I’ve read and heard.

 Lucas suggested leaving my lunch out at room temp when I arrive at work, so today was my first day trying that. Not bad.

Green heart:
Speaking of the mid-morning mocha,┬á the baristas at KBC automatically serve your coffee in a to-go cup. I asked for my mocha in a mug. Think about doing the same the next time you are out for a cup-of-joe. (Those of you who don’t live in the US probably don’t have to worry about that).

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